The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok is the first in the world to have been awarded 100 percent All-Star certification from The PLEDGE on Food Waste.

The certification relates to the Rain Tree Café, which complied with all of the compulsory criteria during the audit, and achieved a score of 100 points, which is the highest score that can be achieved.

Audit Diagnostic Solutions Tourism carried out the audit on 23 August 2020. The auditor was Nicolas Dubrocard, who arranged access via the hotel’s executive chef, Jakub Mares. The announcement was made on 3 September 2020.

Criteria audited were on process documentation, employees’ commitment, food waste monitoring system, food handling before preparation, food preparation and offering, customer engagement, and post-production waste disposal system.

Globally, 33 percent of all food produced is lost or wasted, and tackling food waste is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2, 12 and 13, relating to combatting hunger, reducing waste generation, and mitigating climate change.

The PLEDGE is a 95-criteria food efficiency certification designed to cut food waste and save on food costs.

The third party audited standard is articulated around nine key points that include staff awareness, food waste monitoring system implementation, and guest engagement in reducing plate waste.

The food waste monitoring methodology has been recognized as aligned with the United Nations’ Food Loss and Waste Draft Standard.

The Athenee Hotel is part of the Marriott International family, which has its own sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360. By collaborating with associates, brands, customers, franchisees, guests, hotel owners, suppliers, and other business partners, this platform is committed to actively reducing the environmental impact of its hospitality business, embedding sustainability across the organization, holding the group accountable, and increasing the resiliency of the communities where it does business.

This means, across the entire Marriott group, the reduction of food waste by 50 percent and the reduction of all waste to landfill by 45 percent.

While the amount of food waste that The Athenee Hotel generates represents less than 2 percent of the total product volume, the hotel is striving for zero waste to landfill.

To ensure expert input, The Athenee Hotel is working with donation partners like Scholars of Sustenance (SOS) and environmental consultants LightBlue.

The Rain Tree Café has achieved outstanding success since its post-Covid-19 opening through its chef-to-table buffet concept, which offers guests unrivalled choice yet allows guests to dine with zero guilt as it ensures minimum food waste.

As well as the traditional buffet presentation, all stations are served by chefs as well as the rolling buffet concept, where the buffet comes to the guests with tableside service. Hot and cold dishes, and desserts, are served from the trolleys, while the live chef stations provide their own tableside cooking trolley service.

The distribution of actual food waste can itself be practical and productive, and the Rain Tree Café kitchen sorts the waste products. Oyster shells are donated to local farmers as chicken feed, adding calcium to the diet of the chickens and resulting in better egg and meat quality. Eggshells make an effective organic fertilizer, improving the soil structure and increasing crop yield. Pineapple skins contain active yeasts and bacteria, and after weeks of aging and fermenting can be transformed into delicious pineapple vinegar. Fruit peel can be turned into an enzyme cleanser. Fruit leftovers can be made into fruit jam. Bacon oil and coconut husks make attractive candles.

“We will continue to advance our role in helping reduce food insecurity, reduce the needless churn of the planet’s resources used to produce food that is then thrown away, and eliminating the cost from food that is ultimately wasted.”, said executive chef Jakub Mares.

“We have now taken this a step further and are very proud to have been awarded The Pledge certification for our program to reduce food waste. We are now able to provide the highest standards for our Thailand guests, and with the return of international travel soon, we shall be able to assure our overseas visitors that health, safety and sustainability are at the heart of everything we do.”  ChooLeng Goh, General Manager of The Athenee Hotel commented.