The Sustainable Catering non-profit initiative targets the catering sector with the hope of creating long-lasting change in favour of eco-friendly practices.
What does the Sustainable Catering initiative involve?
The initiative consists so far of a one-page checklist for planning catering events or services with a small ecological footprint. As with all of the activities undertaken by GREENWILL, it relies on the principle that raising collective awareness of green practices is a key way of creating positive and lasting environmental change. With this in mind, the checklist is mainly intended as a way for actors in the sector to evaluate their own practices, it is assumed that checklist users will already have a genuine commitment to protecting the environment.
Why focus on catering?
Catering accounts for a significant proportion of the food service industry worldwide. For instance, in Europe alone, according to a recent report, the catering industry has an annual turnover of $24 billion, producing around 6 billion meals each year. Catering accounts for a large portion of the 88 million tons of food wasted in this part of the world. With an increasing number of people eating outside the home and an aging population, it seems that the demand for catering is only set to increase, so there is enormous potential for creating positive eco-conscious improvement in the catering sector if certain wasteful practices are brought to light.
For more background information on the sustainability criteria included on the list, as well as an outline of how to use the checklist, see the Sustainable Catering Guidelines. See below also for a list of informative external resources related to the practices raised.
How can I participate?
Anyone can be a checklist user, regardless of their role in the catering process. The list is designed to be relevant to event organisers, the companies hosting catered events, catering service providers, or individuals partaking in these events. At the top of the checklist, there are boxes to indicate which of these groups you belong to. The checklist and guidelines are available to download and use for free.
At this stage, it would be great to hear back from users of the checklist. Send any filled-out copies of the checklist via email to email@example.com. Any other feedback, comments or enquiries are also welcome.