Emirates Flight Catering switches to reusables to reduce packaging waste by 750 tonnes a year

by Kim Tormey

Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), as one of the world’s largest catering services providers, we are proud to announce that we have introduced a new packaging solution to further reduce waste across our food manufacturing operations. We have replaced cardboard packaging with reusable crates to store and transport an average of 100,000 inflight meals daily. As a result of our newest environmental initiative, EKFC will save 750 tonnes of cardboard waste, the equivalent of 260,000 m² (65 acres) of mature woodland, annually.

Saeed Mohammed, Chief Executive Office of Emirates Flight Catering, said: “We are committed to operating with a mindset of efficiency and environmental sustainability. In addition to our vertical farming and solar power projects, our new packaging solution is already the third key initiative we have launched in a year to reduce our environmental footprint and deliver more value for our stakeholders. We continue to challenge our processes and work practices to ensure the highest possible level of environmental efficiency across our operations.”

We recognize that responsible environmental practices are core to our long-term success and we are committed to using resources in a sustainable manner and minimizing the environmental impact of our operations across all activities.

This September we announced that we had successfully commissioned a state-of-the-art solar power system across our premises. It is expected to generate 4,195 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, allowing us to meet 15% of our energy demand across our laundry, food manufacturing and staff accommodation facilities through renewable energy generation. Consequently, our carbon dioxide emissions will decrease by 3 million kilograms annually – the equivalent of the annual electricity use of 518 family homes.

We will shortly start constructing the world’s largest vertical farming facility in a joint venture with US-based Crop One, an industry leader. The 130,000 square foot controlled environment facility will produce 2,700 kilograms of high quality, herbicide- and pesticide-free leafy greens daily, using 99 percent less water than outdoor fields. Its location will enable quick delivery of fresh products within hours of harvest, maintaining the food’s nutritional value and reducing carbon emissions associated with transportation. The first products are expected to be delivered to our customers in 2020.

We run a comprehensive recycling program, ensuring recyclable items, including plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and foil, are separated from galley waste after they are removed from the aircraft. We also have all cardboard packaging and office paper waste recycled into new paper products. Every month, we divert 270,000 kilograms of material from landfills and ensures the recycling of 130,000 kilograms of cardboard, 4,000 kilograms of paper, 14,000 kilograms of aluminum cans and foil, 120,000 kilograms of glass bottles and 10,000 kilograms of plastic bottles.

Source: Emirates Flight Catering