Food waste recycler ReFood has announced the industry’s first dedicated scholarship programme to inspire the next generation of sustainable students.
‘Sustainable Visionaries’, will see undergraduates from across the UK compete to demonstrate why they believe minimising waste is key to achieving a circular economy.
From agriculture and logistics, to manufacture, retail and hospitality, the project will see hundreds of students competing in order to win a £5,000 bursary to progress their studies.
Already, the programme has seen a huge level of interest, with organisations such as Sheffield Hallam University, Moulton Agricultural College and Leith’s School of Food & Wine join as partners and offer their backing.
Philip Simpson, commercial director at ReFood, says: “Although using food caddies and recycling plate scrapings is becoming routine for homeowners, binning food waste is still common place among businesses throughout the food chain.
"However, here at ReFood, we believe there is an alternative option. We turn all types of food into renewable resources via anaerobic digestion, capturing the biogas produced during the natural rotting process and using it to generate heat and electricity.
“As well as making huge financial savings, recycling unwanted food offers businesses a great way to mitigate their waste management costs and make a real environmental difference. In fact, for those organisations keen to boost their sustainability or meet CSR targets, recycling food waste is the perfect solution.
“The decision to partner with organisations in each sector of the food chain and extend a scholarship programme to students across the country is part of our wider initiatives to inspire the food waste champions of tomorrow and eradicate food waste to landfill by 2020.”
Undergraduates from each partnering organisation have been asked to develop a 500 word entry, detailing why they believe reducing food waste can help the UK achieve 2020 waste targets.
After receiving these entries, ReFood will choose a ‘sustainable champion’ from each partner, who demonstrates the most passion for minimising food waste.
Each champion will then be asked to visit ReFood’s state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion facility in Doncaster and present their ideas to a panel of waste management experts.
Whoever shows the most innovation will be awarded £5,000 to help support their studies.