Hotel L’Archipel on Praslin has introduced a food waste management programme to complement its existing good sustainability practice in power generation and eco-friendly cleaning systems.
Why is this important for Seychelles? Firstly we need to consider where much of our food comes from. We do consume locally produced produce, however a great deal is imported, with food flown in having a negative impact of the country’s carbon footprint. Secondly there is the issue of uneaten food which is often simply discarded along with other waste and ends up on landfill sites. When this happens the food waste rots and produces methane gas – a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Recent research indicates that on average a Seychelles hotel produces 846 grams of food waste per client daily. When we consider that organic waste comprises almost half of all landfill content in Seychelles the problem – and the urgent need to do something about it – become clear.
The L’Archipel initiative, which has led to international recognition for the hotel, reduces the amount of food waste generated and saves money at point of purchasing and waste collection costs. This is a compelling argument for other tourism establishments to follow L’Archipel’s example and introduce pro-environment programmes across every aspect of their operation. There is also the issue of guest perception. Visitors to Seychelles are increasingly aware of the need for responsible environmental behaviour. They have already compromised their carbon footprint simply be flying here and expect to see hotels doing everything they can to minimise any further negative impact on the environment – locally and globally.
L’Archipel is using new technology to reduce the food waste produced by its guests. Food and beverage staff use software to anticipate food requirements and order and prepare accordingly, thereby maximising the amount of served food which is consumed and minimise the percentage which is left uneaten. This is, of course, a difficult objective to achieve, however L’Archipel staff and clients have already seen dramatic improvements in the manner in which food is effectively managed at every stage of the chain – from the ordering and purchasing of food items to the disposal of ‘unavoidable’ waste (there will always be some).