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Generation Waste looks to the future with hope - Finds strength in its core values

The hotel and restaurant industry is one of the industries that has been hit the absolute hardest by the Corona crisis. At the moment, restaurants are forced to find new ways to reach their customers, including takeaway and delivery. But despite innovative solutions, it is still tough for many. It is also likely to be difficult for companies that collaborate with the hotel and restaurant industry, such as Generation Waste. Still, Daniel Oddhammar offers a glimmer of hope for a better future, when all this is over.

Two years ago, Generation Waste was formed with the hope of changing the restaurant industry. With the help of a measurement tool, a portal, and training, the goal was to help restaurants reduce their food waste and thus contribute to a better climate. So far, the journey has been partly pleasant as innovative, big names such as Harry's, the Göteborgfamilj, and Comfort hotel have started to cooperate with Generation Waste. Now, with the Corona crisis, Generation Waste is faced with its biggest challenge to date. A challenge that Daniel Oddhammar believes led to reflection, which in turn led to them finding their way back to their basic values.

"Our basic values ​​about contributing to a better climate have of course always been there, but in the pursuit of growth, I think it's easy to forget why you do what you do. The current crisis has led to reflection and made us take a step back. We find strength now, as then, from the will to contribute to a better climate and fight to reach the common climate goals that the UN set for 2030."

"Our vision extends far beyond this crisis"

Restaurants in these times are on their knees and are busy saving themselves from ruin. Which in turn means that the food waste issue may end up in the background. Despite this, Daniel Oddhammar sees no other way to go but forward.

"The climate crisis continues after all and will continue long after this is over, so we will not stop. Our job must continue to be to get restaurants, schools, hotels, and yes the entire public to see the bigger picture and work for a sustainable future. Our vision extends far beyond this crisis.”

The crisis we are in creates a domino effect. If players in the hotel and restaurant industry fall, those who rely on collaborations with hotels and restaurants also risk falling, such as Generation Waste.

"We of course hope to keep as many customers as possible, but at the same time, we know that it is tough for many. Resources may not be available for some time to maintain our measurement tool. We are now trying to get our customers to see the whole thing from a bigger perspective and not necessarily end the cooperation with us, but instead, pause it. So far, there are still many of our customers who continue to weigh their food waste, which I am very impressed with - it makes me extremely happy."

At the same time, Oddhammar believes that the measurement tool Generation Waste offers can become a great asset for hotels and restaurants that will need to save money after the crisis.

"This autumn, when restaurants and hotels have to review their expenses, every penny will have to be turned over. Then our measurement tool and our expertise can come in handy. Because food waste is not only bad for the environment, it is also bad for the wallet.”

Looking hopefully to the future

Despite the tough stage Generation Waste is now in, they still see the future positively. Daniel Oddhammar believes that in the long run, the crisis can lead to a change in the restaurant industry. A change that benefits the climate.

“I think we have now seen the last of the buffet, which is good, as it is a real food waste culprit. Then I also think that the crisis has led us to open our eyes to locally produced food."

Oddhammar believes that it will be difficult to get new restaurants to start measuring their food waste precisely at this stage. Therefore, the focus is now on other options; including public kitchens and housing associations.

"Something we got involved in during the autumn is food waste in public kitchens and private households. Among other things, we have trained Halmstad's public kitchen in sustainable kitchen development. Then we also, in collaboration with Poseidon AB, produced a cookbook that was sent out to their new tenants."

Generation Waste, led by Daniel Oddhammar, concludes by announcing that the door is open for new collaborations in all their forms.

"Even though we have mostly collaborated with restaurants, we have never closed any other doors. In line with our core values, it is in our interest to contribute to a better climate by stopping food waste, regardless of where it occurs."

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