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INNOCAT - eNewsletter
ISSUE #1 March 2014

Dear colleague,

We are pleased to send you the first edition of the INNOCAT e-newsletter! The INNOCAT e-Newsletter will be published every six months with updates on project news.

The project kicked off in March 2013 and we are looking forward to working with you over the next two years.

Happy reading,

Your INNOCAT team

To read more about the topics below, visit the INNOCAT website at www.sustainable-catering.eu.

In this issue


Sustainable Hospital Catering

Sustainable Vending Machines - Call For Interest

Sustainable School Catering

Call for Sustainable Catering Experts


INNOCAT is a European collaboration between public and private buyers who wish to procure eco-innovative catering products and services. The project aims to bring together buyers to publish a series of tenders for eco-innovative catering products, services and solutions. The aim is to help encourage eco-innovation in the catering sector by providing a sizeable launch market for new solutions.

INNOCAT will address environmental and social improvements in a range of fields, including:

  • Transport
  • Waste re-use and recycling
  • Bio-based products
  • Energy-efficient equipment

The existing buyers group includes a local authority, a central purchasing organisation in the healthcare sector, a major international company, and an environmental business park. Purchasing sectors are likely to include:

  • School catering services
  • Vending machines
  • Bio-waste disposal systems
  • Health and welfare catering services

INNOCAT aims to recruit a wider group of public and private buyers to co-operate, and ideally participate in the development of tenders for these products and services. More information on the Buyers Groups is available online.

The project also aims to disseminate project results as broadly as possible and to promote an active experience exchange between buyers interested in eco-innovative catering. An online discussion forum will be established to facilitate this exchange.

INNOCAT began in March 2013 and will run for three years. It is supported by the European Commission’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).

Sustainable vending machines – call for interest

There are 3.7 million vending machines in Europe, run by 10,000 companies, many of which are Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and family businesses. The high energy consumption of vending machines is well recognised, an element manufacturers have made an effort to improve over the last few years. However, vending machines are still energy hungry and ever increasing energy prices brings their high consumption levels into focus. Public authorities are directly responsible for many of them – whether in office buildings, hospitals, schools or other locations.

The INNOCAT project is establishing a group of organisations interested in buying more eco-innovative vending machines. A market sounding exercise is currently being launched by the University of Sheffield in the UK, together with 10 other possible buyers. The University is planning on purchasing sustainable, energy efficient vending machines and/or services towards the end of 2014.

Sheffield University will be publishing a Prior Information Notice (PIN) in March, and will begin a wide market sounding exercise with interested suppliers and manufacturers thereafter. Alongside this process, ICLEI is also establishing a group of organisations interested in following the University of Sheffield’s lead in tendering for eco-innovative vending machines.

If you are interested in joining this buyers group, or finding out more, please email innocat@iclei.org, or through the project website at www.sustainable-catering.eu.

Sustainable hospital catering

Réseau des acheteurs hospitaliers d’Ile-de-France (Resah-idf), the network for hospital procurers in the Paris region, is a member of INNOCAT’s core buyers group. Resah is currently preparing a tender for systems or products that aid in the preparation, serving and storage of food for hospital patients. The tender will favour food systems that reduce waste through recycling or through lowering waste generation, as this reduces costs for hospitals and lessens environmental impacts.

One potential solution is environmentally friendly food trays (containers for ready food and ready cooked meals) and a corresponding recycling network.

Resah will launch the call for tender in June 2014. If your organisation is also interested in this product/service group, please email innocat@iclei.org for more information.

Sustainable school catering in the City of Torino (Citta’ di Torino)

The school catering service of the City of Turin (Italy) provides the city’s primary, secondary and nursery schools with food, supplying a total of 360 schools with arround 50,000 meals daily, amounting to over eight million meals per year. The meals service as well as the preparation and delivery of meals is carried out by ISO 9001 certified companies.

This was achieved through a public tender published by the city in 2013, which included several environmental requirements, including, for example, the provision of organic or fair trade fruit and vegetables, the provision of drinking water from the public water network (to avoid the use of plastic bottles), the use of reusable dishes (dishes, glasses, cutlery), the use of more environmentally friendly modes of transportation for the delivery services (such as natural gas-fueled vehicles), the procurement of school kitchen appliances based on energy efficient and energy saving criteria, the efficient handling of waste (including the redistribution of leftover food to people in need) as well as ecological packaging (avoidance of single packaging, use of eco-labeled and biodegradable packaging materials).   

As part of the INNOCAT project, Turin is committed to foster its sustainable procurement approach and aims to define specific indicators to objectively measure its current environmental achievements as compared to last year. This will be implemented through measuring a set of parameters that reflect energy savings and environmental impact (e.g. evaluation of carbon footprint). These monitoring results will be used to identify further areas in which sustainability can be improved. Turin will include these insights in its next tender for catering services, which is likely to take place in late 2015.

Call for Experts

The INNOCAT project wishes to identify potential experts who have knowledge, experience and expertise in the field of sustainable catering, particularly in the areas of:

  • School catering services
  • Innovative packaging and waste disposal solutions
  • Serving ware and packaging for hospital food
  • Energy efficient vending machines

Chosen experts would contribute to the project by engaging with the project partners and sharing their market knowledge and expertise, such as their know-how of current market strengths and weaknesses. They would also be expected to join project workshops to discuss issues relating to the procurement of sustainable catering.

If you are interested in working as a subcontracted expert with the INNOCAT project, please contact innocat@iclei.org.

INNOCAT - partners