Our school colors may be Swiss-flag red, but Les Roches is green at heart! We had a chat about sustainability recently with Philipp Martin Köchli, Food & Beverage and Practical Program Manager, and Lisa Diamantis, Food & Beverage Administrator. Here are some of the ways our Swiss campus works to reduce waste — and what you can do to help.
Finding Sustainable Food Sources
Want to run a socially responsible food & beverage (F&B) outlet? Check where your raw materials come from. Using locally sourced ingredients or fair trade products is one way that any F&B outlet can reduce its carbon footprint and support sustainable practices. At Les Roches Switzerland, for example, the F&B department purchases fair trade chocolate. Meanwhile, whenever possible, the department buys meat and milk produced in the surrounding region. Finally, Les Roches even has its own “chef’s garden” — right in front of the Tacot restaurant.
Reducing Food Waste
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), around one third of the food produced worldwide for human consumption gets lost or wasted. Tackling food waste is thus vital to managing a successful and responsible F&B outlet. During their practical courses, students at Les Roches learn how to reduce waste by getting creative in the kitchen. By keeping daily menus flexible, for example, students can use up surplus ingredients that might otherwise get thrown away.
But even with the most careful planning, sometimes perfectly good food is still left at the end of the day. To stop unwanted meals from going to waste, Les Roches has partnered with a local charity. At the end of each day, the charity picks up leftover food and delivers it to those in need.
Developing Eco-Friendly Habits
F&B operations can also reduce their environmental impact by adopting green habits in cleaning, packaging and waste disposal. Some of the eco-friendly practices in place at Les Roches include composting organic waste in the Market Place kitchen, compressing cardboard by machine for recycling, and collecting used oil for safe disposal. In addition, Les Roches uses environmentally friendly cleaning products and biodegradable packaging whenever possible. Meanwhile, e-books now replace many printed textbooks and manuals at Les Roches, cutting down on paper usage.
Finally, as our food waste awareness campaigns remind students, there is plenty we can do on a daily basis — starting by not taking more than we can eat and finishing our plate!
What eco-friendly habits do you practice or recommend? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!