Restaurants continue using the Climate Meal label
Press release Dec 8th, 2021
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.
Development Manager, Forum Virium Helsinki
Tel. +358 40 744 8831
Restaurants serve climate-friendly meals in Helsinki
Press release Nov 8th, 2021
The Climate Meal campaign brings climate-friendly meals to restaurant menus from 25 October to 28 November 2021. In the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, about 50 restaurants have signed up for the pilot project, each of which will offer at least one climate meal option daily. The carbon footprint of a Climate Meal is smaller than average. Customers can identify the meals by the blue-white Climate Meal label. After the pilot, the restaurants can keep using the Climate Meal label.
The restaurants participating in the Climate Meal campaign get access to carbon footprint calculators, while they commit to offering Climate Meals on their menus. The recognisable Climate Meal label provides the customers of the restaurants with information about climate-friendly choices and an easy way to influence their own carbon footprint.
The Climate Meal campaign, created in cooperation with restaurant operators, is a part of the Mission Zero Foodprint project coordinated by Forum Virium Helsinki. Mission Zero Foodprint project promotes carbon neutrality of small restaurants by developing a model and smart solutions, and by making the change visible for consumers.
What is a climate meal?
The Climate Meal label can be awarded to a dish made from ingredients that have a combined carbon footprint of no more than 1.0 kg CO2e, which is significantly less than the Finnish average. At the moment, the average Finnish carbon footprint for meals is 4.8 kg CO2e per day. According to the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the carbon footprint of food should be reduced by 60% in the future if we want to reach the climate targets set.
Even the smallest changes to daily diet can significantly reduce the carbon footprint. For example, the climate impact of an omnivorous diet can be reduced by about 30–40 per cent by adding more plant-based foods into the diet. The climate meals offered also follow this principle: they are mostly plant-based, but they may include some animal products.
Restaurants excited to participate
The Climate Meal campaign encourages restaurants to offer climate-friendly options to their customers and provides tools for calculating the carbon footprint of the meals. Restaurants have received the campaign with excitement, and about 50 premises from the Helsinki metropolitan area have signed up for the campaign. Climate meals are offered by Dylan restaurants, Sofia Helsinki, Sushibar+Wine, Palmia restaurants and Löyly, among others.
“We feel it is important to offer our customers information about the food’s climate impact, since that is in line with our values. As a part of climate actions and business development, the Dylan restaurants are also considering ways of making recycling more efficient and minimising food waste, for example,” says Miia Pirttijärvi, marketing manager from Soupster Family.
Matters of sustainability are key to the restaurant industry, and an increasing number of restaurants want to do their part in supporting progress towards carbon neutrality. For example, the goal of the City of Helsinki is to be carbon-neutral by 2030, while the Finnish Government’s national goal is to reach carbon neutrality by 2035.
“Climate impact is a central theme in promoting the economic development of the metropolitan area, and it is also important to the residents. To achieve the carbon neutrality goals, it is essential that consumers are offered opportunities to make eco-friendly choices in an easy way. Through Climate Meal, we can make consumption habits more transparent and allow for environmentally sustainable choices,” says Jukka-Pekka Tolvanen, the City of Helsinki’s business development advisor in charge of cooperation with restaurants.
The Climate Meal campaign is being implemented by the City of Helsinki’s innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki. The cooperation partners in the campaign are the City of Helsinki, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY, Unilever Food Solutions, Jamix, Clonet, Lounastaja, TableOnline and Positive Impact. The campaign is part of the Mission Zero Foodprint project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.
You can find the restaurants participating in the Climate Meal campaign via this link.
Development Manager, Forum Virium Helsinki
Tel. +358 40 744 8831