A new partnership with Yume will see SUEZ leverage its customer network to tackle commercial food waste, as more than 4.1 million tonnes of surplus food is sent to landfill each year.
SUEZ Australia and New Zealand CEO Mark Venhoek said by partnering with Yume, SUEZ continues to focus on building its existing local infrastructure and driving innovation and collaboration across industry.
“We need to start taking responsibility for all the waste we produce, and we can achieve this by joining forces to speed up the development of more advanced approaches to recycling in Australia,” Mr Venhoek said.
“This partnership will leverage off our national presence and extensive network of customers to connect food suppliers with food buyers – achieving better outcomes for quality surplus products that’s at risk of going to waste, in order to create sustainable value for our customers.”
According to a joint statement, 55 per cent of total food waste generated comes from the primary production, manufacturing and wholesale sectors.
“At the heart of this strategic partnership is a shared commitment to prevent quality food from going to waste,” the statement reads.
Mr Venhoek said partnering with Yume aligns with SUEZ’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by promoting responsible production and consumption.
“Yume has already sold over 1,350,000 kilograms of quality surplus food, returning nearly $5 million to Australian farmers and manufacturers,” he said.
“This is an incredible achievement and testament to Katy Barfield’s passion and commitment to the industry.”
Yume founder and CEO Katy Barfield was a winner in the Business and Entrepreneur category at this years Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards, for her innovation and leadership working to tackle food waste.
“It is a great honour to receive this recognition, a testament to the importance of the work we are doing at Yume,” Ms Barfield said.
“We thank AFR, Qantas, Sodexo, Korn Ferry and the incredible panel of judges for increasing awareness that there is a solution for commercial food industry waste in Australia.”
Launched in 2016, Yume is a commercial online marketplace that connects food suppliers, manufactures, producers and importers of quality surplus food to commercial buyers.
“We’re urgently calling on all food manufacturers and primary producers to join Yume, so that we can help prevent this food, which takes time, money and valuable resources to grow, pick, pack and distribute, from going to waste,” Ms Barfield said.
According to a Yume statement, the marketplace, which works with leading food manufacturers, such as Kellogg’s and Mondelez, and food service organisations such as Sodexo and Accor Hotels, has sold over 1,200,000 kilograms of surplus food, returning $4.5 million to Australian farmers and manufacturers.
“In doing so, the award-winning social enterprise – one of only two companies globally using technology to offer an innovative market for surplus food – has saved an estimated 84 million litres of embodied water and prevented 2442 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released,” the statement reads.
The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards aim to increase the visibility of female leadership and highlight the important contribution women make in creating a bold and diverse future for Australia.
With a record number of nominations this year, Financial Review Editor-in-Chief Michael Stutchbury said selecting the category winners and overall winner was challenging.
“The calibre of this year’s entrants in the 2019 Women of Influence awards was extremely high, and it was hard enough to choose the top 100,” Mr Stuchbury said.
Previous entrants in the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards say that their participation has helped their organisations build better customer and community relationships.
Previous winners and finalists in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards say that their involvement has led to better staff morale, improved profiling with their customers and stronger community relationships.
Recent research by Sustainability Victoria says that entrants not only demonstrate increased energy efficiencies and reduced bills through their sustainability projects, by telling their stories through the awards they enjoy a range of other benefits.
The diverse array of historical entrants has comprised councils, government organisations, not-for-profits and businesses across categories such as innovative products and services, environmental protection, government and health. Many of these organisations document their sustainability performance as part of their standard operations, so developing an entry can be a streamlined process.
Last year’s winner of the Premier’s Recognition Award was Yume Food – Australia’s first online platform that connects producers of quality surplus food with buyers. The platform enables food suppliers, such as manufacturers, primary producers and importers to sell their products at a discount to commercial buyers in the food service industry comprising caterers, wholesalers, restaurants, hotels and event centres.
Yume won three awards in total, including Innovative Products or Services and the Small and Medium Enterprises categories.
The company’s exceptional results will lead to nearly 850,000 kilograms of food diverted from landfill; 1,682,000 kilograms of CO2 saved, 58 million litres of water saved and more than 23,000 kilograms of food donated to rescue organisations.
