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Waste management; food recycling.

Silver winner at the Green Apple Environmental Best Practice Awards

Winner of the Excellence in Resource Management Awards at the Scottish Waste & Resources Awards

What was IKEA looking for?

In October 2009, IKEA partnered with Mitie’s food recycling company Core to introduce a new approach to food waste in their Edinburgh store.  

IKEA was looking at:

  • Disposing of the food waste in the most environmentally friendly manner;
  • Reducing the store’s carbon emissions;
  • Re-designing the collection of waste;
  • Implementing a comprehensive stakeholder engagement programme.

How did we help?

Phase 1 successfully introduced the segregation of all food waste produced by the on-site food preparation process and sent it for anaerobic digestion treatment.

Our approach successfully diverted the food waste from landfill, by understanding IKEA’s internal processes of how food waste was produced, enabling those processes to be aligned with the implementation of a new food waste policy. This was a combination of introducing the correct bins in the best location in the kitchen and providing the condition for the kitchen staff behaviour change to happen through training, marketing and stakeholder engagement.

Phase 2 aimed at tackling the food waste produced in the cafeteria, which was mainly composed of post-consumer “leftovers”.

The second phase involved IKEA working with Core to implement a highly efficient segregation scheme in public areas. At the same time, we introduced compostable disposables (cups, plates, bowls, cutlery…) to simplify the food waste recycling scheme and divert more material from going to landfill.
Practical training sessions were also delivered to IKEA’s cafeteria staff by the partners to demonstrate how to use the new segregation system and to address any concerns that arose.

The results

IKEA has moved waste up the waste hierarchy, replacing landfilling by the most environmentally option for their food waste: anaerobic digestion with energy generation.

In November 2012, IKEA and Core won the Green Apple Environmental Best Practice Awards in London.

In October 2011, IKEA and Core were awarded the 2011 CIWM Scottish Waste & resources award for this outstanding partnership in sustainability.

IKEA Edinburgh Store