Latest news

17 November 2016  

Final INNOCAT newsletter: tenders, policies and publications

The final newsletter of the INNOCAT project is now available online, sharing the latest news in the world of sustainable catering as well as the major outcomes of the project. These include tenders for more sustainable catering services in France and the UK, as well as two policies to ensure that future procurement carried out by the City of Turin and the regional environmental agency Arpa Piemonte will incorporate sustainability principles from the project.

The INNOCAT market engagement report also features in the newsletter. This publication provides four detailed approaches on how to effectively engage the market for public procurement. These include market engagement carried out within the project by the University of Sheffield and a market engagement approach used by City Interest Group member Copenhagen.

The newsletter also provides an update on the ongoing revision of the European Commission’s GPP criteria for food and catering, as well as a detailed look at the City of Turin’s carbon footprint calculations which were carried out as part of the INNOCAT project.

For more information on any of these topics, read the final INNOCAT newsletter.

16 November 2016  

Procura+ Manual Launched

The 3rd Edition of the Procura+ Manual was launched at the Procura+ Seminar in Rome on 13 and 14 October 2016. This fully updated and revised edition of the Procura+ Manual aims to position sustainable procurement in the current economic, political and legal framework. As with previous editions, it acts as a central point of reference for public authorities and others wishing to understand and implement sustainable procurement.

The manual includes practical advice on how to integrate sustainability into procurement and a model for systematically implementing sustainable procurement – the Procura+ Management Cycle. The manual also explores the possibilities for sustainable and innovation procurement set out within the 2014 Directives, together with how they can be applied in practice.

Key guidance is provided on sustainable procurement approaches for six high-priority product groups – construction, IT equipment, cleaning products, food, vehicles and electricity. Links and references throughout the text showcase good practice examples from around Europe, including many from participants of the Procura+ Network, more detailed information on the product groups covered and a variety of further implementation tools.

The Procura+ Manual is published by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and produced as part of the SPP Regions project.

For more information, download the Procura+ Manual.

26 September 2016  

INNOCAT mentioned in UNOPS Annual Review

The INNOCAT project has been mentioned in the thematic supplement which accompanies the United Nations Operations Unit’s annual statistical report. Procurement is one of the main channels through which humanitarian and development aid is delivered. Because of this, it is also a vital component to fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development Goals. ‘Future Proofing Procurement’ poses the question: How can we ensure that the procurement field is equipped to meet the world’s most complex issues?

In the article ‘Network benefits for buyers and suppliers,’ the INNOCAT City Interest Group is mentioned as an example of how public authorities can work together to ensure that long-term goals of sustainability and investment in innovation can be leveraged to achieve the best results in terms of sustainability and cost efficiency.

For more information, visit

19 September 2016  

First purchase from INNOCAT framework contract

The first purchase has been made from a framework contract set up as part of the INNOCAT project. The contract which offers a consulting service to manage the sorting of organic waste in hospitals was originally launched in November 2014 by Resah IDF.

Since 2012 hospitals in France which create a certain level of waste are obliged to sort their organic waste from their “normal” waste. The organic waste has to be collected separately and must be treated differently. To address this new need for an increasing number of hospitals, Resah launched a call for tender to find a company specialised in the collection and the treatment of organic waste. A need was also identified for advice regarding the reorganization of internal logistics in order to manage the waste separation process.

The consultancy service offers to reduce the generation and disposal of “classic” waste through favouring the separation of organic waste and so reducing waste burned; and to improve the management of organic waste in catering services in French hospitals.

For more information, visit the INNOCAT tenders page.

12 September 2016  

INNOCAT-funded study examines food’s carbon footprint

The majority of greenhouse gas emissions associated with food and catering appear in the production phase, according to a study authored by the Italian academic Alessandro Cerutti. The study, which formed part of the work carried out by the INNOCAT project, calculated the carbon footprint of five products purchased by the city of Turin (Italy).

The products – potatoes, apples, carrots, pears and peaches - were chosen because they were the most commonly used by the city’s school catering service. Only fruit and vegetable products were used for the study, as these were the only products covered by all three of the city’s GPP policies (organic produce, short supply chains and use of CNG vehicles for delivery).

The study concludes that for the products studies, the most effective area to focus on in terms of improving emissions would be production mechanisms. The production phase made up for between 60 and 70 percent of the product groups studied. One clear recommendation rising from the study was switching away from conventional agriculture. Switching from conventional to organic or integrated production, for example, reduced GHG emissions by 66,102 tCo2 equivalent for the products studied. This amounts to a thirty two percent reduction in the carbon footprint of the production phase.

For more information, download the article.

