The cooperation project between Forum Virium Helsinki and Laurea brings together actors and stakeholders in the restaurant and food services sector and aims to promote the carbon neutrality of the food sector.
Mission Zero Foodprint project run jointly by Forum Virium Helsinki and Laurea helps small and medium-sized restaurants and other food services companies in the Uusimaa region to reduce food waste and decrease energy consumption and their carbon footprint.
The tools applied in order to achieve the goal include digital solutions and action models developed in the project. Another goal is to increase awareness among consumers on the carbon neutrality and environmental consciousness of restaurants and food services companies.
– Responsibility is a trend today, as is awareness among customers. Investing in responsibility provides a clear competitive advantage to companies, according to Mika Vitikka, the restaurant expert in the project.
Workshops offer a unique opportunity to hear sector experts
The project was kicked off at the opening event in Helsinki on 13 February. The kick-off event expanded on the theme and offered interesting addresses by experts. The event offered more information for sector actors concerning how they can participate in the project. Speakers at the event included Seona Candy, researcher specialising in the sustainability of food production, and restaurateur Henri Alén. Discussions at the event covered solutions and tools for carbon-neutral restaurant operations.
Laurea, together with the BarLaurea teaching restaurant, will provide expertise on the restaurant industry to the project and is responsible for co-creation in the project. This includes at least four workshops that are held for sector actors and stakeholders during the spring and the autumn. The Food waste and Energy consumption workshops were facilitated by experts during the spring. An expert, Kirsi Silvennoinen, Luonnonvarakeskus (LUKE) was there to talk about the food waste and Jari T. Korhonen who has been researching the carbon footprint of professional kitchens was there to help the participants at the Energy consumption workshop.
The next workshops will be held on 25.8 and 1.9 virtually about the carbon neutrality of restaurants and food service companies. You can read more and enroll here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2293275887636480/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/1488191898023772/ A workshop about consumer communications and behavior will also be introduced during the autumn.
– Participation in the workshops that are aimed at the region’s restaurant and catering sector actors, in particular, will offer a unique opportunity to listen to sector experts and to network with other actors in the sector, says Project Manager Anne Turunen.
– We at Laurea also hope to hear what sector actors have on their chest and what problems they may be facing concerning carbon neutrality in the restaurant industry and the reduction of food loss. We also hope to be able to apply ideas generated in the workshops in the further development of the project.
Based on ideas generated in the workshops, the BarLaurea teaching restaurant on the Leppävaara campus will test action models and solutions, which will then be deployed to ten selected pilot companies. The goal is for restaurant and food service companies to actively implement the action models and services being developed in the project and for the action models and services to generate both business benefits and information needed by consumers. At the same time, active implementation of the models will support resource efficiency and provide energy savings in the regions and among the actors. Pilot restaurants are currently being recruited.
Strong representation of student competence
In addition to BarLaurea, Laurea has introduced to the project student competence for facilitating the workshops through the participation of our Master’s degree students. Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students interested in the project should be in touch with the contact persons directly.
– It would be great if students preparing their theses, for example, would join us even more, says Saara Gröhn, a service designer in the project.