Supply Chain Development


Project: Each year, the world produces hundreds of millions of tons of food waste. This waste is generated in all parts of the food production chain, from farm and food processors to food retailers and servers, and uneaten scraps from meals. Some food waste is suitable for human consumption and may be donated, and some is recycled as animal feed, but much is simply landfilled or incinerated. Of all types of waste in the US, food is the resource with the lowest amount of recycling — meaning it represents the largest fraction of municipal solid waste sent to a landfills. Emerson’s Grind2Energy™ project was taking steps to help divert food waste from landfills by leveraging InSinkErator’s food disposer technology to instead turn it into renewable energy. As the project gained momentum, Emerson looked to better understand the sources of food waste from industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors. The SGE Immersion team analyzed the supply chain market for the disposal or recycling of biological (food focused) waste sources and developed recommendations for how Emerson should approach upstream business development. The team identified the different categories of food waste, quantified how much of each source was produced, identified how these categories were currently disposed of or recycled, explored the values/costs of these different sources and what factors contribute to those valuations, analyzed the industry, and explored the effect of political policies on the current and future state of the biological waste industries.