As the world’s largest airline catering company, LSG Sky Chefs sits in the overlap between two industries oft-maligned for their impact on environmental sustainability: food and air travel. With the determination to lead by example, and assist airports and airlines with their green initiatives, the company’s strategy in North America has become geared towards its Zero-Waste to Landfill (ZLF) programme. The aim, as the name suggests, is to minimise environmental impacts and mitigating the inherent costs of waste through enhanced practices.
“Waste is a huge expenditure across North America and, while there are a number of variables, there are also a number of constants,” explains Ricky Bivens, Head of Sustainability and Director of the ZLF programme, in his interview with CSO Magazine earlier this year. Once Bivens had assessed these variables and constants, he devised the ZLF programme. “While you can’t control the cost of a compactor, you can control what goes into it,” he says.
As part of the programme, the firm works closely with partners to deliver better waste management strategies, and their successes exemplify the benefits of adopting the approach. “We worked with a large waste company, Royal Waste, to examine its organizational structure in order to see how recycling could be better incorporated into waste management. Our partnership is mutually beneficial as diverting from landfill benefits Royal Waste, too.”
Bivens adds: "I work closely with our Head of Supply Chain, Rick Melvin, and I speak to a great number of the companies that we work with and question the need for their methods. Whether it is the type of plastic being used, the amount of packaging, or their transportation methods, together we challenge the vendors with ways in which they can improve upon their carbon footprint. We may meet with opposition but, more often than not, they understand that if we do what is environmentally correct, then the bottom line takes care of itself.”