5 September 2016  

Dutch event to look at achieving truly sustainable catering

The Metropolitan Region Rotterdam The Hague (MRDH), a group of local authorities that work together to strengthen their economic standing, are organising a meeting of the MRDH Sustainable Procurement network in Leidschendam-Voorburg (The Netherlands) on 8 September to discuss how sustainability, affordability and health concerns can come together in the procurement of catering services.

Procurers are obliged to keep a wide-range of criteria in mind when choosing a catering company: the supplier must have a broad selection of produce, unambiguous sales pricing, and work towards enhancing sustainability and facilitating social employment. Given the emissions expended in the production of food and the disposal of food waste, the type of catering bought can also have a significant impact on the environment.

Specialists, buyers and contract managers are invited to attend the event to discuss the ideal purchasing strategy for sustainable and cost effective catering services.

For more information, contact or

29 August 2016  

UN-backed study suggests vegetarian diet can be a “win-win” for health and sustainability

National governments are missing a trick when it comes to the potential for environmentally sustainable diets to improve health, according to a recent report released by the Food Climate Research Network. The study, which was funded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture organisation, looked at the websites of 215 national websites to uncover what their guidelines mentioned regarding food.

Of the countries covered by the research, 83 had national food guidelines in place. Only four of these mentioned sustainability, however. Although national guidelines only make up one prong of government’s nutrition strategies, they are indicative of the policy areas which are seen as most important.

“If we are to address the multiple social, health and environmental challenges caused by, and affecting food systems, global populations need to move towards dietary patterns that are both healthy and also respectful of environmental limits," the report states. "There is increasingly robust evidence to suggest that dietary patterns that have low environmental impacts can also be consistent with good health - that win-wins are possible, if not inevitable."

For more information, read the FCRN report.

22 August 2016  

ARPA Piemonte publishes guidelines for catering procurement

The Italian regional procurement body ARPA Piemonte has been working with INNOCAT partner Envipark to look at what improvements in can make to its in-house canteen. Following a detailed energy audit and needs assessment, ARPA Piemonte engaged with suppliers to see what was available on the market to help reduce waste and improve energy efficiency.

The new guidelines include minimum standards for electricity and energy consumption, minimization of food waste and the requirement to use a life-cycle-costing approach when assessing bids. Non-single use packaging which is compatible with the needs of hygiene, contact and food storage is also requested. The control will be monitored to ensure that bidders meet energy consumption targets while maintaining customer satisfaction levels.

For more information, download the ARPA Piemonte catering service guidelines.

15 August 2016  

Danish Government provides funds to fight food waste

The Danish National Government has created a subsidy pool worth DKK 5 million (over €670,000) dedicated to supporting projects which are tackling food waste. The Fund can be used for projects tackling waste all along the supply chain, from production to consumption.

The subsidy scheme aims to build on recent success at tackling food waste in Denmark, with a 25% reduction having been achieved over the last 5 years according to the Agriculture and Food Council. However, there is still much work to be done. The average citizen in Denmark currently throws away about 1 kg of food per week, which is estimated to be costing each household around DKK 3,200.

This initiative reflects a broader focus across Europe on reducing food waste, with successful schemes also running in France, Italy and the UK.

For more information, visit

1 August 2016  

France outlaws supermarket food waste

Since February 2016, supermarkets in France are no longer allowed to throw away or destroy unsold food. Following a law passed unanimously by the French senate, supermarkets are expected to donate any leftover food to food banks or charities instead. The law applies to supermarkets with a footprint of over 400 m2. The process for food banks to receive donations directly from the factory has also been simplified.

Under the legislation, supermarkets are also prevented from deliberately spoiling food to prevent foraging. This follows a growing trend amongst those on low incomes of foraging for products thrown out just before they reach their expiry dates.

Campaigners in France are now focusing on the European Union, calling for the European Commission to consider developing such a measure at the European level and lobbying for similar laws to be implemented in other member states. Such a law could have a powerful influence on food waste: the EU wastes 89m tonnes of food a year, while an estimated 1.3bn tonnes are wasted worldwide annually.

For more information, read the Guardian article.

16 June 2016  

Webinar on Sustainable Procurement of Food and Catering Services

The first EU GPP Helpdesk webinar of the year will take place next Thursday 23 June between 14.30 -16.00 CET and will focus on Sustainable Procurement in the Food and Catering sector. The status of the revised European GPP criteria on food and catering will be in the spotlight.

