Zagreb's Esplanade Hotel Is the First in Croatia to Recognise WWF’s 'Food Waste' Global Initiative – Aimed at Reducing Food Waste
WWF and Esplanade Zagreb Hotel joined forces in the food waste reduction initiative aimed at sustainability, zero food waste and environmental impact reduction.
The Hotel Esplanade, being the leader in the industry, is decisive in using this strategy with support of WWF to implement good practices, thus reducing the organic waste it generates through its business.
In Europe, there is an estimated 88 million tonnes of food waste, while one in five citizens are at risk of poverty. The amount of global food waste is more than sufficient to feed every hungry person on the planet. In the past 40 years, the amount of food waste has doubled. More than 50 million tonnes of fruit and vegetables grown in Europe are thrown away each year just because they are deformed or the wrong size. These are just some of the worrisome facts that prompted the Esplanade to join the WWF’s (World Wildlife Fund) global Food Waste project as the first hotel in Croatia and the region, seeking to contribute to reducing food waste and thus reducing its harmful impact on the environment and planet Earth.
‘Through its responsible business and waste management program, the Esplanade Hotel has for many years sought to properly and efficiently manage ingredients in the procurement, preparation, and recycling of food waste, but through this initiative the intention is also to further maximize the use of food in kitchens and restaurants. Through staff training and informative and educational messages aimed at guests, we will strive to highlight this global problem. Of course, we also want to encourage other individuals and institutions to move in this direction,’ said Esplanade General Manager Ivica Max Krizmanić, and added: ‘The Esplanade Hotel has a zero-waste strategy. This project is challenging, it requires some changes in the behaviour of staff and guests in their handling of food, but with the right tools and a focused leadership, through proven methods and examples of good practice, we believe we will achieve measurable results.’
Reducing the amount of food waste is a major challenge for quality management of the food and beverage sector within the hotel business. With its huge volumes and polluting, waste is not only a very serious global environmental problem, but also a very sensitive social factor.
‘For years, we have been implementing a waste reduction strategy in the entire food and beverage department, and we carefully design all our menus, but there always arise situations where it is possible to further reduce food waste. We have started with this project in some segments and plan to continue to spread the idea of reducing food waste throughout all operations. Many of our guests and clients, especially those from abroad, are aware of this issue and welcome our initiative, but there are many who simply do not think this way, which is why they need a bit of awareness raising. This is not about saving, it is about jointly reducing environmental impact,’ said the Esplanade’s Head Chef Ana Grgić, and added: ‘By measuring food waste accurately, we have detected that most waste is generated in places such as breakfast buffets and large events offering buffet meals. It has been observed that guests often take much more food than they consume, which is why dozens of kilograms of food are wasted each day.
The buffet offers a sumptuous range of enticing dishes, so it is understandable that guests want to try as much as possible of what is offered. However, the hotel regularly refills food, so dishes will not run out during breakfast or events. In this case, the hotel will try to solve the excessive food waste by intending to encourage clients through customized communication to choose the right food for their events, but also to encourage guests to eat food in smaller servings repeatedly so as to consume what they take. In the same way, the hotel will encourage staff to adjust their food consumption to their needs, in order to reduce food waste in this area as well. In addition, the hotel has a special approach to organizing food preparation, taking into account the consumption forecast given the number of guests, their profile and, for example, their nationality, which is especially useful for dishes that take a long time to cook like ‘štrukli’, desserts, bread, etc. We believe that, after informing the guests and educating the staff, the new measuring will produce surprisingly positive results. Through this initiative, we are thinking about and working specifically for a better future for all of us.’
In addition, Ana Grgić has been a prominent ambassador for the WWF’s Fish Forward campaign for many years. As well as striving to increase awareness of consumed fish through each new menu, Ana takes special care to use fresh local produce, thereby supporting small local suppliers, while also striving to reduce the environmental impact of the carbon footprint.
Food waste is a major economic problem for both the economy and consumers. Encouraging hotels to make a change is a step towards raising their consciousness of this problem, which, ultimately, every individual should be aware of. ‘Fighting food waste is very important to us at the WWF and we want to encourage behaviour change in our hotels. Our long-term partner, the Esplanade Hotel, has recognized this project and started implementing it to reduce food waste. According to the first data we received after the measurement, we saw where significant changes need to be made, and the hotel staff was convinced not only of environmental, but also of economic benefit. We believe that with this example, we will inspire other hotels in the region to join us in our battle against excess food waste, ‘ said Fabian Peronja from WWF Adria.
For many years, within its responsible business program, the Esplanade has been striving – both through its own initiatives and joint collaborations – to reduce waste and harmful environmental impact. As a result, the Esplanade’s lights are turned off for an hour each year to support the WWF’s Earth Hour project for more rational use of energy. The hotel was the first in Croatia to introduce Tesla destination chargers, and recently also Porsche destination chargers, used by guests to charge their vehicle batteries for free. Furthermore, the hotel has been working for years on digitizing promotional material, while offering guests a choice of 7,000 newspapers and magazines in digital format for free. The hotel encourages guests to adopt a responsible attitude towards the environment through a program of more careful use of hotel linens and towels, and also encourages guests and staff to consume filtered tap water so as to reduce plastic waste.
About the WWF
The WWF, or World Wildlife Fund, is one of the largest and most respected environmental organizations, with nearly 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than a hundred countries. The WWF’s mission is to stop environmental degradation on our planet and build a future where humans will live in harmony with nature. To achieve this, they are working with many partners to preserve biodiversity and reduce human impact on natural habitats. Their work covers six areas: forestry, sea, wild animals, food, climate, and fresh water. The area of food focuses on sustainable production, waste reduction, and sustainable consumption. The Hotel Kitchen – Food Waste program was first implemented in the US in 2017 in collaboration between the WWF and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, and a comprehensive tool for measuring and preventing food waste was created as part of the project.
About the Esplanade Zagreb
The Esplanade Hotel, the most prestigious hotel in Zagreb, was built in 1925 with the aim of providing superior accommodation and services to travellers of the famed Orient Express, which operated between Paris and Istanbul. The Esplanade Hotel is one of Zagreb’s most elegant buildings and has been the site of key social events in the capital since its establishment. The hotel offered guests unprecedented luxury, so celebrities have always stayed at the Esplanade. The list of celebrities among its guests includes the famous Josephine Baker, Charles Lindbergh, Leonid Brezhnev, and many others. After a complete refurbishment, the hotel has reopened its doors, establishing itself as a true hotel star in the region.
PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE HOTEL AND VISUALS can be downloaded here (Hotel Esplanade Archive):
MORE ABOUT THE INITIATIVE: https://hotelkitchen.org/
WWF ADRIA CONTACT:
Hotel Esplanade Zagreb contact:
Sanda Sokol, PR & marketing menadžer
T. +385 1 45 66 036, M. +385 91 47 666 47
E. [email protected]
Andrea Ožegović, PR & marketing coordinator
+385 1 45 66 888, M. +385 91 47 666 48