The procurement of catering services offers many opportunities for the circular economy. Whereas for other product groups the circular aspects mainly involve the technical cycle, for catering services it is usually the biological cycle that matters most. For this product group the focus is on preventing unnecessary procurement and food waste, limiting the embedded CO2, and – if present – high-value processing of residual flows.
In its roadmap towards a circular category, the Dutch central government has clearly defined what it understands by ‘circular catering’. In addition, there are various examples of catering facilities with a circular concept. These may serve as inspiration for the circular procurement of catering services.
- Clearly define what you understand by circular catering, and which aspects you will be focussing on.
- Be aware of the incentives currently at work in the chains, which at present are driven by volume.
- Agree with your suppliers on a growth path over the contract period, so new developments can be incorporated. Include clear KPIs with respect to circular performance.
- Be inspired by existing circular catering concepts, new revenue models and sustainable innovations!
Enschede formulated high ambitions and received a circular proposal for its coffee services, at the same price as with regular procurement. When the machines are no longer used they go to a repair café and the coffee grounds are being collected.
Every year, about 2.5 million plastic cups were discarded at Wageningen UR. Currently they procure compostable cups that are collected separately.
Criteria proposals have been developed for catering.
Circular Office is trying to set up collaborations between facility service providers in order to close the cycle for the office environment.
This Transition agenda details what needs to be done regarding biomass and food to move towards a circular economy in 2050.
Publication - Sustainable procurement central government - Towards a circular Catering category (Dutch)
The catering category will become more and more circular in the years ahead. This plan shows what that means in practice for the government as client, and for end users and suppliers.
The Flemish Casebook Food Waste provides practical advice to prevent food waste and indicates main the concerns for procurement projects.
This publication provides insight into the requirements for a healthy diet and includes guidelines for the entire food chain to make this a reality.