In October 2021, The Climate Meal campaign was launched amongst restaurants in the Helsinki region, and its aim was to involve restaurants and their customers in climate work. During the campaign, the blue-and-white Climate Meal label was adopted by more than 50 restaurants. The definition of a climate meal was that the total carbon footprint of all its ingredients could not exceed 1.0 kg CO2e, which is significantly less than the Finnish average.
During the campaign in October–November 2021, over 50 restaurants in the Helsinki region added climate meals to their menus. These restaurants included places serving the general public, as well as staff lunch cafeterias, such as the Palmia chain. The participating restaurants were provided with carbon footprint calculators and support in using them.
Climate meals were served by Dylan restaurants, Sofia Helsinki, Sushibar+Wine, Palmia and Löyly, to name a few. The Climate Meal label provided the customers with information about climate-friendly choices and an easy way to influence their own carbon footprint.
‘It was inspiring to witness how quickly the restaurant sector was able to join the campaign. The participants included a wide range of lunch venues, and their number exceeded all our expectations – and almost our resources too. The campaign gave restaurants an opportunity to experiment with carbon footprint calculators as part of their operations and challenged them to make changes to the menus. The participating restaurants stated that the demand for vegetarian food increased during the campaign,’ says Development Manager Kaisa Spilling from Forum Virium Helsinki.
Climate Meals will stay in restaurant menus
Restaurants can continue using the Climate Meal label also after the campaign. The label can be taken into use by registering at ilmastoannos.fi and agreeing to calculate the carbon footprints of their climate meals. Many of the restaurants that took part in the campaign have already confirmed their continued use of the label.
‘We gained positive feedback during the Climate Meal campaign and a confirmation that we are heading in the right direction with our efforts to be a responsible operator. The campaign also helped our kitchen staff understand which elements affect the carbon footprint of food. Furthermore, it was great to realise that we already had several climate meals on our menu. We plan to continue using the Climate Meal label in 2022,’ says Marketing Manager Miia Pirttijärvi from Soupster Family.
During the campaign, the restaurants were provided with Clonet’s OpenCO2.net-based climate calculator for meals, and the users of Jamix management system were able to calculate the carbon footprint of their dishes with a CO2 calculator. Furthermore, Unilever’s free carbon footprint calculator was available for use. In addition to this, as a result of the Climate Meal campaign, Lounastaja – a company offering services to restaurants – made the label a permanent part of its services.
The Climate Meal campaign was part of the Mission Zero Foodprint project. The project supported the carbon neutrality of restaurants and other food service operators, and developed the smart solutions and tools required to achieve this. The project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council. The partners in the Climate Meal campaign included the City of Helsinki, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY, Unilever Food Solutions, Jamix, Clonet, TableOnline, Lounastaja and Positive Impact.