FROM FARM TO FORK AND BACK AGAIN: BIO COLLECTORS, ADM & AZZURRI A SUSTAINABLE STORY
As Head of Responsible Business at Azzurri, I am incredibly proud of the strides we’ve made in reducing our waste, rethinking our operating model and the importance of the food we serve. Through our Recipe for A Better Future we have envisioned a future where our restaurants can continue to grow whilst doing better for our people and planet. We work very closely with our partners to achieve these goals, and our collaboration with Bio Collectors and ADM isn’t just a business partnership, it’s a testament to our Italian tradition of ‘non si butta via niente’ – nothing is thrown away.
With our partners, we have implemented an innovative closed-loop system, turning what was once our food waste into energy, contributing to powering up to 11,000 homes each year. And we did not stop at that. We found a use for the digestate, or simply what’s left after the anaerobic digestion process, using this leftover as natural fertiliser for the fields that grow our wheat. We are passionate about our food; we appreciate how many resources go into making the ingredients we serve, and now we can proudly say that what was once food waste, is now a fundamental part of our sourcing process.
This project exemplifies Azzurri’s commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices. We are thrilled to work alongside our partners in paving the way towards a more sustainable future.
This case study delves into the innovative collaboration between Bio Collectors, Azzurri, and ADM, where they designed and implemented a closed-loop solution for food and related resources. This forward-thinking partnership underlines their dedication to sustainable resource utilisation and sets a precedent for responsible practices within the food industry.
Bio Collectors leads the way in maximising value from food waste, transforming 80,000 tons of food waste annually collected on carbon-neutral collection vehicles into valuable, reusable resources. This conversion process fuels 11,000 homes annually, promoting a circular economy and mitigating the environmental impact of food production and consumption.
Azzurri is a distinguished restaurant group with a steadfast commitment to sustainability, consistently seeking methods to minimise its environmental footprint. Their brands, including Ask Italian and Zizzi, are part of the collaborative closed-loop system developed alongside Bio Collectors and ADM.
ADM, an essential partner in this collaboration, is a prominent company in the UK. Their role in sourcing local wheat further solidifies this circular economy model by reducing transport-related carbon emissions and bolstering sustainability.
Azzurri proactively led the way in implementing the closed-loop system across it’s brands by working closely with ADM to establish which farms grow the wheat that is used as a key ingredient in their pizza dough. They also worked with their waste management partner Novati, to identify which of their restaurants could be serviced via Bio Collectors to create a closed loop solution. This decision aimed to ensure the complete utilisation of food products, minimise waste and champion sustainability.
Food waste from across Azzurri’s London estate is collected by Bio Collectors using carbon-neutral Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles, which are powered by the biogas produced from the very food waste they transport. This waste is then treated and converted into valuable resources, such as biogas for vehicle fuel and digestate, a nutrient-rich fertiliser. This digestate is spread across local fields, enriching the soil and promoting the growth of wheat, effectively closing the loop. Their current waste broker then takes the information and provides detailed MI back to Azzurri.
ADM sources this locally grown wheat, and after processing, it finds its way back into Azzurri’s pizza dough. This journey of wheat, traced and followed through the supply chain from the field to ADM and eventually to Azzurri’s pizzas, represents the essence of the closed-loop system.
The closed-loop system provides substantial benefits:
The successful implementation of the closed-loop system between Bio Collectors, Azzurri, and ADM exemplifies the significant potential for sustainable resource management within the food industry. The case shows the impact of innovative thinking, collaboration, and commitment to sustainability.
As environmental consciousness increases, organisations across the food industry and beyond the benefits of closed-loop systems and consider incorporating similar practices into their operations. Through such initiatives, we can contribute to a sustainable future for all.
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