GCSO Project: Sustainable Kitchens: A Certification Programme

Project: Research project

Project Details


GCSO Project: Sustainable Kitchens: A Certification Programme GCSO Project: Sustainable Kitchens: A Certification Programme The last decade saw considerable growth in the food service sector (FSS) with the global rise of eating out and emergence of food delivery apps. Projected growth in this sector will intensify resource use and environmental impact in terms of energy, water, solid waste, and air pollution. Urban regions are particularly important to consider given the concentration of food service operations there. Although strong local regulations can tackle some of the associated sustainability challenges, no global standard yet exists. Jurisdictions with lax or non-existent mandatory regulations on FSS thus have an opportunity to promote voluntary sustainability programmes developed and administered in collaboration with FSS stakeholders. The FSS in Hong Kong (HK) represents an important case study. The HK FSS remains largely unregulated. Government data shows restaurants consume most of the energy and water allocated to the commercial sector, contributing considerably to greenhouse gas emissions. Air quality studies further reveal cooking fumes from restaurants contribute greater particulate matter (PM) pollution than private vehicles in the area. Additionally, food waste constitutes nearly 40% of all municipal solid waste in HK, eventually contributing to methane emissions from already overflowing landfills. As such, clear operational controls in kitchens are needed for limiting energy and water consumption along with controlling and treating waste from oversized portions and over-ordering. Globally, the problems of resource consumption, air quality and production of waste relating to food provision are significant. To a considerable extent, these issues are embedded in FSS due to a lack of consistent operational control of equipment, regular maintenance, use of resource-efficient equipment, food production and waste diversion systems, and design of retail spaces. The absence of any programme based on the Food Waste-Energy-Water- Emissions (FEWE) nexus to systematically evaluate and drive sustainability practices in commercial kitchens means these issues remain unchecked.
Effective start/end date9/1/1911/30/21


  • INDUSTRY: Various Consortium Members: $15,000.00


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