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 value 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!

Inspiring Examples

Background Information

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