The city’s food services as a forerunner in climate work

The enterprise Porvoon tilapalvelut provides property, cleaning, food and support services for the city’s operational units. The enterprise is a part of the operations of the City of Porvoo and is divided into two profit centres: facility services and food services.

Food services is responsible for food preparation and distribution, as well as nutrition planning. Nutrition planning is guided by the national nutritional guidelines and various instructions and policies. In 2018, the city board confirmed the policies concerning food and nutrition in day care, comprehensive schools and upper secondary schools of the City of Porvoo.

The food services is a forerunner of climate work in its operations. Here are some examples of the environmental acts of the food services:

  • The menu promotes the goals of reducing the use of red meat and increasing the use of vegetarian food. Ovo-lacto vegetarian food is a freely available alternative during school lunches. In addition, a fully vegan lunch is offered in schools and day care centres once per week.
  • The central kitchen model allows for effective purchases and food waste management. The ingredients are purchased into one place, which means that food preparation waste is only generated there instead of several local kitchens like before.
  • Centralisation of procurements. One truck brings all goods, and other suppliers are rarely used. The other suppliers mostly just consist of a local bakery, whose services are used to achieve the goal of using locally sourced food. This minimises the truck traffic to sites.
  • Utilisation of the manufacturing execution system. The central kitchen uses recipes for just the right amounts according to ordered amounts, which minimises food preparation waste. The ingredients are ordered based on the clients’ orders, which in turn minimises purchase waste.
  • The central kitchen’s cold cooking method. This is by far the most ecologically efficient food preparation method, in which dishes are assembled cold from largely pre-processed ingredients at the central kitchen and then sent to the service kitchen where the food is cooked just before serving. So the food does not first get cooked and chilled at the central kitchen and later re-heated at the service kitchen. This so-called cook-chill method is commonly used elsewhere in Finland.
  • The foods are packaged in cardboard casseroles, which reduces the consumption of water and dishwashing agents as there are no steel casseroles to be washed. The used cardboard casseroles are incinerated for heat energy in Kotka.
  • The refrigerant in the cooling equipment of the central kitchen is carbon dioxide with a GWP (Global Warming Potential) index value of one. The GWP index value of conventional refrigerants can be as much as 3,600, so their climate impact is several thousand times larger compared to carbon dioxide.
  • There are solar panels on the roof of the central kitchen, and the energy produced by them is used efficiently. The condensation heat produced by equipment is also utilised.
  • The service kitchens have been instructed to energy-efficient operations, e.g. efficient dishwashing and proper use of equipment.
  • The central kitchen and service kitchens do not waste water or detergent. Instead, the floors are washed with floor cleaning machines in each kitchen. The kitchens practice so-called waterless cleaning.
  • The food deliveries from the central kitchen to the service kitchens are not strictly bound to schedules because the time of preparation is separated from the time of eating. This allows for a smaller delivery capacity.