Could the carbon footprint of restaurants be reduced with digital solutions? The answer to this question will be sought over a period of six months in the Mission Zero Foodprint project, in which participating pilot restaurants will attempt to reduce their food waste and the overall carbon footprint of their operations with the help of three innovative tools.
The Mission Zero Foodprint project’s open call was seeking digital solutions that would support restaurants in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. The call was ultimately answered by 13 companies, which submitted a total of 16 proposals. The proposed solutions were evaluated in collaboration with restaurant industry professionals and other key interest groups. Emphasis in the evaluation was on effectiveness, a strong development perspective and easy usability and accessibility, particularly from the perspective of small restaurant operators. The solutions will be further co-developed during the pilots in collaboration with the restaurant industry.
Putting a stop to food waste and making carbon footprints visible
A total of three companies were selected to participate in the project and to pilot their solution. The solutions to be tested focus on food waste and calculating the carbon footprint of restaurant operations and individual meals. The solutions will be used as a basis for developing operating models to reduce the carbon footprint of restaurant services.
Hukka is an online food waste management service for restaurants. The service produces easy-to-read analyses of food waste, based on which restaurants can easily develop their operations and prevent food waste. With the help of a machine learning component currently under development, Hukka can also model and adapt order quantities based on previously recorded food waste. The aim is to also develop a carbon footprint calculator for Hukka during the pilot, allowing users to directly see by how much they have managed to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing food waste.
Norwegian TotalCtrl offers a digitalised inventory management solution for restaurants, which helps to effectively reduce food waste. The TotalCtrl Restaurant service scans the delivery lists of incoming deliveries and provides the restaurateur access to real-time inventory data. The service also shows shortly expiring goods in the inventory, thus optimising inventory turnover. TotalCtrl Restaurant also saves time by boosting the efficiency of inventory and ingredient delivery management.
Clonet Oy is a Finnish expert company specialising in the development of responsible and carbon-neutral business operations and measuring of carbon footprint. The solution to be piloted with Clonet includes guidance on how to calculate the detailed carbon footprint of restaurants with the help of a calculator on the OpenCO2.net platform. The pilot will also involve experimenting and co-developing a calculator for determining the carbon footprints of individual meals. Clonet’s service makes it possible to calculate the carbon footprint of restaurant operations and develop more climate friendly services based on these calculations.
Pilot restaurants serving as a test environment for agile pilots
Companies and other operators in the restaurant industry have been closely involved in the project from the beginning. While the carbon footprint reduction of restaurant operations is a topical issue that attracts a great deal of interest, the industry currently lacks clear operating models and tools for carrying it out in practice. The project is being strongly steered by the needs of restaurants, and the restaurants participating in the pilots were also involved in evaluating the solution proposals submitted to the open call.
One of the project collaboration partners is the Kotipizza Group, the largest pizza chain in the Nordic Countries, which is also involved in the piloting process. Kotipizza provides the project with practical experience from two restaurant chains and approximately 300 restaurants.
“We want to understand more comprehensively the environmental and climate impacts of the restaurant industry. We are also interested in finding out how different operating models suit franchising chains,” says Chief Communications and Corporate Responsibility Officer Antti Isokangas from the Kotipizza Group regarding his expectations.
Matti Santala, the figurehead of the entrepreneurs of the Abbattoir district in Helsinki and operator of restaurant Kellohalli, has been actively involved in the project by highlighting the expectations of the restaurant industry and evaluating the solution proposals submitted for the project. Santala hopes that the project will provide the industry with a much-needed initial push for change.
“I am in particular hoping for the Mission Zero Foodprint project to provide an easy and convenient way of trying out different solutions, developing ways of reducing the carbon footprint of restaurants and communicating about these efforts,” he states.
The pilots will be carried out in restaurants in Kalasatama, Helsinki city centre and other locations in the Uusimaa region. The pilots are set to begin at the turn of the year in the project’s ten pilot restaurants.
The Mission Zero Foodprint project brings together restaurant and food services industry companies, developers and interest groups to co-create restaurants’ operating processes aiming towards carbon neutrality. The project involves testing and developing digital tools and piloting new operating models in collaboration with restaurants in the Uusimaa region. The project is coordinated by Forum Virium Helsinki, with Laurea University of Applied Sciences serving as project partner. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.
Photo: Helsinki Marketing
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