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30 March 2015  

Turin engages with suppliers regarding the city’s catering needs

INNOCAT partner Turin is organising targeted early market engagement activities to keep current and future suppliers informed of its plans for future school catering tenders. Following an in-depth study of the carbon footprint of its current catering service, the city is looking to improve future tenders by reducing overall environmental impact and enhancing service efficiency.

Dedicated consultations will get underway with a seminar in Torino on the 15 April 2015 covering innovative aspects of the specifications used at present. This will be followed by a more in-depth discussion with a special focus on possible environmental innovations in school catering services.

The programme also includes the opportunity for interested companies to meet project managers and present their eco-innovative solutions in the areas described above in targeted 1:1 meetings on 14 April and during the afternoon of the 15th. The event is free of charge, but participants are requested to register by 13 April by emailing a completed registration form to The event language will be Italian.

For more information, read the workshop programme (in Italian).

23 March 2015  

Ghent shares catering best practice in promotional video

The Belgian city of Ghent has produced a fascinating 3 minute video documenting sustainable catering practices across the city.

Ghent currently avoids non-sustainable foods, such as tuna or unethical fish, focuses on minimal transport levels, food safety, recycling of packaging and professional monitoring. The Ghent catering services include hybrid Volvo trucks and electric cars as part of the delivery fleet.

Other initiatives, including a weekly Veggie Day on Thursdays, raise awareness of the implications diet can have on carbon dioxide levels and other greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information, watch the Ghent catering video.

16 March 2015  

EU GPP Criteria for Food and Catering Services open for consultation

On behalf of the DG Environment of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC-IPTS) is currently revising the EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for Food and Catering Services. Stakeholder involvement is crucial for the success of the study's development. Those who are interested in registering as stakeholders and taking part in the consultation processes can do so by sending an email with their contact data to

The final criteria will work to ensure that environmental principles are taken into account at each stage of the procurement process. JRC-IPTS is looking for feedback on the revision for the criteria proposals related to food and catering services.

Through the project, the following tasks will be performed: definition and scope for the product group, market analysis; technical analysis and improvement potential. This will form the basis of the elaboration of draft criteria and technical reports.

For more information, visit the JRC website.

9 March 2015  

Sheffield University releases tender for low-carbon vending machines

The University of Sheffield has joined forces with the INNOCAT project to issue a tender for low-carbon vending machine services. Through the tender, which is the second published within the INNOCAT project, the British university hopes to develop a solution that reduces carbon emissions and energy usage. In March 2014, the University published a Prior Information Notice (PIN) in the Official Journal of the European Union.

For potential suppliers, the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) stage is now online. The deadline for return of PQQ's is Monday 23rd March 2015 at 13.00 CET. The university is using a competitive dialogue approach to the procurement, meaning that suppliers are provided with the outcomes that the tenderer would like, and the company must supply the details of how this can be achieved.

Bidders are encouraged to propose innovative methods of reaching the desired outcomes. Sheffield University will also take steps to ensure that they support the market in creating an innovative solution, such as agreeing to a ‘forward commitment’ to stimulate and facilitate investment in innovation in goods and services for a further three years. This is the second tender published under the project, which is helping to promote eco-innovative catering services.

For more information, visit the Sheffield University website.

2 March 2015  

Spotlight on City Region Food Systems at London event

ICLEI Deputy Secretary General Monika Zimmerman recently spoke at The Royal Society in London on “Reframing food systems challenges in a rapidly urbanising world”. The panel was part of an event entitled “Urbanisation and Food Systems – The role of City Region Food Systems in Resilience and Sustainable Development”, which took place on Wednesday 4th February 2015 and featured an address from the Prince of Wales.

This event forms part of a wider project to study and promote City Region Food Systems. These systems are based on a holistic approach to food, focusing not just on agriculture but on the entire food cycle. At the upcoming ICLEI World Congress 2015 in April, CITYFOOD, an open network for local and regional governments, will be launched, in collaboration with the Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF).

ICLEI works with its network of cities on producing, processing and consuming food in a sustainable fashion. ICLEI Member Helsinki, for example, launched the “Responsible Meal 2012-15” project in 2010, which aimed to raise awareness of the climate impact of food among Helsinki’s food service customers, stakeholders and personnel.

For more information, visit the ICLEI Global website.