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From 2015 to 2021, food waste in the food and hospitality industry was reduced by 14 percent, meaning that the 2020 goal of a 15 percent reduction is just out of reach. This states the food waste report from NORSUS and Matvett.

– We need to work faster if we want to reach the goal of the industry agreement on reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030, says the research manager at NORSUS, Aina Stensgård, in an interview with NRK.

According to the report made by NORSUS and Matvett, most of the food waste occurs in the food industry at the beginning of the value chain and at the consumers at the end of the value chain. Nevertheless, the report highlights that all the actors throughout the value chain are responsible for throwing away less food and that collaboration across the value chain is needed to achieve better results.  

The report shows that food waste in the food and hospitality industry represents an annual financial loss of about eight billion NOK and a climate footprint of bout 0,5 million tons of CO2.

As the authorities are responsible for mapping the food waste at consumer level, the NORSUS report points out other measures the government can take.

- They must adjust regulations in a way that contributes to less food being thrown away. An example of today is that cruise ships cannot give excess food to food banks. And they have started the work on a law for throwing away food which they hopefully can implement in 2024, says Stensgård to NRK.

How much food each of us discard depends on criteria such as age and the number of people in the household. It has been known for years that the post-war generation (boomers) throws away less food than younger generations, but the new report states that single households throw away the most.

– The number of single households is growing, and our findings send a significant signal to the food industry to do something about the portion sizes, says Stensgård.

Watch the interview

Based on the report, the research manager gives the following advice for throwing away less food:

  • Make a plan when buying groceries
  • Write and stick to your shopping list
  • Don't be afraid of running out of something. Eat something else
  • Save the leftover food and introduce a weekly leftover food day
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Some of those who have worked on the project are (from the left) Karoline Finstad Vold and project manager Gry Bondø in Hamar municipality, and Mona Nilsen and Sigrid Møyner Hohle from NORSUS. Photo: Monica Persson

Large quantities of food are disposed in the care sector. Food waste can be significantly reduced by adjusting orders for the individual resident better, increasing the employee's competence in food and serving, and ensuring proper management support. These findings were among the results of a project NORSUS completed for Hamar municipality.

The project "Reduction in food waste in the Care Sector in Hamar municipality" is financed by Hamar municipality and supported by the Norwegian Environment Agency's climate grant scheme, Klimasats. Hamar established the project to map and reduce food waste at a nursing home and two care homes in the municipality. 

Measuring was done before and after the implementation of specific measures. They showed a food waste reduction of 31 percent from measuring point 1 to measuring point 3 in total for all sections and kitchens. Estimates based on the measurements show that this corresponds to 5.8 tonnes less food wasted annually for the participating units and kitchens. In monetary value, it amounts to almost 250.000 NOK saved, and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 11.6 tonnes CO2equivalents. Nevertheless, much food waste remains - the last measuring point showed that nearly 13 tonnes tonnes of edible food were still wasted annually. These numbers are uncertain estimates, however, partly due to some missing data.

Reports from the employees said it was meaningful and awareness-raising to participate in the project measuring food waste. Some also reported that they adopted the behaviour making them more aware at home. Experiences and results from this project may be transferrable to other institutions within the health and care sector in Hamar municipality.

See the full report

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Within the context of the BREAD research project about responsible innovation for reducing food waste, important companies in the Norwegian food value chain were challenged to develop a roadmap for collaborative reduction of food waste, over and above the food waste reduction that the companies can do on their own. The companies accepted the challenge and through a consensus process in the spring and summer of 2022 developed 10 substantial principles pointing the way forward. The process was facilitated by researchers at NORSUS and the secretariat of Matvett.

In short the principles are:

Collaboration across the value chain

  1. We must improve together: All actors must contribute to putting food waste on the agenda in the value chain, enable responsible consumers behaviour and share good practices.
  2. We must cooperate more in the value chain: This involves building trust and working together for better solutions.
  3. We must facilitate openness and sharing in the value chain: This involves clarifying common goals, sharing food waste relevant information, and coordinate better.
  4. We must think holistically: Through cooperation, the total amount of – and not just individual actors’ - food waste must be reduced.

