At GOURMET, two-thirds of all ingredients are regionally sourced from Austria, many of which are of organic quality: fresh vegetables such as spinach, carrots, peas and asparagus, fruit, as well as meat (beef, pork, veal, chicken and game), dairy products, flour and much more. Short transportation distances and climate-friendly outdoor farming, in combination with seasonal purchasing, save energy. Furthermore, the standards for nature protection and animal welfare in Austria are high. Simultaneously, value creation stays in rural communities. Cultural landscapes are preserved – which also has positive environmental benefits. This is why, as a matter of principle, GOURMET is dedicated to regionality and seasonality in the purchase of food products.
GOURMET and WWF Austria have been engaged since 2015 in ensuring that guests develop increasing awareness for the topic of “climate-friendly nutrition”. Since then, the climate and environmental experts of WWF and the cooking professionals of GOURMET have worked together on many projects. Prime examples of this include the annual Sustainability Weeks at 2700 businesses, cooking events for children at the GOURMET Climate Cooking Workshop, climate-friendly school-meal menus incl. weekly environmental tips, the initiatives “Restlos gut!” and “Koch das Klima froh!” as well as ongoing awareness campaigns directed towards a climate-friendly, plant-based diet.
GOURMET is one of three winners of the new Sustainability Prize of the City of Vienna. It was first awarded by "OekoBusiness", the environmental service program of the City of Vienna, at the end of 2021. The company received recognition for its longstanding commitment to environmental and climate protection, and for its latest project – a means to measure the CO2 footprint of meals. Calculation of this footprint makes it possible for GOURMET, as a pioneer in the field of community catering in Austria, to improve climate-protection measures based on substantiated facts and figures. At the same time, the company has placed a major emphasis on developing the awareness of customers and guests on the topic of a climate-friendly diet.
Facts for the Climate: GOURMET calculates the CO2 footprint of its foods
Effective climate protection through measurable targets is an important issue for GOURMET. Consequently, GOURMET is the first in the field of community catering in Austria to measure the CO2 footprint of its meals, thereby creating transparency and awareness for the topic of climate protection.
It all comes down to the ingredients
Calculation of the CO2 footprint of meals has confirmed what international studies had indicated: The greatest lever on behalf of climate protection is the ingredients themselves. On average, 78 % of the total footprint of meals from GOURMET is caused by the ingredients, roughly half of that number by meat. Roughly 20 % is due to energy, transportation and packaging. As a consequence, GOURMET is increasingly emphasizing innovative veggie dishes, organic and seasonal raw ingredients. Currently, two-thirds of all ingredients already come from Austria.
Climate-friendly lunches made easy
GOURMET makes it easy for diners at the workplace or in school to eat a climate-friendly diet. The average footprint of a main dish for elementary school children (300 g) from GOURMET amounts to only 0.9 kg CO2e, whilst for an adult meal (450 g) it is only 1.5 kg CO2e. For comparison purposes: a typical Leberkäs sandwich (200 g) is responsible for 1 kg CO2e. That said, thanks to GOURMET, there’s more than enough room in that CO2 lunchbox for a nutritious, warm meal!
CO2 footprint brochure from GOURMET for climate-friendly meals
Cooking and Cooling with Solar Energy
By installing a photovoltaic system on the roof of Frischküche Wien, GOURMET has taken yet another crucial step towards climate protection. Implementation is divided into two parts, with the first part already hooked up and producing climate-friendly energy for cooking and cooling. When completed, the photovoltaic system will have an output of 850 kWp (kilowatt peak), making it one of the biggest of its kind for internal consumption in Vienna. In comparison: Photovoltaic systems on private homes generally perform at between 4 and 10 kWp. In 2019, GOURMET already installed its first photovoltaic array on the roof of Frischeküche St. Pölten, covering around 10 percent of daily energy consumption at that particular location in Lower Austria.
Ambitious energy-savings goals as a Klimaaktiv Project Partner
As a Klimaaktiv Project Partner, GOURMET has voluntarily committed itself to reducing its energy consumption on an ongoing basis. The ambitious goal is to reduce annual consumption by 3 %. Important measures in the field of energy efficiency include regular audits at GOURMET locations, ongoing employee consciousness raising with respect to energy savings measures, as well as investments in facility optimization. At its corporate locations in Vienna and St. Pölten, GOURMET uses 100 % CO2-neutral electricity from renewable sources.
MULTIPLE-use covers not SINGLE-use plastic wraps
At Frischküche Wien, the Böheimkirchen warehouse, and in its event-catering services, GOURMET has completely replaced the disposal plastic wraps traditionally used during food transportation on rollable containers with reusable alternatives. In the daily provision of meals for community catering purposes, long-lasting coverings are now used. This saves 40 meters of plastic wrap per rolling container, equating to a total of about 2800 meters of wrap daily, which, until now, had to be thrown away after just a single use. In GOURMET’s event-catering logistics, the single-use plastic wrap was likewise replaced by 260 durable, UV-resistant multi-use coverings. A color-coding system further simplifies the work of employees.