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Sustainable gastronomy: the need to create new business models


Cooking Europe. Tilburg, March 31th 2023

The world is changing and we must adapt to it. After all, nature is our true supplier of food and ideas and without it it would not be possible to do our work. For many people this is an obvious fact but this whole concept of sustainable gastronomy or sustainable catering escapes the knowledge of many other people.

Well, we will start this post by explaining what sustainable catering is all about and why it is the future of the hospitality industry.


Sustainable catering encompasses energy efficiency, waste and water management, logistics and the construction and design of restaurants, collectivities, hotels and canteens. One of the main things we have to take into account for our business to be eco-friendly is to reduce the carbon footprint it generates, but of course, for this we must know how to calculate it.


Before starting with this, we must know that there are three types of emissions:



Scope 1 emissions: these are the direct emissions, these are generated by the restaurant’s own activity such as emissions generated by the refrigerators or by the transport used by your catering team, in case the restaurant has this service for its employees.


Scope 2 emissions: these are the indirect emissions generated by your restaurant’s consumption of electrical or thermal energy.


Scope 3 emissions: these are those generated indirectly by your activity, which do not depend on you: the travel of your employees, the transport logistics for the delivery of food, etc.



What are environmental criteria?


The environmental criteria are based on the principles of the circular economy applied to food business management. Special emphasis has been placed on the prevention of food waste, and the management of packaging and other waste.


However, it also includes aspects related to food supply, energy efficiency, water saving and sustainable mobility.


We must not forget that we are part of nature. When we read that our way of living and consuming is destroying the planet, we destroy ourselves, our ability to survive as a species because everything is related.

Some of the actions that will help reduce the environmental footprint are: digitalization, reduction of food waste, rationalization of energy consumption and commitment to green energy, reduction of useless disposable packaging generated by our business. If we follow these tips we will continue to move towards a purchase of local and organic food, and a menu in which vegetable ingredients have more prominence than animal ingredients. 


Now let’s talk about other factors that will also encourage our restaurant to be sustainable, such as architecture.


Sustainable architecture is a way of conceiving architectural design in a sustainable way, seeking to optimize natural resources and building systems. A sustainable design integrates bioclimatic parameters, where the architectural design itself serves to optimize aspects such as lighting and natural ventilation, takes advantage of climatic conditions, takes into account the orientation of the building, hydrography and ecosystems of the environment.


To move towards strong sustainability, which can also be called ecosocial, it would first be necessary to agree on what to conserve. The efficiency of construction materials, building processes, urban planning and the impact that the buildings will have on nature and society should be taken into account. The main basis of this type of architecture is to promote energy efficiency. This type of architecture arises as a response to new trends in restoration, where sustainability plays an important role. A change of attitude in the interior design of restaurants is pursued, while at the same time the aim is to guarantee the conservation of the environment and respect for the health of citizens. 




Each building has its own life cycle: it is designed, built and demolished. Sustainable architecture plans each construction in such a way that it knows what resources it needs at the beginning and what resources and waste it will leave when it is demolished.


Another idea is to include the maximum vegetation in our construction, seeking to preserve as much as possible the most natural of the landscape we find green buildings, which have vertical gardens, among other elements.


This idea of including vegetation responds, in turn, to another human need: to block solar radiation. This is also done with glass or awnings.


Another key to sustainable architecture is the efficiency of space. One of the most commonly used techniques is to build with an efficient floor system and reducing the overall height of the building.


In search of greater efficiency also in energy savings, sustainable architecture plans the building so that it has maximum natural light. A design based on natural light will avoid excess electricity consumption.


Another important element to take into account is where our restaurant will be located. The type of soil, the orientation of the sun and even the wind will help you to really design a space where energy efficiency and sustainability are the basis of everything. Having clear the previous point, now you will have to define the materials that will be used to build your restaurant. Of course, in this step you will need the help of professionals, for that, in Cooking Europe we have the best interior designers and architects.


Here are some tips you can follow to make your restaurant more environmentally friendly:



Insulate Walls and Windows: To avoid the use of heating in cold seasons, it is advisable to prepare the walls and windows of your building through thermal insulation procedures. At this point you will also need the help of professionals, who will look for and use plant-based materials, which can also be recycled, such as cork.


Choosing local trade: Sustainability is also related to the purchase of products and the type of suppliers. Betting on nearby businesses helps to reduce the environmental impact by reducing transportation and, therefore, pollution. It is even better if they are ecological products in which no chemicals are used for their production. An easy way to comply with these premises is to prepare seasonal menus with fresh, local and seasonal products.


Sustainable packaging: The demand for home-delivered food has increased in recent years. If your business has also adapted to the new times, it is time to discard all plastic packaging and replace it with recycled materials or cardboard.





Thanks to these measures you will achieve that your f&b concept has a sustainable cuisine and, most importantly, that it is respectful with the environment. In addition, the quality of the ingredients that you will offer to your guests will also be important.

We hope we have given you the keys and the impulse so that if you are thinking of embarking on the adventure of opening a business you do it in the most sustainable way possible, let’s not forget that our planet is our home and that without it we cannot take advantage of any source of income, so let’s focus our new economic models on creating businesses that coexist and are in harmony with nature.


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