Communication internally in multi-unit corporations

  1. We must create ownership and incentives for reduced food waste throughout the whole corporation: This includes setting goals, monitoring, building competencies and food waste culture, and integrating food waste perspectives into all of the corporation's processes. 

Involving and enabling consumers in the fight against food waste

  1. We must get consumers on board: This includes better analyses of consumer behaviour, giving consumers better knowledge and building a culture of acceptance for less abundance and for products with minor imperfections. 
  2. We must increase dialogue with consumers: This implies more interactive forms of communication where consumers are more involved in product development and innovation in the industry.

Involvement of other actors

  1. We must involve the authorities in dialogue: This means enabling authorities to build on or support industry-led initiatives and reduce regulatory barriers against important food waste initiatives.
  2. We must disseminate our knowledge: All actors in the value chain should from their unique perspectives contribute with their knowledge to food waste initiatives related to purchasers, the education sector and other actors that can build competence and good attitudes among own staff and society.
  3. We should, to a greater extent, be part of new research collaborations: This means contributing to the production of new knowledge that is relevant for, and targeted to, reducing food waste. 

The long version of the principles can be found here [though only in Norwegian]:

The actors contributing to the roadmap are the following:

  • Orkla
  • Nortura
  • Rema 1000
  • Møllerens
  • ISS
  • Radisson Hotels
  • Lantmännen
  • Coor
  • Odd Langdalen
  • Norgesgruppen/Meny
  • Coop
  • Matvett

The formal launch was at Arendalsuka, August 2022. We who were involved in the work hope that it will be of wide-reaching interest and encourage all actors in the food value chain to sign up to the principles.

Matvett is planning to further add good examples and additional material to the principles.

For more information, contact Ellen-Marie Forsberg at NORSUS or Matvett.

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From January 1, 2023, there will be new and stricter requirements for separation of food waste and plastic waste! 

This applies to municipal waste (households and industry) and agricultural plastic. 

Read more about the requirement on 

The municipalities must achieve a sorting rate of at least 55% from 2025, 60% from 2030 and 70% from 2035. NORSUS (back then, Østfoldforskning) carried out the impact assessment together with Mepex in 2017, and has therefore contributed to the knowledge base to the design of the regulation


This report has been commissioned by the Norwegian Environment Agency and written by the Norwegiani institute for sustainability research (NORSUS) and SINTEF Ocean.
The purpose of the report and associated deliverables is to provide a basis for Norway’s reporting duties to the EU on food waste throughout the food supply chain (2019/1597/EC).
The food supply chain comprises the following stages:
• Primary production
• Processing and manufacturing
• Retail and other distribution of food
• Restaurants and food services
• Households
The EU states that “food waste is any food that has become waste under these conditions:

  1. it has entered the food supply chain,
  2. it then has been removed or discarded from the food supply chain or at the final consumption stage,
  3. it is finally destined to be processed as waste.” (2019/2000/EC, p. 7, original emphasis)
    Data on food waste must be reported annually but in-depth measurements of food waste are only required at least once every four years. The first mandatory reporting year is for the reference year 2020 (Table I).
    Empty fields indicate that data is missing.

Bergen kommune ønsket å gjennomføre et pilotprosjekt for å sette fokus på reduksjon av matsvinn ved to sykehjem. De to sykehjemmene var Fantoft og Lyngbøtunet.

Å redusere matsvinn er politisk forankret i Bergen kommune i Byrådets politiske plattform og vedtatte handlingsplan for mat, måltider og ernæringsarbeid i pleie- og omsorgstjenesten «Maten servert (2018-2023)».

Bergen kommune ønsket å kartlegge matsvinnet ved de to sykehjemmene Fantoft og Lyngbøtunet, implementere felles metoder og rutiner, kompetanseheving og etablering av en felles kultur for reduksjon av matsvinn. Kommunen ønsket bistand til oppstartsamling, sammenstilling av data etter to veierunder, en workshop for å identifisere og prioritere tiltak for å redusere matsvinn, og en felles workshop for å oppsummere resultatene. På begge sykehjemmene ble det frikjøpt en mindre stillingsprosent som fikk ansvaret for å pilotere prosjektet ved det enkelte sykehjem. Prosjektet er finansiert av Bergen kommune.

