Plastic plays a crucial role and 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 all over Vietnam. GGG came to Schoolab Asia at the end of 2020 to find an answer to reducing plastic in delivery services and food waste in 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. Throughout Deplastify the Planet, the talents of Bach Khoa were supported by experts at Schoolab and Golden Gate Group while navigating their way, relying on the Design Thinking methodology. From market research to prototyping, Golden Gate Group teams never failed to impress with their enthusiasm for sustainability.

Takeaway plastic 

In today’s world, customers’ comfort is exceedingly important for any business, especially the ones operating in the F&B industry. However, convenience comes at a great cost and is taking a toll on 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 in mind the will to minimize the negative impact on the environment, the Golden Gate team wants 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 journey. The developed solution not only helps reducing the amount of plastic being flushed out to the environment but is also cost-conscious. It helped Golden Gate Group cut the cost of buying single-use utensils while increasing the user experience by removing the consumers’ fear of  chemicals in the manufacturing process of single-use plastic. 

Food waste

Owning nearly 400 restaurants across Vietnam, many of which are served buffet-style, Golden Gate Group has been facing a very common crisis in the Food and Beverage industry: the abundance of food waste. However, Golden Gate Group actually did something about it. With systematic food waste produced by Golden Gate Group’s restaurants, traditional methods for processing it such as composting or turning the waste into animal food can be a  great obstacle. 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 Food & Beverage industry in Vietnam.

Through Deplastify the Planet, the young innovators of the Ho Chi Minh University of Technology have created a prototype, upcycling 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 you? 

Deplastify the Planet is a program connecting students and corporations, allowing university students to approach real-world challenges, and corporations to get creative and innovative solutions from these fresh perspectives, all the while building a more sustainable future.