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Environmental Catering

In: Business and Management

Submitted By tamask3
Words 1919
Pages 8
Environmental Catering Table of Contents

* Introduction

* The process and its environmental factors

* Impacts on the environment

* Solutions(strategies, toolkits and patents)

* Conclusion Introduction Our life become more and more hectic and time is a valuable factor of life. People cannot afford anymore to cook their own meals, it is important to have food fast and cheap at work, at school and at social events. This is why catering has become multibillion dollar industry, giving job for thousands of people. Catering is a business of providing foodservice at a certain site such as hotel, school, workplace or other locations. There are various types of catering:

* Mobile catering: providing foodservice from a vehicle or cart provided for the purpose. It’s common at outdoor events such as festivals, and can also be found at downtown business districts. * Event catering: is the most common form of catering. Food is transferred from a kitchen or prepared on site and is served by waiting staff at dining tables or a self-service buffet.

* School-workplace catering: in cantinas clients can choose from various ready meals which includes boxed lunch catering such as sandwiches, salads, foods and desserts. It includes the army and hospitals.

* Boxed lunch catering: is prepared by the caterer and dropped of fon a location combined for the client’s request. It includes sandwiches, chips, fruit or dessert.

Business Models Upon demand and profile, catering companies are divided into low-scale and high-scale catering. These services differ by using completely different kind of raw materials and resources. As an example a child’s birthday party demands tools of lower value, paper cutlery and simple healthy food is satisfactory. A high-scale business conference demands culinary valuable food and quality tools (cutlery, dishes, etc.) Tools of low-scale are on a higher level of recyclability, referring to paper dishes and plastic cutlery, while high-scale tools are considered as reusable long-term investment. Glass, metal cutlery and china dishes involves the use of more cleaning agents used. Catering industry depends closely on other industries and is often considered as a part of hospitality industry. Related business factors are: * Food production industry (involving agriculture, cultivation and processing) * Packaging industry

* Transport industry

* Waste management industry

It is important for catering companies to choose these partners wisely and prudently because it infects their business as well.

What to use during the process The main fields where company managers have to evaluate and choose are: * choosing commodities * transportation * handling and recycling of by-products and waste * the use of chemicals The choice of environmentally beneficial solution is very important as catering service has a big environmental footprint. This industry has grown so big that it has a great environmental influence for the entire world. For catering services the core criteria focuses on organic food and waste minimization. Comprehensive criteria focus decides the use of paper and cleaning products. The use of integrated production system is necessary, as it involves the integration of livestock, crops and agriculture, providing reports, databases and information systems on integrated activities. * Choosing commodities Choosing commodities is not only an efficiency question however it has a great impact for the company’s image and social judgment. Modern day model emphasizes the use of organic food at least partially, while in some countries companies are forced to use organic material. It is important to use products presenting appropriate evidence of meeting relevant national standards in a high animal welfare standards. Packaging should meet the standards as using more than 45% of recycled content based on renewable raw materials supplied in non-individual portions. Appropriate penalties will be applied for non-compliance of above mentioned standards. Most modern food service companies apply the model, “food is fuel for the body” meaning combining meals to make your body run at peak efficiency. Good nutrition is essential for doing your best at work or college life. Right amount of protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, fat, minerals and water is essential to maintain your weight, health and productivity. Choosing the right commodities is not only economically important, but a high responsibility as well. Companies are responsible for consumers as well as suppliers. While “food fuel” concept is for consumers, the idea of “fair trade” is responsible for suppliers. It is a social movement and market based approach helping producers of developing countries making better trading conditions and promote sustainability. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit and chocolate.

* Transportation The choice of the right transportation method and instruments is as important economically as environmentally. Greenhouse gases are emitted by transportation which is a part of carbon footprint, this is why fuel efficiency and low-polluting vehicles are key factors of a beneficial plan. As a great example of industrial ecology, vegetable cooking oil can be transformed during a simple process into bio-fuel, supplying transportation trucks and vans, running on cheap, low polluting fuel.

* Handling and recycling by-product and waste
From preparing meals, through packaging until cleaning up an event a high variety of waste and by-product is produced. Low-scale catering provides more of recyclable materials. Paper and plastic are just as important as remained food. Most of these products can be composted or recycled and reused in the same industry. Patents and toolkits are used to help deciding between companies and methods. Coffee Grounds program uses composted coffee remains to put in the ground and use it as fertilizer.

