MHP and Hochschule Pforzheim (university) want to reduce food waste


Sustainability in canteens and cafeterias with MEALLY

Ludwigsburg – The management and IT consulting company MHP, together with the master's degree courses Life Cycle & Sustainability and Information Systems at the Hochschule Pforzheim, has developed a procedure for increasing sustainability in canteens and cafeterias. Specifically: By means of MEALLY, food waste can be reduced and the global warming potential (GWP) of canteens and cafeterias can be decreased. Christina Gröger, Associated Partner at MHP and responsible for the project with HS Pforzheim: "In Germany, roughly one third of all the food served in canteens and cafeterias ends up in the waste. Altogether, here 13 million tonnes of food is thrown away each year. For us as a consulting company, this was a good reason to work together with the students on a digital solution. Totally in line with our purpose: Enabling You To Shape A Better Tomorrow!“


In the development of MEALLY, the project team proceeded systematically. In the first step, a benefit analysis was carried out in order to determine the demands of the application. Step two was the analysis of a typical canteen or cafeteria process in order to reveal the main weak points that lead to waste and a high GWP. On this basis, a target process was defined. The creation of an algorithm for better planning is envisaged. In the third step, the team carried out a sustainability assessment. For this purpose, the GWP of various meals was compared. The heart of the project in step four was the development of the algorithm itself. This was supposed to predict which meals would be requested again and in what quantity – independently of various influencing factors. "The operators of canteens and cafeterias are thus able to work sustainably and at the same time viably," says Christina Gröger. "I am convinced that this option is attractive for many of our customers – after all, they mostly operate large canteens."


The benefit of MEALLY is shown at ADMEDES


How well the prototype functions is shown by the experience in the ADMEDES canteen. The manufacturer of medical product components, which is based in Pforzheim, was involved in the project from the beginning and has provided valuable impulses based on practice, and made data available in order to train the algorithm. Finally, MEALLY was implemented in the company. With great success. Inge Reim, Personnel Manager at ADMEDES: "In the first step, the project showed us that, specifically with regard to waste avoidance, we are already on a very good path. Using MEALLY, we have been able to make our procedures even more sustainable in our staff restaurant. In addition, the project has once more sensitized us to how important sustainability is overall, and what central role digital technologies play in this connection." For Maximilian Pflüger, manager of the staff restaurant at ADMEDES and one of the first to use MEALLY in practice, the result has been many advantages in daily work life: "On the basis of precise forecasts, we are now also able to process our food orders faster and in a more targeted manner."


MEALLY is being successively further developed within the framework of the MHPIdeation process, and can therefore also be made available to additional customers as a digital service. Initial discussions on this are already taking place. In parallel, the algorithm and the predicted values are checked at ADMEDES on a weekly basis.

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