EasyJet Holidays Looks to Ai Technology to Cut Hotel Food Waste
A pilot scheme to monitor the reduction of food waste in one of easyJet holidays’ most popular hotels has been unveiled.
The trip operating division of the low-cost carrier hopes to assist hotels in reducing food wastage by utilising AI tools and having more environmentally friendly kitchens.
The first phase of the effort with AI company Winnow is being carried out at the 510-room Bahia Principe Sunlight Costa Adeje resort in Tenerife.
The operator's efforts to develop the easyJet vacations Sustainable Tourism Program in collaboration with Oxford University led to the development of the trial.
In order to help students lead revolutionary change in connection to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a plan was developed to give them the transferable skills they'll need.
With an emphasis on Majorca and Tenerife, easyJet holidays worked with students as the lab's initial partner to find and implement ideas to help create sustainable travel.
Food loss poses a challenge to sustainability, according to research and student accounts, with the hospitality industry in Tenerife alone responsible for 18% of the island's food waste.
The operator's lodging partners didn't have any plans in place to avoid and minimise food waste or precisely measure the absence of food waste produced, so winnow technology was selected as a solution.
Winnow's AI technology learns to "see" the food that is being lost using the same sort of technology that is used in autonomous cars.
Using a connected terminal with a motion camera, data is collected quickly and stored in the cloud. Teams then receive reports that pinpoint waste, giving them the insight to make operational improvements.
Food waste is typically reduced in half in restaurants using Winnow within 12 to 18 months, resulting in 2% to 8% lower food purchase costs.
"We're thrilled to be launching a food waste reduction pilot in one of our biggest partner hotels, investing in artificial intelligence solutions to hotels cut their food waste in half," said Matt Callaghan, head of customers and operations for EasyJet holidays.
“We’re the first tour operator to be supporting hotel partners in tracking food waste and offering a real-world solution to a problem faced by our entire industry.
“The brilliant research and recommendations we received from the University of Oxford students has led to this scheme, so we’re really excited to be continuing the easyJet holidays Sustainable Tourism Programme to look at tackling some of the big sustainable tourism challenges.
“We’re really excited to see what a positive impact a collaboration between a three-year-old holiday business, an 800-year-old academic institution and a revolutionary technology can have.”
Winnow co-founder and chief executive Marc Zornes added: “Food waste is a massive contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and the hospitality sector needs to take action.
“At the same time with food inflation at record levels, there is a strong business case for hotels and resorts to tackle it. Winnow is delighted to partner with easyJet holidays to scale our impact together.”