More specifically, the webinar will include presentations on:

1. Introduction, Enrico Degiorgis, European Commission, Directorate General for Environment
2. Latest proposals and updates from the European Commission for GPP of food and catering services, Belmira Neto, European Commission, Joint Research Centre
3. From the criteria to the market. How to involve suppliers through market engagement to deliver organic and seasonal food, Betina Bergmann Madsen, Municipality of Copenhagen(Denmark)
4. Implementing sustainable catering services in public schools; an experience of Torino,Elena Deambrogio, City of Turin (Italy)

Participation is open to all. If you would like to take part, sign up today at the following link:

If you would like to find out more, download the full programme or please email

14 June 2016  

Sustainable catering takes centre stage in Ghent

Public procurers, local and regional governments, and caterers, producers and suppliers from across Europe have come together to exchange experiences, form partnerships, and discuss the economic, social and environmental challenges facing food systems in Europe at INNOCAT’s Sustainable Catering Forum in Ghent (Belgium). The event brought together food and catering experts from all levels of government to look at practical examples of eco-innovative procurement in catering and consider what the future of sustainable food might look like. Speakers included Deputy Mayor Martine de Regge, Vice Chair of the Procura+ Network; Professor Roberta Sonnino, a leading expert in sustainable food procurement at the Universit of Cardiff; and Robin Gourlay, responsible for Food and Drink Policy for the Government of Scotland (UK).

The event was hosted by City of Ghent, the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province in Belgium. The City of Ghent is a firm believer that local governments, by using their substantial buying power, can have a significant leverage to push the market towards innovation for more sustainable products and services. At the EcoProcura 2014 conference, which Ghent hosted, the city signed a sustainable procurement strategy, reaffirming its commitment to using public procurement as a driver for sustainability.

In terms of food and catering, the City of Ghent faces similar difficulties to those experienced in many cities across Europe. With no publicly-owned kitchens, Ghent does not have the possibility to prepare meals from scratch. It is necessary to procure a full catering service including food sourcing, preparation and delivery. This has not prevented the City from taking a strong stance in terms of sustainability. The city’s most recent school catering contract included requirements for recyclable packaging, different portion sizes to keep food waste under control, “meatless Thursdays”, and as little transport as possible when delivering meals.

For more information and to download the presentations, please visit the event page

1 June 2016  

Sustainable Catering Forum: last chance to register!

The City of Ghent (Belgium) will play host to the Sustainable Catering Forum on 9 June 2016, a chance for public procurers, local and regional governments, and caterers, producers and suppliers from across Europe to exchange experiences, form partnerships, and discuss the economic, social and environmental challenges facing food systems in Europe. Guidance and knowledge gathered through the INNOCAT project will be used to shape the interactive programme.

Participants will receive information on new approaches to the sustainable procurement of catering services, details of the latest EU policy developments, and get to preview new and emerging technologies in the sector. Training will also be provided on eco-innovative procurement.

Participation is free of charge!

Places are filling up fast, so if you're interested in attending, we strongly recommend that you register today.

More information (exciting programme line up, online registation form, hotel recommendations, etc.) is available on the event webpage:

24 May 2016  

Save the date: Procura+ Seminar 2016

ICLEI in cooperation with the Forum CompraVerde-BuyGreen conference have announced the 2016 Procura+ Seminar, which will take place 14 October 2016 in Rome, Italy. The full-day seminar is organised together with the SPP Regions and GPPbest project consortia.

The Procura+ series of seminars provide an opportunity for face-to-face exchange amongst purchasers from all levels of government and procurement stakeholders. The 2016 Seminar will explore how working together in networks – from regional to European level – can increase capacity and support implementation of sustainable and innovation procurement. The programme will include keynote presentations, workshops and interactive sessions aimed at building and strengthening existing networks.

The Procura+ Participants and Strategic Partners meeting will take place on the afternoon of 13 October, the day before the Procura+ Seminar. All are welcome to attend, get involved and receive a flavour of the activities the Procura+ Network has to offer.

Detailed information about the events will be made available on the Procura+ website. You can contact ICLEI with any questions or queries at

25 April 2016  

Registration now open for Sustainable Catering Forum in Ghent

Ghent (Belgium) will play host to the Sustainable Catering Forum on 9 June 2016, a chance for public procurers, local and regional governments, and caterers, producers and suppliers from across Europe to exchange experiences, form partnerships, and discuss the economic, social and environmental challenges facing food systems in Europe. Guidance and knowledge gathered through the INNOCAT project will be used to shape the interactive programme.

Selected European cities will address participants on purchasing eco-innovative catering and food, touching on such topics as: making school food services healthier and more climate-friendly, minimising the environmental impact of hospital catering services, decarbonising vending machines in universities, reducing food waste and packaging, and facilitating market access for SMEs and small suppliers.

