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Circular Procurement for the Food Catering Sector

Singapore has shown how economic development, environmental conservation, and social inclusion can all co-exist. However, we now face new challenges. Climate change challenges our way of life and survival as a low-lying island state. Addressing waste management with everyone goes a long way towards mitigating climate change, especially when our planet’s limited resources are being stretched by growing consumption due to global population growth and rapid urbanization. Earth’s limited resources are becoming increasingly strained because of the massive volume of wastes generated.

Procurement helps companies achieve long-term success by incorporating circular economy thinking into supply chains, especially if they are already actively working with external parties for innovations. Companies should take a comprehensive approach to retrain current sourcing teams to take advantage of circular economy opportunities while managing risks.

Considerations sustainable procurement
Picture taken from SIPMM: https://https://sipmm.edu.sg/main-considerations-sustainable-procurement/

Sourcing for Waste Collection and Conversion

In the food service industry, the extensive use of cooking oil is almost unavoidable. Previously, the sourcing committee was required to source a waste collector to consolidate the waste oil and transport it to designated disposal facilities. However, as more organization are increasingly becoming socially responsible, there has been a change in how companies dealt with waste oils. Instead of engaging waste collectors for such disposals, the company can either sell the waste oil to the waste collectors, process the waste oil into biofuel, and sell them to the targeted market.

Another way is to invest in constructing a small bio-fuel plant in the facility for the processing work before selling them at a higher margin. Even though building a small biodiesel processing plant is prohibitively expensive, the return of investment (ROI) is comparatively high since biofuels can fuel the delivery trucks to deliver catering services rather than purchase commercial diesel, which is based on fluctuating market rates.

Fewer emissions are also released during combustion as the waste oil is converted into reusable fuels. Biofuels, according to reports, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 65 per cent. Biofuels are also less polluting to the atmosphere since they are produced from renewable energy. As Biofuels are biodegradable and have a higher cetane number and better lubricating properties that extend the combustion engine’s lifespan and reliability, it decreases the risk of soil contamination and groundwater pollution during shipping, storage and usage.


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Desmond Tan, ADPSM
Desmond Tan has extensive years of experience in the specialised field of procurement, and specifically in interior design, food and beverage, and the hotel industry. He holds a SHATEC Diploma and is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). Desmond completed the Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply Management (ADPSM) on April 2021 at SIPMM Institute.
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