Resource Efficiency


To professionally prepare and serve public meals, a broad range of resources and materials is required. These range from water and energy for cooking, to cleaning detergents, cling film, napkins, dishes, cutlery, etc. Using these materials always comes at an economic and environmental price.

The motto “achieving more with less” frames the tools in this gateway. By making better use of available resources or cutting down on resource-heavy procedures, public meals can be a perfect showcase for a circular economy and resource efficiency.

Packaging and plastic materials are two major contributors to environmental pollution, and their manufacture generates greenhouse gas emissions. This can be mitigated by encouraging procurers to make use of EU’s GPP criteria for water, energy and materials. Catering organisations and supply chains can, by innovative thinking and altering their routines, play an active role in creating solutions for the better use of resources. This way, public meals can offer direct routes towards the sustainable use of resources.

The tools presented here to help change the preparation and consumption of public meals contain innovative ways to avoid certain materials, reuse others, and reduce energy and water consumption. While they can be part of municipal and entrepreneurial policies, some are also suitable as well for procurers, while others offer hands-on approaches for kitchens and canteens.

Tools in the Resource Efficiency Gateway

This tool provides a concept of promoting drinking tap water instead of sweetened drinks or bottled water. As part of the campaign, drinking tap water will be promoted wherever possible to encourage people to change how they use, consume and manage water.

An illustrated poster that inspires for plant-based, seasonal, fresh and sustainable meals. Follow the five principles to compose a climate-friendly dish.

This tool provides training material for introducing climate protection measures to kitchen professionals and includes 19 concrete measures concerning food selection, technology, behaviour, and waste management.

Compared to ordinary Cook and Serve and Cook and Chill meal manufacturing methods, Cook Cold, i.e. cold manufacturing, enables a continuous manufacturing process in the central, conventional or satellite kitchen. Manufacturing freshly cooked meals in this way saves energy and human resources as well as it prevents food waste.

Diet for a Green Planet is a five criteria concept with a system perspective that offers framework and tested tools to support sustainable meals.

This tool explains how to increase the knowledge and competence of nutrition among carers of educational care centres.

Did you ever consider how much water, energy, detergent, dish-washing equipment, labour, and money could be saved by removing trays in public catering? This tool provides guidance on how to stop using trays.

Find adaptable procurement criteria for the reduced use and impact of chemicals and consumable goods in the public procurement of catering services in this tool.

Procured food items are often delivered in plastic packaging. Encourage the use of more recyclable plastics, like PET, by including an appropriate awarding criterion into your call for tender.

This tool shows how public authorities can promote the drinking of tap water from reusable bottles. Drinking tap water saves money, supports human health, and has a positive climate impact.

This tool offers a participatory approach to dealing with nutrition and healthy food issues in schools. The school nutrition council involves all relevant stakeholders working together to improve school meals and increase their sustainability.

This tool explains the benefits and requirements of as well as provides tips for installing the self-service line

Some people have no place to cook their meals and others have food left over that they would like to make freely available to others. This tool provides guidelines for organising social kitchens and a social fridge network.

This tool helps users get started with the implementation of a system for replacing single-use packaging with reusable containers, tackling food waste and waste from packaging at the same time.

Set measurable goals on products your organisation wishes to decrease and increase and keep track of your purchases of specific food items.

Do you want to help ensure high-quality, organic, fresh, regional, seasonal, tasty, and yet economical public meals? This tool provides a concept for a training and networking program for kitchen professionals in public catering facilities.

This tool suggests environmentally friendly (moist) microfiber-based cleaning methods to save consumption of clean water, energy, and chemicals, as well as avoid straining property surfaces and structures.

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