Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Going the Extra Mile to Save a Mile

Preparing to attend a Menu Planning session at the GMIC Sustainable Events Conference in Portland. In lead-up thought I'd share a sustainable F&B planning example from Oracle OpenWorld, JavaOne and Develop 2010!

Food & Beverage: Getting More Sustainable Without More Money
Oracle has developed a method for measuring food miles for their annual OpenWorld event held in San Francisco In 2009 organizers researched the footprint of food, finding that on average menu ingredients traveled 12,300 miles per function. A challenge was issued to all caterers in 2010 to reduce menus to 5,000 miles. This very ambitious goal was not reached for all functions, but significant progress was made to cut the cross-function average down by 2,500 miles. Conscious efforts were taken by both McCall’s Catering and Savor to plan menus and seek ingredients that reduced footprints. For example, preliminary menus for boxed lunches served to the event's 40,000+ attendees averaged 21,500 miles over 4 days. By going back and re-sourcing six ingredients and opting to make some ingredients from scratch Savor was able to reduce average miles for boxed lunches by 7,000! In addition McCalls was able to cater the Closing Reception, OTN, and Tuesday evening reception menus for less than 5,000 miles. Furthermore, all footprint reductions came at no additional cost, did not significantly change menus and took advantage of in-season options that did not reduce transportation energy at the expense of increasing production energy.

Looking forward to learning new best practice ideas from the Doubletree Hotel in Portland!

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