Prosjektet ble delt inn i 4 faser:
• Situasjonsanalyse med gjennomføring av måling av matsvinn, og sammenstilling av resultatene
• Planlegging og prioritering av tiltak hvor det ble gjennomført to separate workshoper med relevante ansatte på Fantoft og Lyngbøtunet for å identifisere og prioritere tiltak
• Gjennomføring med innføring av nye rutiner og tiltak for å redusere matsvinn og kompetanseheving
• Evaluering hvor det i forkant ble gjennomført en ny periode med måling av matsvinn, og gjennomføring av en felles workshop for ansatte på kjøkkenet og avdelingene ved de to sykehjemmene, Matvarehuset, og representanter fra Klimaetaten i Bergen kommune.

Å redusere matsvinnet i omsorgssektoren der det serveres mat vil, i tillegg til reduserte klimagassutslipp, bidra til reduserte innkjøpskostnader, bearbeidingskostnader og lønnskostnader. I tillegg kan svinnreduserende tiltak bidra til bedre holdninger hos ansatte slik at den enkelte får større bevissthet om matsvinn og endrer atferd privat. Svinnreduserende tiltak kan også bidra til bedre utnyttelse av råvarer og utvikling av nye retter med bruk av restemat.


Matsvinnet fra matbransjen, offentlig sektor og husholdningene utgjorde 400 000 tonn i 2020.

Dette kan omregnes til:

  • 75 kg matsvinn per innbygger og år.
  • 1,1 millioner kg spiselig mat i søpla hver dag.

Og tilsvarer:

  • Et årlig klimaavtrykk på ca. 1,3 millioner tonn CO2-ekv.
  • Et årlig økonomisk tap på over 20 milliarder.

Fordelingen av totalt matsvinn (tonn) i 2020 for de ulike verdikjedeleddene er vist i figuren under. Figuren viser også endringen i prosent fra 2015 til 2020 (målt i kg/innbygger).

Matsvinnet er redusert for samtlige av verdikjedeleddene, og totalt er matsvinnet:

  • Redusert med 9 % målt i kg per innbygger.
  • Redusert med 6 % målt i tonn.

Dette tilsvarer:

  • En reduksjon i klimaavtrykket på 8 %.
  • En reduksjon i det økonomiske tapet på 10 %.

Matsvinnet er mest redusert for relativt klimaintensive og dyre matvarer (kjøtt, ferdigmat og meierivarer), og minst for relativt billige og lite klimaintensive matvarer (brød, bakervarer, frukt og grønnsaker).


NORSUS will, on behalf of Matvett, carry out the project "A system for food waste in the public sector", which, as the title suggests, will develop a system for receiving food waste data from the public sector. In addition to looking at the way in which food waste should be mapped in business, and the means by which data should be reported, it will develop a system for receiving the data and for upscaling it to national food waste statistics.

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Today, September the 29th , is the international day for Awareness of Food Loss and Waste!

For years NORSUS has been researching what kind of food we throw away, why we throw away food and who throws away food.

According to our annual surveys, conducted on behalf of Matvett, those who rarely throw away food can be characterised by:

  • They shop for food infrequently
  • They uses shopping list
  • They are frugal

In addition, those who rarely throw away food are often the elderly, that is over the age of 65. This indicates that the post-war generation has some other attitudes related to food waste, compared to the rest of the population.

Young parents with young children, on the other hand, throws food more often, even though they are conscious about food waste as an environmental problem and also tries to live as eco-riendly as possible. It is therefore important to focus on young people growing up today acquiring sufficient knowledge about food, so that they are better equipped to prevent food waste in the future.

Read more about food waste in Norway in our annual survey report and about what characterizes those who throw the most here.


NORSUS, in collaboration with SINTEF, will compile food waste statistics and document the methodological basis for the Norwegian Environment Agency, so that Norway is able to report in accordance with the EU’s revised waste directive (2008/98 / EC). This new requirement for annual reporting of the amount of food waste occurring at different stages in the value chain in each EU / EEA country is linked to the objective of reducing food waste by at least 50% by 2030. IVL and PlanMiljø will provide professional input.