Yume’s Founder and CEO, Katy Barfield said that the organisation is asked to enter a lot of awards’ programs but have to be quite selective and the Premier’s Sustainability Awards program was appealing.
“One of the reasons why we go for a small amount of awards is because as a start-up we have limited band
width and put our energy to awards that will further our mission of creating a world without waste,” Ms Barfield said.
She added that the Premier’s Sustainability Awards was simple to enter for multiple categories.
“One of the best results for us has been the recognition. Through our hard work and acknowledgement of programs like this, we have a respected voice in media.
“I’m often asked to speak at conferences and other industry events. It gives us a great opportunity to spread the word even further,” Ms Barfield said.
She said the prestigious awards recognise the groundbreaking innovations emerging out of Victoria and provided Yume Foods with an audience in front of government – the largest procurer of food in the country.
She advised others to put forward nominations and enjoy the benefits of the evening such as networking with important stakeholders, as Yume was able to connect to IKEA the previous year.
“Enjoy the night because it can be a hard road being in this space and the opportunity to celebrate are few at times.”
Last year, the Department of Justice and Regulation was a finalist in the government category, after developing a Recycle, Reuse, Donate Woodwork Program for offenders serving Community Correction Orders. The program was established as an environmentally sustainable project that contributes to waste avoidance, while teaching offenders valuable new skills and creating an avenue for them to give back to the local community.
IKEA Richmond won the Large Business category after conducting a refurbishment of its store and rebuilding its showroom, installing a café and improving its in-store navigation, leading to about 85 per cent of all construction materials recycled.
In 2017, Western Health won an award for its single-use metals instruments program, with around 500 kilograms of steel recycled in 2016, representing about 80 per cent of all single-use metal instruments.
In 2016, the City of Booroondara on behalf of the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action Councils, a network of seven councils in Melbourne’s east, won the government award for its work with a variety of organisations to develop and trial a framework for monitoring biodiversity.
Sustainability Victoria (SV) assists entrants throughout the nomination process, then finalists and winners are provided with media releases, social media graphics, professional photos and other promotional collateral.
SV Interim Chief Executive Officer Carl Muller said the 2018 finalists and winners demonstrate that the awards process improves engagement and marketing opportunities at every stage.
“From the time they complete their entries through to the announcement of finalists, then at the prestigious ceremony to announce winners and beyond, entrants report a really positive experience,” Mr Muller said.
“Now is the time for any group doing good sustainability work to highlight their sustainability through the Premier’s Sustainability Awards.”
In the awards’ 17-year history, businesses, schools, organisations and community groups have enjoyed the chance to not only demonstrate their sustainability success, but to promote it.
Yume, an online business to business marketplace for the sale of surplus food, is working with water and environmental services company REMONDIS to sell excess food and reduce waste.
REMONDIS will use Yume’s marketplace to assist customers in selling their surplus products, reducing waste disposal costs and delivering better environmental outcomes.
REMONDIS General Manager for Integrated and Managed Services Nathan Radley said working with Yume allows the company to expand its services on the waste value chain.
“Yume is a great way to access the first two stages of the food waste hierarchy, avoid and reuse, before we move onto recycling, waste to energy and ultimately disposal,” Mr Radley said.
REMONDIS recently listed 13.8 tonnes of maple syrup on Yume, sourced from a customer with excess stock.
“The product was quickly snapped up on Yume, providing a significant return to the customer while saving 952,000 litres of water and preventing the release of 27,600 kilograms of CO2 into the atmosphere,” Mr Radley said.
Yume founder Katy Barfield said through connecting suppliers to buyers, the company helps reduce the 4.1 million tonnes of food waste sent to landfill in Australia each year.
“Yume has already sold over 813,000 kilograms of quality surplus food, returning $2.6 million to Australian farmers and manufacturers.
“In doing so, Yume has saved 56,112 million litres of water and prevented 1,626 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released,” Ms Barfield said.
At the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards, Yume was recognised for its efforts towards reducing waste and landfill impact — winning the Premier’s Recognition Award, the Innovative Products or Services award, and the Small and Medium Enterprises award.