Mission Zero Foodprint – digital solutions

The Mission Zero Foodprint pilot restaurants have been working with one of three digital solutions in order to combat the idea of sustainability to whichever solution they deem fit for them. The tested solutions are provided by Clonet, TotalCtrl and HukkaAI. These three digital solutions are trying to combat a certain aspect of sustainability that has become very important in today’s standards for how restaurants could become more sustainable.

We would like to introduce you to all three of them and give you a little bit of an idea of how they can help restaurants on their journey towards carbon neutrality. We were lucky enough to interview the companies and get an idea from their viewpoint of who they are, what they do, and what they learned from the Mission Zero Foodprint pilots.

The first company we are going to talk to you about is Clonet. Clonet Oy is a Finnish expert company specializing in the development of responsible and carbon-neutral business operations and measuring carbon footprint. The solution that they have provided for the Mission Zero Foodprint pilot is the OpenCO2.net carbon footprint platform which provides companies with tools to calculate carbon footprints and compare emission levels. During the pilot, Clonet developed a climate calculator for individual meals, customized for restaurants on the basis of the OpenCO2.net tools. With the climate calculator, restaurants can calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of a single meal. The pilot restaurants tested the calculator for two months by calculating the greenhouse gas emissions of selected meals or entire menus. The calculator makes it possible to compare how different factors such as ingredients or energy impact on emissions and supports planning environmentally friendly meals and business.

So what did Clonet think about working with the restaurants, and what did they learn from it? According to Sari Siitonen, the CEO of Clonet,  the feedback from the restaurants was really valuable, and they had really good discussions during the pilot. For Clonet’s team, it was crucial to understand the needs of the restaurants, make the calculator both reliable and user-friendly in order to allow different restaurants to use it for business development purposes. The restaurants provided them with lots of baseline data and valuable insights, and now they have a good basis to develop the calculator further and help restaurants to make their business more sustainable. 

Next up, we have Hukka AI. Hukka AI is a Finnish technology company developing an intelligent SaaS-solution to measure, analyse, and reduce food waste in professional kitchens and restaurants. Their goal is to provide an easy, affordable, and intelligent tool to reduce food waste and enable more profitable and sustainable kitchens. Hukka’s cloud-based tracking system provides visualized, actionable data, analysis and recommendations, which help kitchens and restaurants to understand the causes and cost of the food waste, optimize order- and production volumes and ultimately decrease food waste rapidly. Hukka is a software-only solution, which is easy to use, quick to employ and affordable to scale as the user only needs an internet connection and a terminal device. Waste itself is weighed with any current solutions the kitchens have. With the help of a machine learning component currently under development, Hukka can also model and adapt order quantities further based on previously recorded food waste. 

In the pilot, Hukka was looking to test its solution with innovative restaurants and gather rigid customer feedback to develop the solution further. Also, their aim was to develop and pilot an integrated carbon footprint calculator, which helps the customers understand their environmental impact even better. As a matter of fact, Hukka and Clonet found synergies from the piloting programme and started to collaborate on this feature together. The CEO of Hukka, Tuure Karhu was happy about the opportunity to collaborate with the restaurants in the project, and felt that they managed to gather a lot of good ideas and feedback from them.

Lastly, there is TotalCtrl. TotalCtrl is a leading food waste prevention software company providing businesses with a kitchen inventory management system to ensure higher margins, sustainable and optimized operations. In short, they help employees and managers know what they have, where it is and when it expires giving them data insight that saves them time, money and cuts food waste. For the Mission Zero Foodprint project they are piloting our TotalCtrl Restaurant solution for the Finnish market. The solution has been developed and tested together with Norwegian restaurants and hotels. This solution will help the managers get correct data in regards to billed items vs. actual usage, and remove manual work such as inventory count, control of price variations and reporting for the kitchen staff. 

In the pilot, TotalCtrl’s goal is to learn more about the restaurant industry in Finland and adapt the solution to fit their needs. According to the CEO Charlotte Aschim, there is a great willingness to try new solutions, but the industry is also strongly set in its own ways. To ensure a successful introduction of innovation in this space requires patience, and consistent and good communication. TotalCtrl sees a huge potential for the solution to scale up in Finland after the pilot.

Aschim describes the collaboration with the restaurants as good and challenging. Covid has caused delays, and both them and the restaurants have had to adapt. Fortunately, the team has been able to do the best out of a bad situation, and gathered data and fully prepared for full-scale testing once summer is over. 

Could these three solutions be drivers for carbon neutrality in the restaurant industry?  At least the feedback from the field has been positive, and there clearly is a growing interest in testing these kinds of new and innovative tools. We look forward to seeing how these pilots impact the restaurant field in the long term, and hope that they would eventually become more commonly used in all of the restaurants in Finland.

Written by Brandon Horn

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