The need to reduce food waste is one of the most pressing challenges facing the international community. The urgency of this issue is readily apparent if we consider the most recent statistics: roughly 1/3 of the food produced in the world every year — approximately 1.3 billion metric tons — gets lost or wasted while, paradoxically, there are almost 800 million people hungry in the world. The environmental impact is also very substantial given that the food wastage carbon footprint works out to around 1/3 of annual emissions from fossil fuel.

Global efforts to tackle food waste are increasing all the time; in particular, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes Target 12.3, which calls on all nations to halve food waste and reduce food loss by 2030. Costa has risen to this challenge by integrating responsible consumption and reduction of waste into its food preparation processes on board. Hence our partnership with Winnow, a London-based start-up specializing in optimization of processes in professional kitchens with the aim of ensuring continuous improvement and sustainability. More specifically, we have implemented a project that involves placing electronic kitchen scales in the galleys and giving each chef a tablet with an app to record the amount of food thrown away. The resulting data is processed and analyzed with daily, weekly and monthly reports, which are extremely useful insofar as they help the chefs, assisted by the food preparation staff as a whole, who receive special training to this end, to review and enhance food processing, with the dual advantage of minimizing waste and reducing environmental impact.

Our flagship the Costa Diadema is the lab and test bed for the project, which is soon to be extended across the rest of the fleet in Europe and Asia, the goal being to encourage a more responsible approach to consumption of food and to serve as an industry model in terms of tangible commitment.