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‘Food that doesn’t cost the earth’: new guide to running sustainable food businesses launched

15 June 2020

‘Food that doesn’t cost the earth’: new guide to running sustainable food businesses launched

  • New guide launched to build a more resilient, sustainable food economy which doesn’t cost the earth – as part of London’s work as a Flagship City of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Food Initiative
  • The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB)’s circular economy business support programme, Advance London, co-created the guide with the Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Restaurants and food business owners can use this practical toolkit to help them eliminate waste, reduce carbon emissions and ‘build back better’

new guide to help put restaurants and food businesses at the heart of the green recovery is published today. This comes at an important time as the world starts to re-open postCOVID-19, and focus starts shifting to how we rebuild the economy and ‘build back better’ for the benefit of future generations. Food production is globally one of the major contributors to damaging climate change emissions, so the new guide, ‘Food that doesn’t cost the earth’, shows how food businesses can do their bit to tackle waste and reduce emissions.

The guide developed by LWARB’s Advance London team in collaboration with the Sustainable Restaurant Association provides operators with practical actions in seven key areas. It will enable them to adopt a more circular approach designed to reduce their impact on the environment and give a boost to the bottom line. It was launched on 15th June as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s ‘Big Food Workshop’ and includes contributions from Raymond Blanc OBE, President of the SRA, as well as many of London’s pioneering pubs, cafés, caterers and venues such as Silo.

The guide, backed by chefs at the forefront of the sustainability movement such as Chantelle Nicholson, Tom Hunt and Douglas McMaster, covers all aspects of a food business, providing tools and tips to help food business owners to play a role in the green economic recovery. Beyond purely environmental benefits, the actions outlined have the potential to make a business more resilient to future shocks. Actions are focused on seven key areas which include food and drink, energy, transportation, consumables, facilities management, packaging and water.

Raymond Blanc said:

If you are serious about tackling the climate emergency, you absolutely must take at least some of the seven ingredients in this guide and start to create your own menu for a food future that improves rather than damages the environment and which extracts maximum value out of your precious ingredients.

A webinar on 17th June at 10am will give food businesses an exclusive first taste of the contents of the guide, with contributions from guest speakers Arthur Potts Dawson (Omved) and Grace Regan (SpiceBox) who are pioneering the circular approach within their own businesses.

Andrew Stephen, CEO of the SRA, said:

This guide provides clear, scalable steps for any restaurant keen to play its part in tackling climate change, highlighting the huge benefits for business and the planet of getting more out of fewer resources and taking every possible step to waste as little as possible.

Liz Goodwin, Chair of LWARB and Senior Fellow and Director, Food Loss and Waste, at the World Resources Institute, said:

Food is such a vital part of our social and cultural heritage but the current way our food is produced and wasted is crossing several planetary boundaries. With this guide, we want to help food establishments make a positive change and participate in London’s transition to a low carbon circular economy.

Emma Chow, Food Initiative Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said:

As a Flagship City of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Food Initiative, London is one of the pioneering cities leading the transition to a circular economy for food. This guide presents important first steps for restaurants to help achieve this transition by redesigning their menus and operations so that they eliminate waste and support local regenerative agriculture.

For more info: Ali Moore on 07732 681821

About LWARB: The London Waste and Recycling Board is a partnership of the Mayor of London and the London boroughs to improve waste and resource management. The city’s economic and environmental future depends on a transition to a low-carbon circular economy, and LWARB works to ensure that London’s businesses, local government and communities thrive by helping them make the very best use of resources and materials.

About Advance London: The Advance London business support programme is delivered by LWARB, and joint-funded by LWARB and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It aims to make the circular economy everyone’s business by supporting London-based SMEs to implement and scale circular economy initiatives and business models.

About Flagship City status: London is one of three Flagship Cities selected by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Food Initiative; the other two are Sao Paolo and New York. The initiative in London aims to convene a consortium of public-private stakeholders – ranging from peri-urban farmer associations and innovators, to top retailers and governments – to co-design, test, and scale solutions based on circular economy solutions for food leading to significant positive economic, environmental, and health impacts. The circular economy guide for the food service industry forms an integral part of the efforts of the municipality of London to achieve these objectives.

About the Sustainable Restaurant Association The SRA is committed to accelerate change towards an environmentally restorative and socially progressive UK hospitality sector, working with businesses from across food service, as well as like-minded industry bodies, campaign groups and those businesses that supply the sector. At this intersection between food service and the sustainable food movement, the SRA can define sustainability for the sector, assess, measure, campaign for and celebrate change.

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