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LightBlue reconciles sustainability with business excellence. Since 2013 we've developed unique skills, technologies and knowledge to help Food Businesses, Governments and Intl Dev agencies PREVENT food waste in about 45 projects in 8 countries.
Bangkok, Bangkok, Thaïlande
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Since March 2020, I have been repeatedly asked by colleagues how LightBlue has been doing since COVID-19, knowing that 95% of our revenue was coming from restaurants and hotels. By asking so, the underlying question was more: you must have been badly slapped in the face as the entire hospitality sector, haven’t you?
When answering “We're doing great actually!”, people seemed puzzled.
We (luckily?) felt the 1st signs of the COVID-19’s impact as early as January, when one of our customers got a case declared in their premises. This early signal made us sense something very clearly: profound changes are needed, or get ready to face the most logical outcome in this situation: bankruptcy.
How did we go through the storm? We didn’t, as the storm still hasn’t passed. We rethought our model, questioned our functioning, identified who could benefit from our solutions (and afford it), defined a new direction based on what seemed to be the new normal, and went full steam ahead to turn our operations around and adapt our service offering.
My entire team rolled up their sleeves, we worked double shift every day, and even our interns would answer my emails at 2AM on Friday evening! Our office quickly turned into a recording studio with audio and video gears all over the place, and very soon accepted the idea that our screen will be our audience for the foreseeable future.
I am still feeling blessed to be surrounded by these amazing people that are moved by the same passion and dedication to help fix our broken food system, whatever it takes.
KNOWLEDGE is POWER
I knew that one thing in particular clearly kept us apart from main competitors in this food waste space: our 7 years of hands-on experience. The experience we gained through 45 projects in 8 countries, spending thousands of hours in the back of house of commercial kitchen to fine-tune our solutions is somehow unique, so we decided to structure our knowledge into digestible modules, and designed our 1st Full Course on Food Waste Prevention. Since late April, the quality of participants, speakers and invitees, speaks for itself:
In the context of the development of the activities of The PLEDGE™ on Food Waste Certification and Benchmarking System, we launched the Becoming Accredited Consultant workshops. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome, as after 2 batches we got new Accredited consultants in Canada, Spain, US, Thailand, Cambodia, Abu Dhabi, Madagascar and the UK! By the way, keep an eye on the next one (Jan 21!), successful participants will de facto extend our partnerships to France, Switzerland, India, and the Netherlands.
We also took the opportunity to develop new partnerships with Higher Education institutions. We had the honor to offer 15 hours of executive workshop to 17 lecturers from the public university Republic Polytechnic Singapore.
We developed a partnership with ESSEC Business School Asia Pacific, where LightBlue is training 3 Master students to become the Ambassador to The PLEDGE™ during their 7 months project in Singapore.
In March 21, ESCP Europe Torino Campus, Master’s in International Food and Beverage Master program – and ranked 2nd best master in F&B worldwide - is inviting me to deliver 5*3hours immersive class to their students. That makes it the 1st university to offer such in-depth education on this topic in Europe.
Food Intel TECH
COVID-19 time was also a very productive time to push new developments of our FIT Food Waste Monitoring Technology. Moving away from our old paper-based recording, we introduced our digital recording system, using generic tablets, enabling direct input of data to our cloud-based software that runs all the analytics, and helps commercial kitchens answer the key questions related to Food Waste: How much is wasted, when, where, why, and what is it.
But once again, the timing for the launch was just CRAP. Direct sales being a daunting task, we designed a holistic project for GIZ Laos, for which LightBlue trained 7 consultants in 4 South-East Asian countries on how to implement a food waste monitoring system, and how to use our Tech to provide valuable recommendations to restaurants and hotels in their respective regions.
Our efforts paid off, as in September our technology received the highly coveted Solar Impulse Efficient Solution recognition.
As Technical Sustainability Partner to The MICHELIN Guide Thailand, we had the chance to also train 6 star chefs on how to implement an effective Food Waste Monitoring system in their kitchen and use FIT tech, and we honestly had a blast!
In November Enterprise Singapore, the government body championing enterprise development, selected LightBlue amongst a handful of other companies to support food businesses based in Singapore cut on food waste, reduce cost, and prepare their business for a coming change of legislation. Thanks to that endorsement, the full package (capacity building, technology and advisory) is 80% subsidized!
Singapore, here we come 😊
SHARING is CARING
Keeping knowledge for oneself is like eating candies hiding in your room: it only feels good until you grow up!
So we never declined any invitation to speak to webinar, conferences, students’ special classes. Here is an overview of the events we were invited to (yes, yes, invited :):
Sustainability – The Future of Travel (Panelist), 4th International Hospitality Forum, Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, Greece. / Food Waste in Hospitality: Misunderstandings and Solutions (Spotlight Webinar), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Thailand. / Using Technology to Improve Sustainability in Hospitality Businesses (Panelist), ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Solutions Expo 2020, Lao PDR. / Innovation & Business Solutions to Reach Zero Food Waste to Landfill (Panelist), Multi-Year Policy Dialogue on Innovative Waste Management (MYPD on IWN), APEC, Malaysia. / The Business Case of Food Waste Prevention (Webinar), Rethink2gether, Canada. / Press Conference MICHELIN Guide Thailand New Recognitions Debut (Panelist), MICHELIN Guide Thailand. / G.R.E.E.N. Hospitality Pre-Conference Talks: Food Waste, G.R.E.E.N. Hospitality Hong Kong. / What The Fork Sessions: Food WASTE (Webinar), Feeding Cities, Switzerland. / Inspire Students Alumni Round Table: Sustainability and Entrepreneurship, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHIED), Switzerland. / Guest Talk for Hospitality Students, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India. / TCEB Special Education on Food Waste Prevention for MICE Industry, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Thailand. / How to Monitor Food Waste, Phuket Hotels Association, Thailand. /Food Waste: Situation at the Global and Regional Level, Preconceived Ideas about it, Innovation and Technologies, Space-F Incubator, Thailand. / Misconception about Food Waste, Marriott Business Council Greater Bangkok, Thailand.
Boring listing hu? I know.
Last but not least, we also hired 2 additional people to join our team and help us cope with upcoming projects, which we are extremely happy about.
Next steps? Food waste program design and implementation for destinations, and Zero Food Waste to Landfill campus projects, partnership building with stakeholders from all horizons, participation to international development projects, and very likely more.. :)
Stay SAFE fellas, and stay tuned!