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Waste and recycling

Pandox’s ambition is to encourage a more circular mentality around the use of materials and reducing waste volumes. Recycling and reusing materials is becoming increasingly important – both to reduce climate emissions and to use natural resources more efficiently.

Waste generation and its impact

Waste is generated in various areas within Pandox – in the dayto-day operation of hotels, in ongoing property management and in construction projects. At the hotels operated by Pandox most of the waste generated is in the form of packaging from purchased goods. Hotel kitchens also generate food waste. In connection with renovations and retrofit, waste is generated both in the form of packaging from building materials and when existing structures are demolished. This applies to all types of construction and maintenance projects – whether renovating bathrooms, building extensions or replacing technical installations. Waste is also generated upstream in the value chain – when the goods and materials that Pandox purchases are produced – and downstream in the value chain, i.e. by our tenants and hotel guests. Pandox engages waste and recycling companies that collect and take care of the sorted waste.

Measures to reduce waste and increase recycling

Pandox wants to improve waste management to create a circular approach. In 2022 two new targets were adopted for Pandox-­operated hotels in the Operator Activities segment to reduce the volume of waste to 1.0 kg per guest night by 2025 and to the EU level of 0.6 kg no later than 2030. The average for a normal year at hotels operated by Pandox is 1.5 kg per guest night.

In 2022 it averaged 1.2 kg per guest night. The second target is for recycling and for hotels to recycle 65 percent no later than 2025 and to reach the EU level of 85 percent by 2030. In 2022 this level was 53 percent. During the year individual action plans were produced for 13 of the 16 hotels that are part of the green investment programme. The action plans are based on the waste analysis performed in 2021. The challenge is to understand the entire waste stream. Although the guests are given the opportunity to sort waste in their hotel room, this is not effective unless the cleaning staff have the same possibility to sort waste in their cleaning carts. The measures produced therefore involve the majority of the departments that are responsibility for food and beverages, cleaning, offices and technology. This ensures that waste is minimised throughout the guest’s stay.

Examples of measures introduced are that the hotels have started using bulk dispensers for jam, butter and honey instead of individually packaged items, they have installed yogurt machines instead of individual plastic cartons and are requiring clean linen suppliers to deliver linens wrapped in fabric instead of plastic wrap to reduce plastic use. The next step will be to improve visibility and monitoring of target fulfilment for general managers and their employees in their daily work. This will be introduced in 2023.

Reduced waste at Pandox-operated hotels

On average, food waste represents 4–12 percent of a hotel’s food costs. More than one third of all food globally is thrown away, which corresponds to around 10 percent of global GHG emissions.

Pandox has enlisted the help of a foodtech company that has a system to categorise and register all food that is thrown away. The system makes it possible for hotels to identify which types of food are going to waste and whether waste occurs before or after consumption, i.e. in food preparation in the kitchen or as waste from plates. It is also possible to identify where waste occurs in the hotel, such at banquets and conferences or from breakfast buffets. The system has AI technology that learns to identify the food thrown away. This will eliminate the need for manual categorisation in the future, with the process taking place automatically within a year. The aim of the project is to increase awareness of overproduction and to improve purchase planning.

During the first quarter of 2022 Pandox rolled out its food waste programme at 15 of the 20 hotels it operates with the aim of reducing food waste by an average of 30 percent per hotel from the beginning of 2023. Five hotels are not participating in the program since they don’t have a sufficient food offering for the project to be relevant or were not in operation during the year. Connectivity issues and technical problems at three of the hotels have also caused delays in using the programme. At 12 of the 15 hotels that have implemented the system, the average food categorisation accuracy was 92 percent and food waste decreased by an average of 23 percent.

The hotel has gained invaluable insights into what their main food waste is, which has enabled them to design waste reduction strategies based on the result. Examples of measures are reducing plate size and using Too Good To Go, an app for surplus food that enables hotels to sell unused food at a discount. Hotel Indigo in Brussels has also produced instructions for how chefs are to handle leftover products and the food waste that occurs in the preparation of each dish on the menu. The purchasing process has also been improved, resulting in a reduction in the amount of food purchased that is often thrown away.