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New standard serves up sustainable approach to catering

New standard serves up sustainable approach to catering

The Soil Association Certification and the Carbon Trust have launched a new certification designed to promote sustainable catering.

The Green Kitchen Standard is an award to recognise caterers who sustainably manage energy, water and waste in their operations, helping them to demonstrate a commitment to good environmental management.

The certification requires caterers to engage with the multiple sustainability issues that arise in food service - from broader policies through to day-to-day kitchen management. It provides a framework for action, taking positive steps to engage with customers, train staff, monitor resources, implement best practice and achieve continuous improvements.

As well as enabling organisations to be recognised for exemplary practice in environmental sustainability, the Standard aligns with the resource efficiency requirements of Defra’s Balanced Scorecard, helping caterers reach a score of ‘Good’ or higher. If combined with the Food for Life Catering Mark, which focuses on food provenance and supply chain, this new scheme is the first and only to provide a one stop shop verification that aligns across all areas of Defra’s Balanced Scorecard.

The Standard was successfully piloted ahead of the official launch. The first four successful pilots are Carillion Health at Queen Alexander Hospital in Portsmouth, Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Edgehill University.

Amy Johnston Assistant Environmental Officer, Freeman Hospital said: “We saw the Green Kitchen Standard as the logical next step to build on the work already done to achieve the Soil Association Food for Life Catering Mark. The Standard incorporates a variety of different sustainability areas and helped us identify key areas for improvement.

“In particular, it helped us to focus on how we communicate about energy, water and waste, enabling us to get training for staff on sustainability and how it relates to their work in order to create a truly sustainable culture. The process also provided the opportunity to create closer links between the Catering and Sustainability Teams to create a fully rounded approach to sustainable catering.”

Clare McDermott, Business Development Director of Soil Association Certification said: “This unique scheme supports caterers to not just focus on the quality and sustainable sourcing of the food and ingredients but also on providing those meals with less energy, less waste and less impact on the environment.  Providing caterers with the tools and support to monitor usage, set targets and initiatives around sustainability and reward efficient practices at the kitchen level makes this scheme really effective at developing and leading best practice and improvement across the sector.”

The Green Kitchen Standard is now available across the UK. To register your interest in this scheme, contact: Hannah Braye (hbraye@soilassociation.org) or visit https://www.soilassociation.org/greenkitchenstandard/ 

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