Catering companies in Switzerland make substantial carbon savings
The ONE TWO WE Project is a climate protection programme run by the SV Group, a Swiss catering company which operates more than 300 employee restaurants and student canteens, and the WWF Switzerland. The program aims to reduce the environmental damage caused by the production of food-stuffs by reducing the energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions of participating restaurants and canteens. The project's target is to reduce CO2 levels by 20 percent by its end.
The results of an initial assessment were recently released and demonstrate how one of the project partners managed to reduce their CO2 emissions by 6 percent in one year. This may at first glance appear to be a small amount, however, this amounts to 14 tonnes of CO2. The restaurant reduced their CO2 emissions by sourcing raw materials locally, reducing the amount of food transport by air and increasing the amount of food delivered by land and sea. Additionally, the restaurant introduced energy saving timer switches on kitchen appliances. The restaurant hopes to further reduce their emissions and to reach the project goal of 20 percent over the coming year.
Green Public Procurement possible regardless of size of city's budget
The May GPP News Alert included an example of a School Catering Procurement carried out by the City of Lens is in the North East of France. The City of Lens has a population of 36,000 and is one of the more economically disadvantaged cities in the country. Lens wished to demonstrate that Green Public Procurement (GPP) need not be restricted to wealthier cities and need not be a complicated process.
In their tender the City specified that 20 percent of the food provided to each school must be organic. The procurers involved did not request a higher proportion of organic food than this, as they felt that it may have too much of an impact on price. However, variants were allowed giving the bidder the opportunity to offer a higher percentage of organic food. The City discovered that organic meals were only marginally more expensive than standard meals. An organic meal is now served one day a week in school canteens in the City of Lens.
New technologies to overcome future challenges in fruit and vegetable production
RESFOOD «Resource Efficient and Safe Food Production and Processing» is a project funded under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission. It aims to research and demonstrate green solutions which will help achieve maximum resource productivity as well as the recycling and re-use of valuable materials.
The RESFOOD project organises information sessions to share and discuss its mid-term results with stakeholders. The most recent session dealt with the topic of horticulture and was organised at Demokwekerij (the Netherlands) on 8th of May. This saw the attendance of 30 researchers and industry representatives (fruit and vegetable growers, as well as equipment suppliers) working in the horticulture field.
RESFOOD partners presented new technologies offered by the project in response to the rising challenges in the fruit and vegetable growing sector. These include tightening regulations on emissions, water scarcity due to climate change, increasing prices of fresh water and safety concerns related to fresh cut products.