School catering in the spotlight in new INNOCAT report
Eco-innovation need not involve expensive high-tech solutions, according to a new INNOCAT report on the sustainable procurement of school catering services. The report looks at sustainable catering practices in schools across Europe and highlights the importance of broad stakeholder involvement and inventive approaches to food rather than a reliance on expensive equipment and significant financial investment.
The catering sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. Conventional food production, processing, delivery and preparation processes are linked to heavy consumption of fossil fuels as well as significant soil and water pollution, proliferation of plastic and other non-organic waste, and local air pollution caused by transportation within cities. It is therefore not only the food itself but the systems by which it is packaged, prepared and delivered which need to be considered when reducing catering’s carbon footprint.
Based around an exploration of common practical and perceived problems faced by schools, the INNOCAT Good Practice Report on Sustainable Public Procurement of School Catering Services tries to draw out the many clever and innovative approaches already being used to procure more environmentally and socially sustainable catering services. By highlighting ideas and best practice cases from around Europe, the report provides ideas, inspiration and further resources for those who are involved in the procurement of food and catering services for schools.