Caterer Appèl, the University of Twente and sustainable food experts from Greendish team up to create the menu of the future. The goal is to ensure that the food served on campus is not just tasty and healthy, but that it is also produced in a way that respects the earth’s natural limits. Specifically, that means we must reduce our carbon emissions by 15% in 2023 and 50% by 2030. We will also have to reduce our land use, water use and waste. The partnership will last for at least one year, after which it could be extended.
Environmental and sustainability officer Birgit Dragtstra is supervising the project on behalf of UT. ‘The things we eat have a big effect on our environmental impact’, she says. ‘It should really be a given that we don’t exceed the planet’s capacity through our food consumption. With this project, we want to achieve that in a smart, feasible and measurable way, while keeping the food offering tasty, healthy and attractive.’
The project will use Greendish’s so-called Success Formula. ‘It starts with a baseline measurement to see where you are now as an organisation’, explains Yumi Overbeeke of Greendish. ‘Together with Appèl, we’re going to identify where things are already going well and where there are areas for improvement. You can often achieve great results by making small changes. Guest and employee satisfaction and areas for improvement they see are also included: the goal is a win-win-win for the environment, the guest and the restaurant.’
Using the baseline measurement, Appèl and Greendish will then look at the steps they can take to create a healthier and more sustainable menu. ‘Appèl staff can use our online Greendish Academy to find inspiration and acquire new knowledge’, Overbeeke continues. ‘This helps us come up with possible changes to the menu together.’ The first of these changes are expected at the end of this year.
'As a caterer, we’re working hard to realize a more sustainable food offering. For instance, we aim to have half of our menu plant-based by 2023 and to reduce half of our CO2 emissions by 2025. This will be done step by step,' says Erwin Wonink, Appèl's manager at the University of Twente. 'The changes we make for this must also be feasible for our employees. That’s why this is a great collaboration: we’ll be exploring what works and what resonates with our guests together.’
The collaboration between Greendish, Appèl and UT is the next step in making the university’s food offering more sustainable. Previously, all work lunches were made vegetarian by default. Both of these projects came about thanks to UT’s Sustainability, Energy & Environment (SEE) programme.