Operating in most major U.S. cities, Replate is a tech-driven nonprofit that combats food waste by connecting food donors and food rescuers together. Replate works with restaurants, caterers, food distributors, offices and other organizations to directly deliver their surplus food to those in need in local communities. Some of their big name donors include Netflix, Twitter, Amazon, Walmart, Aramark, Miyoko’s Creamery and Beyond Meat.
Food waste is both a social and environmental issue and by finding a way to fully utilize perfectly good food, insecure communities find relief and the environmental repercussions of food waste are avoided.
The Rotten Truth About Food Waste
At 80 billion pounds or 30-40% of the total U.S. food supply, the U.S. throws away more food than any other country. In fact, food waste takes up more space in U.S. municipal landfills than anything else. While scraps and leftovers may seem harmless, food waste actually has a significant impact on the planet. Food left rotting in landfills generates planet-warming greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide, accounting for the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the U.S. Food waste also creates an accumulation of nitrogen within landfills that can be carried away in runoff and trigger algae blooms in nearby water bodies. Not to mention the wasted water, energy, labor and resources that went into producing the food in the first place.
Being able to divert food from landfills has enabled Replate to save 819 million gallons of water and avoid 6 million pounds of harmful carbon dioxide. To date, Replate has rescued nearly 3 million pounds of food.
A Tech-Driven Circular Economy
Using their patented algorithms, Replate is able to locate food donors, connect them with nearby food rescuers and propose the most efficient path to distribute the food.
For businesses who want to contribute, the donation process is easy! Businesses simply sign up with Replate and choose from four donation plans depending on how frequently they want to donate. After choosing a pickup time on the user dashboard, a Replate food rescuer picks up the packaged food and directly delivers it to a nonprofit organization in the community, ensuring safe and reliable food donations to those in need.
Replate’s circular model not only makes it easy for any business to reduce their carbon footprint and give back, but it has created new jobs by inviting those in the community to apply to become food rescuers.
There are several business benefits to food donation such as cost savings from reduced waste, brand elevation and strengthening stakeholder and community relationships. Replate provides detailed impact metrics – gallons of water conserved, pounds of CO2 diverted, and total meals served – that companies can share with stakeholders to show the difference they’ve made through donations. Further, these metrics can be combined with a sustainability program and used to benchmark goals.
Creating a stress-free way for businesses to donate their luncheon leftovers shows how valuable technology is to lowering the environmental impact from businesses and creating a circular economy.
Being Green On and Off the Plate
For Replate, joining Green Business Bureau has meant connecting with other sustainability-minded organizations and fostering relationships that support their mission to combat food waste across the country and beyond.
Like so many other businesses and organizations, Replate encountered a major challenge with the sudden shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. With drastically fewer donors at the time, Replate was forced to readjust their model. The ability to network within the Green Business Bureau has been valuable to Replate in their search for the right logistical partners to help them expand into other markets.
Replate continues to actively seek opportunities to collaborate with government entities, businesses and other organizations on waste management and food recovery. They just recently participated in the NYC Food Waste Fair as a way to offer new solutions for those in the city abiding by the local food waste laws.
Similarly, Replate has outreached across the state of California to partner with various jurisdictions and vendors approaching SB 1383 regulations. SB 1383 laws require jurisdictions to provide education and outreach resources on organic waste recycling to residents, businesses, solid waste facilities, local food banks and other food recovery organizations.
Replate is also working with DoorDash and Rescuing Leftover Cuisine to expand their network of food rescue drivers and bring food donation opportunities all across America.