Skip to content

Solutions for reducing food waste developed in Kalasatama

The first co-creation workshop organised by Mission Zero Foodprint, a collaborative venture involving Laurea and Forum Virium, attracted a full house of professionals from the restaurant sector.

Mission Zero Foodprint aims to boost the carbon neutrality of small and medium-sized restaurants and other food businesses. The project participants strive to collaboratively develop concrete tools, digital solutions and other measures for reducing the carbon footprint of daily restaurant routines.

The goal of the workshop, organised on 24 February at Urban Lab, in the REDI shopping centre in Kalasatama, was to provide more insight and information about food waste and its sources.

Food services play an important role

The introductory speech was delivered by Kirsi Silvennoinen (MA), researcher and specialist in food ecology at Natural Resources Institute Finland. Silvennoinen has participated in many projects investigating food waste in food and restaurant services and has also helped develop Lukeloki, an online application for measuring food waste. She drew the audience’s attention to the fact that 70% of all food waste originates at the end of the chain, that is, in restaurants, grocery stores and households.

- According to Silvennoinen, the bulk of food waste in food and restaurant services arises in the kitchen or is the result of food left over at lunch and buffet-style restaurants. Food thrown away by consumers accounts for a minor share of overall waste and loss.
- When talking about minimising food waste, the real challenge lies in the management of waste at the serving stage.

Workshops greatly appreciated

After Silvennoinen’s introduction, the participants engaged in co-creation tasks in workshops focused on various food waste issues in restaurants and food services. The idea was to discuss how waste arises in small and medium-sized restaurants and food service providers and how such waste could be efficiently curbed.

Aapo Rista, IoT expert at Forum Virium, who took part in the workshops, was interested especially in digital solutions for minimising food waste. He also spoke highly about the workshop arrangements.

- From my perspective, the use of data to minimise food waste is particularly interesting. I believe it is possible to build a tool to help restaurants estimate food consumption for each day and consequently reduce waste.
- This workshop was top class. Clearly, plenty of time was spent on preparing it.

Jenni Raunio, Director of Restaurant Operations at Story Restaurants, took part in the workshops to get ideas and learn new things related to carbon neutrality in restaurant operations. Story Restaurants have launched an EcoCompass project, and the organisation focuses increasingly on environmental matters.

- I believe that restaurants already do a lot related to the environment, but it would be important to emphasise these matters among the staff as well.
- This workshop was really well planned, and time flew by very quickly.

“Real-life problems and great ideas for further development”

The Monday workshop resulted in various ideas for reducing waste, with digital solutions playing a key role. For example, a 120-seat lunch restaurant could reduce waste with the help of devices placed on tables, which customers could use to rate the tastiness of the meal. This would help plan the menu to support efforts aimed at reducing waste.

The ideas brought up in the workshops will be tested at Bar Laurea’s teaching restaurant, at Leppävaara Campus, and the resulting pilots will then be tested in pilot restaurants.

- The event resulted in superb ideas and brought up real-life problems, which we will now begin working on, says Emilia Risu, Service Designer in the project.

Spring 2020 will see a series of workshops, focusing on waste in restaurant and food services, energy efficiency and the carbon footprint of operations. For each theme, two identical workshops will be organised in different locations around the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

Read more about the workshops and join us to develop the food sector towards carbon neutrality and to network with other operators in the field.

Further information: