Businesses grapple to find the right balance between economic and environmental responsibilities. Often, this is due to the competition that compel companies to externalize costs, making consumers pay more for businesses’ poor curation habits. However, will pursue environmental sustainability always come at an economic trade-off for businesses? Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”. It has been more than 20 years now since the 1996 issue of Life magazine depicted a Pakistani boy sewing a Nike soccer ball, allegedly for 6 cents an hour. After the story, the company lost more than half its market capitalization in just one year – taking Nike six years of demonstrated social responsibility to recuperate. Even today Nike’s name remains tainted as a low-ranking ethical company.

Environmental reputations can be just as hard to rebuild. Luxury hotels typically churn out 47 tonnes of food waste annually. This can be due to overproduction of buffet, spoilt inventory and an inefficient preparation process which totals up to about $1 million wasted per month. In an age where almost one billion people go hungry, this is unacceptable. We should recognize the value of food and reduce waste generated by weaving in more efficient preparation methods. In addition, consumers are now more conscious of where they put their money and are expecting businesses in the industry to deliver their services more responsibly which includes wasting less food.

Good For Food’s Insight is an award-winning technology that allows kitchens to gain visibility of their food waste using the portable, lightweight device. Utilizing image recognition technology and machine learning, the device can help chefs seamlessly identify and quantify their wastage. Over time, Insight will aid kitchens to rightfully account for food waste with a simple press of a button as food disposed into the machine will be weighted automatically, sending data into the database. With real-time data available on the cloud dashboard, costs of purchasing ingredients and wastage can be reduced, transforming kitchens.

In conjunction with Singapore’s Zero Waste Master plan, your kitchen can play a part in fight against the pressing issue of food waste by harnessing the power of technology to improve production planning. Good For Food’s data shows that professional kitchens can reduce 30-40% of food purchased when companies track their food waste and mindfully curate their purchasing habits. This, in turn, will also reduce waste reported to the authorities, killing 2 birds with one stone.

The fast-growing digitization of the Singapore economy has the potential to not only boost core sectors like IT, digital communication and online retail but also transform the hospitality industry by increasing efficiency, reducing costs and becoming more sustainable through an important process of digital transformation.

Environmental sustainability can also benefit businesses in the long run with its economic benefits. With heightened public attention on responsible business practices, organizations need to be accountable for the steps they are taking to tackle the issue or risk being called out.

Food waste refers to not only left-over plate waste but also the discarding of food that is safe and nutritious for human consumption as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.