Food & Water


Tackling the climate crisis requires a shift in global consumption habits.

Food is currently a personal choice but being armed with knowledge about the impacts of our diet helps us to make informed decisions.

Agriculture for food accounts for 26% of global emissions. Almost a quarter of these emissions are attributable to feeding livestock and a third directly relating to activities from farms and fisheries.

Diet is an emotive subject and has great significance both culturally, historically and psychologically, but the science is sure that a diet low in animal products and high in fruits, vegetables and pulses is better for our bodies and for the planet.

Carrying this forward into our event menus and designing nutritious, conscious menus mean that we can reduce the impact of our events, demonstrate sustainability commitments to our audiences and promote positive behavioural changes.

Get ideas for taking action below or benchmark your progress.

What we can do...

1. Plant-forward menus

A single beef burger patty produces around 5kg of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to a 15 mile car journey! Dial down on meat and increase the use of fresh fruit and vegetables, locally sourced.

Vegetables are pretty cool and being meat-free is no longer seen as fringe.

2. Ditch the dairy and opt for oat

Dairy production is responsible for around 2.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions – which is about the same as emissions from aviation! Unless milk is coming from a local small-holdings, swap to oat milk.

Oats can grown in cooler climates and are easy to grow globally. As so many are already produced for animal feed, the overall production numbers don’t have to increase to unsustainable levels in order to meet global demand!

Plant milk sales increased by 30% in the UK over five years whilst dairy has seen a direct decrease. It’s no longer unusual to opt for dairy-free products.

3. Keep fish in the sea

It’s estimated that 32% of wild fish-stocks are overexploited to feed both us and the fish that we farm to feed us!

The most widely consumed fish in the UK are cod, salmon, haddock, tuna and prawns, which means they’re also the most at risk of overfishing. Avoiding fish in menus is the easiest solution, but otherwise source ‘hand-line’ caught fish from local coastal water.

If seafood is a must, then British grown molluscs with a hinged shell – such as mussels, oysters, clams and scallops are a brilliant solutions. They are filter feeders living on microscopic organic matter, ensuring the water they live in is clean and they even help sequester carbon!

4. Source fresh food regionally

The benefits of this are numerous and including support local economies, reducing food transport miles from out of season foods grown elsewhere and also reducing energy from cold storage used to keep food fresh during travel.

5. Go for the produce glut

Find out what crops are plentiful at certain times of year and design menus around this.

This not only supports local growers but also reduces production waste when we have an overabundance of crops by using this surplus.

Create a food sourcing map and includes details on where ingredients have come from and how they’ve been transported. This will help you plan smarter in the future and enable you to set meaningful objectives for improving food impact.

6. Communicate with diners

Explaining why menus are designed to support sustainable eating will help normalise a diet abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Consumers want to know they’re making good choices so help them understand how their diet can be one of the best choices they can make, for them and the planet!

7. Go and No-Go ingredients

Create a Go and No-Go list of ingredients to use with stakeholders when designing menus.

This should include what is available seasonally (Go) and what’s a No-Go if it must come from further afield.

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