Posted on August 30, 2019 by staff

AI could cut food waste at venue by 40,800 meals a year


Cutting-edge AI technology could be used to save the equivalent of 40,800 meals a year at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham.

The venue has been working with its in-house caterer Amadeus to cut food waste by a third to support its sustainability drive.

Amadeus have teamed up with Winnow Solutions to install software that monitors both the type and amount of food being disposed of.

Data is validated by the user selecting the item that’s being disposed of from a catalogue on an iPad. The iPad is connected to Winnow which then weighs it, allowing for accurate daily and weekly reporting on wastage levels.

The four-week pilot results revealed that the reduction in waste would lead to an annual saving of over 16.3 tonnes of food – the equivalent of 40,800 meals!

Simon Hellier, executive chef at the ICC said: “The venue’s kitchens cater for over 350,000 delegate days every year, so if we over-stock, this can vastly increase what we have to send offsite for recycling or anaerobic digestion. Changing our habits using AI helps the environment and saves us resource, time and labour.”

ICC and Amadeus’ utilisation of Winnow is being run alongside several additional sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives at the city centre venue, including the usage of new LED lighting, roof-top ‘bee hotels’ and a CHP Generator.

Partnering with Olio has also been another food waste success. It’s a charitable scheme that connects volunteer ‘Food Waste Heroes’ with businesses, to share un-used food with those in the community. The ICC has been actively participating in the scheme since December 2018, providing support to the homeless in Birmingham.

Marc Frankl, Amadeus’ food and beverage director,concluded: “The results of the Winnow pilot are looking extremely promising, with the system already working wonders to reduce excessive waste. The combination of Winnow and Olio ensures we account for every aspect of the food waste process, doing our bit for the environment and for charity.”

Amadeus is now hoping to install the system in 10 additional Amadeus kitchens, servicing sister venues the Vox, NEC, Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena, plus external contracted venues across the country.