ONE LESS FOOTPRINT in your kitchen

In Concept & Design, Practices for Thought

Carbon footprint, that is. The results from the study carried out by ZeroFoodprint is a basic indication on how much resources are used in cooking. Together with the Paris Climate Agreement; the case for global warming is pertinent. Although most restaurant business owners would be unable to control the energies used at the production level; you can start making changes from the point of receiving fresh goods till the time of post-service.

Do you often find your crew running out mid-day for one or two items that have finished? Making a list of inventory and updating it on a daily basis will help you schedule when you’ll need to go shopping and get the bulk of things at once. If suppliers are coming to you; it might be possible to ask them to pack in portions so that produce won’t crosscontaminate each other for a spoilt stalk of vegetable will affect the rest of the pack. For example:


Produce stored correctly reduces wastage thereby reducing the energies used for purchasing and waste management. Aside from ensuring the optimum temperature in refrigeration, practicing “first-in-first-out”is also important. It may seem like common sense but many people tend to push new items into the fridge without bringing existing ones upfront.
Many times most things that get thrown out aren’t exactly rubbish perse and an elementary and easy way to recycle is to make stock out of odds and ends, trimmings, bones and/ or animal parts. But if you look up “trash cooking”; you’ll find chefs are getting more inspired to create from unwanted items. Crispy bull’s penis, anyone? Well, biscuits made from coffee grounds would seem a safer bet.

Many organisations operate food banks in its country. The idea is to collect surplus food, whether cooked or dried items and redistribute them to the needy. However, each organisation is different. For example, Food Aid Foundation in Malaysia has set up a commercial kitchen to store these food in optimum conditions and to cook meals for the poor from extra items collected from wholesalers, retail outlets. F&B entrepreneurs can move their surplus cooked food to the organisation to distribute but it should be of a considerable amount and perhaps more applicable to hotels or chain F&B establishments. Other wise you can choose to work with the organisation by dropping off excess non-perishable items at its selected collection points or make your restaurant a Food Bank Box Host.

Active Food Banks in Asia include:
Malaysia – Food Aid Foundation

Singapore – The Food Bank Singapore

Japan – Second Har vest

Hong Kong – Feeding Hong Kong

Taiwan – Taiwan’s People Food Bank Association

We’ve talked about habits for daily resource management and before we go into equipment’s contribution, why not think about the possibility of reducing your carbon footprint before it happens? Developed by Carbon Trust , the United Kingdom based independent organisation creates and / or innovates resource efficiency strategies and technologies for various industries. In its study of the UK catering industry, it found:


The estimates above are just within the United Kingdom. Imagine the weight of the issue globally? Yet we are faced with this situation.


In light of this dilemma, Carbon Trust developed tools that can help operators be more aware of its existing and potential emissions. By seeing facts and figures, businesses can be more mindful about the way they operate and be motivated to try new ideas for energy conservation.

Remember the earlier experiment done by ZeroFoodprint to calculate the energy required for a plate of food? This Footprint Manager is a cloud-based reporting tool that enables business owners to calculate and record direct and indirect emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, along with emissions from business travel. By tracking energy use, Carbon Trust expects a facility to be able to save up to 20% of utility bills. Working on a cloud platform means Footprint Manager can be accessed anywhere and does not require the use of manual spreadsheets as updates are all centralised.

The calculator asks operators questions that are linked to each step of their food production process.


The data is then crunched by the calculator’s system and gives suggestions on helping owners make sound decisions on aspects such as:
• Designing & sizing a kitchen correctly
• ‘right- sizing’ the capacity of equipment
• menu choice
• opening hours and numbers of meals served
• food delivery & storage strategies

This software enables you to produce fast and consistent carbon footprint measurements for products and ser vices. Footprint is identified as all activities associated with the product and usually incudes:

>Raw materials input
>Distribution & retail
>Use & disposal

Consider it a more detailed tool because it calculates greenhouse gas emissions at each stage of production and includes:

• Calculators to record and generate numbers on activities like storage, equipment use, transportation and waste management.
• Database of secondary data compliant with the PAS2050 and GHG Protocol standards
• Straightforward and prescriptive guidance on conducting footprint assessments
• A framework that enables primary data to be entered quickly and easily.

These tools by Carbon Trust are applicable in Asian kitchens as part of a bespoke consulting project. They can be tailored to specific clients’ businesses and catering operations to benchmark performance, identify reduction opportunities and develop tailored implementation plans.


Eileen ChanONE LESS FOOTPRINT in your kitchen