Emirates Flight Catering reduces packaging waste by 750 tonnes a year

The company has replaced cardboard packaging with reusable crates to store and transport an average of 100,000 inflight meals daily.
Emirates Flight Catering, EKFC, Emirates, Sustainability

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Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), one of the world's largest catering services providers, has introduced a new packaging solution to further reduce waste across its food manufacturing operations.

The company has replaced cardboard packaging with reusable crates to store and transport an average of 100,000 inflight meals daily.

As a result of its newest environmental initiative, EKFC will save 750 tonnes of cardboard waste, the equivalent of 260,000 m² (65 acres) of mature woodland, annually.

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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."

EKFC recognises that responsible environmental practices are core to its long-term success and it is committed to using resources in a sustainable manner and minimising the environmental impact of its operations across all activities.

This September EKFC announced that it successfully commissioned a state-of-the-art solar power system across its premises. It is expected to generate 4,195 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, allowing the company to meet 15% of its energy demand across its laundry, food manufacturing and staff accommodation facilities through renewable energy generation.

Consequently, EKFC's carbon dioxide emissions will decrease by 3 million kilogram annually - the equivalent of the annual electricity use of 518 family homes.

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EKFC 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 kilogram 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 Emirates Flight Catering's customers in 2020.

EKFC runs a comprehensive recycling programme, ensuring recyclable items, including plastic bottles, aluminium cans and foil, are separated from galley waste after they are removed from the aircraft.

The company also has all cardboard packaging and office paper waste recycled into new paper products.

Every month, EKFC diverts 270,000 kilograms of material from landfill and ensures the recycling of 130,000 kilograms of cardboard, 4,000 kilograms of paper, 14,000 kilograms of aluminium cans and foil, 120,000 kilograms of glass bottles and 10,000 kilograms of plastic bottles.

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