* Use of chemicals Many different types of hazardous cleaning chemicals are used in the hospitality industry. At the same time there are many regulations and advice notices relating to the use of chemicals in the catering environment. The Health and Safety Executive have produced many papers relating amongst others to the use and usage limitations of chemicals in a catering environment. (HSE is the national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness in order to to reduce work-related death and serious injury across Great Britain’s workplaces)
Chemicals include washing-up liquids, dishwasher detergents and rinseaids, drain-cleaning products, oven cleaners, disinfectants, toilet cleaners, bleach, sanitisers and descalers. Chemicals in the kitchen are used to clean down surfaces and in the sanitising of knives, utensils etc and also in the dish wash area.

There are numerous regulations that help catering services to manage the problems and to Control of Substances that are Hazardous on Health. One of the regulations is COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health). You can prevent or reduce workers exposure to hazardous substances by: * finding out what the health hazards are;

* deciding how to prevent harm to health

* providing control measures to reduce harm to health;

* making sure they are used ;

* keeping all control measures in good working order;

* providing information, instruction and training for employees and others;

* providing monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases; planning for emergencies.
There are restrictions within the European Union that limit and control the use of chemicals. REACH is the European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (EC 1907/2006). It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances. The law entered into force on 1 June 2007. The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. At the same time, REACH aims to enhance innovation and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry. The REACH Regulation places greater responsibility on industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances. Manufacturers and importers are required to gather information on the properties of their chemical substances, which will allow their safe handling, and to register the information in a central database run by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki.

Environmental Impacts of Catering Industry

Due to the diversity of involved products and used materials, catering industry has an enormous effect on the environment. Main problematic fields are:

* Toxic impact * Agricultural harm * Cruelty to animals * High energy and water consumption in production and processing * Packaging waste production * High consumption of chemicals * Transportation

Farmers’ health is highly effected by the mishandling and umisse of certain pesticides and fertilizers.

Soil erosion, forest destruction, and loss of biodiversity caused by inappropriate agricultural practices, over-intensive animal production and intensive fishing are causing harm to the agriculture.

Animal welfare is not respected, cruelty to animals is common in certain places.

Energy and water is over consumed in production and processing.

Most of packaging is not reused or recycled, or delivered in single portions, therefore goes into waste polluting the environment.

High consumption of chemicals and cleaning agents have a negative impact on the health of kitchen personnel and on the environment through waste water.

CO2 is emitted on a high scale by transportation vehicles, meaning catering industry having a notable carbon footprint.

Solutions and strategies

There are strategies, toolkits, programs and movements on a wide scale available for catering services to use voluntary. EU and country specific regulations can differ considering local problems.
The ideas which supply the basis of all tools are the following.

* Procurement of livestock products with high welfare standards * Procurement of seasonal products * Procurement in packaging that has a high recycled content * Use of reusable cutlery, crockery, glassware and tablecloths * Use environmentally friendly paper products * Selective waste collection and staff training * Minimisation of the use of hazardous chemicals and the use of environmentally friendly cleaning and dishwashing products * Procurement of water and energy efficient kitchen appliances * Improvement of transport routes and energy efficiency and reduction of emissions by vehicles used to carry out the catering services


Examining and presenting the whole catering industry and affiliate industries leads us to the following conclusion. As in any other business with such influence, small changes in thinking and planning can lead to great achievements.

If a catering company would operate according to our way of thinking, we would emphasize the use of voluntary standards and implementing above mentioned concepts.

Thinking responsible is important for both consumers, by fuel for body concept and suppliers by fair trade. Being responsible for our children involves oil to bio fuel process and waste reduction programs, like MUG for LIFE.
It is a concept by the University of Portsmouth, encouraging staff and students to use their own mugs when drinking coffee, providing a 15 pence discount. It spares 116,000 plastic cups each year.

We are responsible for others inhabitants of our planet as well. Coffee grounds project collects coffee remains and uses them as fertilizer or composts it.

One Water is sold and used by many companies. All the profits go into providing water outlets for African people, meaning, not having to walk 5 hours each day for water. They slogan is “When you drink Africa drinks too”

Thinking environmentally in all business decisions makes a difference. Start now.


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