Participants will receive information on new approaches to the sustainable procurement of catering services, details of the latest EU policy developments, and get to preview new and emerging technologies in the sector. Training will also be provided on eco-innovative procurement. Participation is free of charge, with limited funds available to cover some expenses. To register, fill in the online form.

For more information, click here or contact

14 March 2016  

Researchers in Sweden dig into sustainable diets

Researchers in Sweden have been looking at a new method of food production, which could help in the design of sustainable diets. The main principles of this method, known as ‘ECOLEFT’, is that food production should not exceed the level of arable land available globally.

ECOLEFT follows three main principles: arable land should mainly be used for production of plant-based foods for humans; livestock should be fed biomass not suitable/desirable by humans; semi-natural grassland should be used for livestock production only if grazing can be justified by reasons other than meat and milk production (e.g. biodiversity conservation, providing livelihood).

Land use for all ECOLEFT diets was within planetary boundaries, and lower than for the current Swedish population’s diet. After producing the food needed and energy needed for agriculture, there was ‘spare land’ available in all the ECOLEFT diets, when compared with the total currently available arable land in Sweden. The results were less favourable in terms of climate impact. All diets led to the production of GHGs, varying from 0.36 to 0.62 CO2 equivalents per capita and year. However they are considerably lower than current western diets and remain compatible with a global warming cap of 2 degrees.

For more information, read the Science for Environmental Policy article.

29 February 2016  

Market dialogue for bio-based disposable care and catering items

The Dutch procurement expertise agency PIANOo is organising a market dialogue for bio-based disposable care items and catering on 19 April at the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). The meeting is open to all interested parties, including producers of bio-based materials and products, potential suppliers, waste processors, buyers and researchers.

The purpose of the market dialogue is to exchange knowledge between the different stakeholders involved in the procurement of these items in order to increase the market knowledge of the procurement practitioners and to improve suppliers’ understanding of procurers’ needs and constraints. Market dialogue helps to prepare a successful tender that includes functional requirements.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ) is looking to stimulate the market for bio-based products and wants to set an example by using bio-based disposables in catering. Recycling of products is an important precondition. EZ therefore wants to engage with both producers and recyclers. Bio-based products can have unique added value in comparison to traditional products, for instance, improved material properties and biodegradability. Bio-based products and services can contribute positively to green growth and sustainability, innovation, and employment. They have the potential to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

Registration to this market dialogue event is free and will be available through PIANOo website.

1 February 2016  

Turin shares new sustainable catering policy

INNOCAT partner Turin (Italy) is sharing details of its new sustainable catering policy at a national event to be held in the city on 18 February 2016. The free event will present the project's results and new scenarios for PPI in the catering sector, with reference to the circular economy.

The event will kick off with the official launch of guidelines by the City of Turin for a low-carbon catering service, as well as the presentation of proven approaches and best practices for sustainable catering procurement in Europe. Finally, a roundtable will examine the trends and challenges in the EU for the circular economy and circular procurement.

The event will conclude with a networking lunch and translation in English and Italian will be available. The event is free to attend.

For more information, download the agenda or visit the registration page.

25 January 2016  

Eco-innovative office catering services: market engagement event

INNOCAT partner Envipark will be hosting a market engagement event in Turin (Italy) on Thursday 11 February as part of the upcoming tender for eco-innovative office catering services. The event follows the publication of a Prior Information Notice on October 6 2015 and a Market Sounding Prospectus, which was made available in English and Italian.

Following a full review of its in-house canteen in 2015, lead buyer Arpa Piemonte has identified two priority areas to be considered in the tender: waste reduction and energy saving through the procurement of more energy efficient catering equipment. These will provide both financial benefits and impact in terms of improved sustainability.

The market engagement event is open to all interested suppliers as well as potential buyers and others interesting in learning what is currently available on the market in terms of sustainable catering solutions.

For more information, read the agenda

19 January 2016  

Guidance on energy efficient kitchen equipment published in Finnish

INNOCAT partner Motiva has published new guidance to help guide procurement of commercial kitchen equipment. The purpose of the professional kitchen guide is to provide information on how to choose energy efficient and environmental friendly professional kitchen equipment.

The Guide includes environmental criteria for most common dishwasher and refrigeration device types. According to Motiva, dishwashing is responsible about 80% of the water used in the kitchen and about 40% of electricity consumption, so ensuring that caterers purchase the most efficient equipment possible can have a significant impact on the water and carbon footprint of food preparation.

Motiva aims to continuously update the Guide, adding information about more efficient models as they appear on the market.

For more information, download the professional kitchen guide.