Plastic is an essential part in every step of the delivery process for Golden Gate Group (aka. GGG). The consumption of plastic is overwhelming for GGG as the chain owns up to 400 restaurants across Vietnam. GGG came to Schoolab Asia at the end of 2020 to find a way to reduce the plastic in its delivery services as well as decrease the food waste contributed to Vietnam. GGG embarked on a four-month journey with young innovators from Bach Khoa University. They joined Schoolab’s student-corporate sustainable innovation program, Deplastify the Planet, to tackle these two major issues: takeaway plastic and food waste. Relying on the Design Thinking methodology throughout Deplastify the Planet, the talents of Bach Khoa navigated the challenge with the support of experts at Schoolab and GGG. From market research to prototyping, Golden Gate Group teams never fail to impress us with their enthusiasm for sustainability.
In today’s world, customers’ comfort is exceedingly important for any business, especially the ones operating in the Food & Beverage industry. However, convenience comes with a great cost at the expense of the environment as the usage of plastic in food delivery is pervasive at every stage: from the box containing the food, the plastic bag used to carry the box, to the plastic utensils that are often unnecessary as meals are delivered to a company or a home. Having the will to minimize the negative impact on the environment, the Golden Gate team wanted to find a more innovative and sustainable approach in food delivery; hence the need for single-use plastic to be eliminated.
Such issues cannot simply be solved with a product. The team at Bach Khoa university came up with an end-to-end service that allows a more comprehensive approach to the food delivery’s process. The developed solution would help reduce the amount of plastic being flushed into the environment while also being cost-conscious. It helped Golden Gate Group cut the cost of buying single-use utensils while improving the user experience by removing the consumers’ fear of chemicals in the manufacturing process of single-use plastic.
Owning nearly 400 restaurants across Vietnam, many of which are served buffet-style, Golden Gate Group was facing a very common crisis in the F & B industry: the abundance of food waste. However, Golden Gate Group actually did something about it. Traditional methods for processing food waste, such as composting or turning the waste into animal food, can be a great obstacle for companies like Golden Gate Group’s restaurants. Therefore, there was a need for a more sustainable plan to process food waste, not only for Golden Gate Group but also for the exponentially growing F & B industry in Vietnam.
Through Deplastify the Planet, the young innovators from Ho Chi Minh University of Technology have created a prototype that upcycles mass volumes of food waste into organic materials. With this project, Golden Gate Group not only found a solution to the food waste crisis but also a new profitable business model by creating an ecosystem around their existing business.
Sustainability has helped Golden Gate Group to save money and to develop healthy solutions for the future of Earth: how about your business?
Deplastify the Planet is a program connecting students and corporations. This program allows university students to approach real-world challenges. At the same time, corporations benefit from the creative and innovative solutions that having a fresh perspective brings, all the while building a more sustainable future.