The Jeuns

Advancing Initiative to Eliminate Edible Food Waste

April 17, 2024 | by The Jeuns

Hurtigruten, a renowned cruise line, is leading the way in sustainability efforts by implementing a groundbreaking initiative to reduce and recycle edible food waste from its fleet operations. Utilizing a specially designed reactor at one of its ports, edible food waste is converted into compost to grow vegetables for use onboard Hurtigruten ships.

The process begins with the sorting of edible food waste on Hurtigruten’s Original Coastal Express ships as they travel along the coast of Norway, stopping at 34 ports from Bergen to Kirkenes. The waste is then transported to a designated harbor where it is transformed into compost within 24 hours using the innovative compost reactor.

The resulting compost is taken to Myklevik Gård, where it is used to enhance soil quality for agricultural purposes. This closed-loop system demonstrates the principles of a circular economy, where waste is repurposed to support local food production for use on the cruise ships, completing the cycle of sustainability.

Over five years of dedicated efforts, Hurtigruten has significantly reduced edible food waste from 261 grams per customer in 2019 to just 66 grams per guest in 2023. Chief Product Officer and Hotel Operations André Pettersen expressed the ultimate goal of reducing edible food waste to practically zero grams per guest.

Hurtigruten’s Norway’s Coastal Kitchen program emphasizes the three R’s – reduce, reuse, and recycle. The cruise line focuses on minimizing food consumption, repurposing leftovers, and now recycling food waste to grow vegetables for their menus.

In addition to their internal efforts, Hurtigruten is committed to raising awareness and promoting sustainability among guests and crew members. Through engaging presentations, workshops, and interactive experiences onboard, the cruise line aims to inspire positive change and empower individuals to make environmentally conscious choices.

Hurtigruten also plans to collaborate with local communities and stakeholders to expand the impact of their initiative beyond their ships. By sharing best practices and supporting sustainable food systems and circular economy principles, Hurtigruten strives to create lasting positive change along the coast of Norway and beyond.

CEO Hedda Felin emphasized the commitment of Hurtigruten to preserving the environment and promoting responsible practices. By taking proactive steps to minimize their ecological footprint and enhance the sustainability of their iconic coastal cruises, the cruise line is dedicated to preserving the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the regions they sail in.


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