Costa Cruises to reduce food waste by 50%

Feb 05, 2018

Starting this year Costa Cruises will reduce food waste on board its cruise ships by 50%. The program named "4GOODFOOD" developed with cooperation by University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo and Winnow, was already tested onboard Costa Diadema in 2016. The results during the trial period of 11 months have shown a reduction of food waste by over 50%, which is equivalent to a reduction of 1,189 tons of CO2, or the emissions of 231 cars in a year.

According to data, in restaurants, an average of 284 grams of food per person is wasted per meal, compared to 216 grams detected on the Italian cruise line before launching the program 4GOODFOOD. With the fact that Costa Cruises serves around 54 million meals per year the cruise company decided first to revise food waste in a sustainable way, with an integrated approach that starts from the preparation process of the meals. 

By positioning scales located in the kitchens and connected to a data sharing system, Costa, together with Winnow, has implemented a system for mapping, quantifying and analyzing waste in the food preparation phase. This system has allowed progressively to integrate improvement actions on board the ships and is currently used on more than half of the fleet. A key element was the specific training of almost 2400 galley crew on how to reduce waste and create more sustainable processes.

Neil Palomba, Director General of Costa Cruises, said: “We have addressed the issue of the value of food in a responsible way, finding concrete solutions. 4GOODFOOD is a program that has no equal in the maritime sector, thanks to which we hope to halve food waste by 2020, ten years before the deadline set by the UN Agenda 2030. The challenge that we first caught and that we want to bring to our industry is to promote a more sustainable way of preparing and consuming food on board, without affecting the spirit of the holiday. But the most important aspect, which we particularly care about, is that this program will be able to involve about two million guests that we bring each year on holiday and our 19,000 crew members”

The remaining food surpluses are managed through the collaboration with the Food Bank organization. For the first time in the cruise line history, Costa managed to redistribute prepared and unused food on board for social purposes. The initiative started in Savona in July 2017 on Costa Diadema, and has recently been extended to the port of Civitavecchia. In just six months they were recovered and redistributed to local associations that deal with around 16,000 servings. The goal of 2018 is to activate the project in new ports in the Mediterranean: Palermo, Cagliari, Bari and Venice, Marseilles, Barcelona, and Athens.