Food & Drink

Eating covers a third of a per­son’s car­bon footprint, and event cate­ring is usual­ly the second or the third big­gest cont­ri­bu­tor to inc­rea­sing the car­bon footprint in event pro­duc­tion. The envi­ron­men­tal impact of food can be reduced throug­hout its enti­re life cycle: in pro­duc­tion, trans­por­ta­tion, sto­ra­ge, pre­pa­ra­tion and was­te mana­ge­ment.

Fes­ti­vals that have decla­red them­sel­ves meat-free are pio­neers in the event industry. The­se days it is easy to find subs­ti­tu­tes for remar­kably high-emis­sion meat pro­duc­tion whi­le still fil­ling the event visi­tors’ need for pro­tein. The web­si­te of the inter­na­tio­nal envi­ron­men­tal orga­ni­sa­tion WWF pro­vi­des infor­ma­tion on the envi­ron­men­tal impacts of food and also pro­po­ses sui­table and neces­sa­ry reduc­tions in the use of meat, fish and dai­ry pro­ducts sui­table for the event industry. Read more about the envi­ron­men­tal impact of food on WWF web­si­te.

Some single-use plas­tic pro­ducts, such as straws, cut­le­ry and pla­tes, have alrea­dy been ban­ned in the EU count­ries. The EU direc­ti­ve under pre­pa­ra­tion aims to ban all single-use pro­ducts plas­tic pro­ducts in res­tau­rants by 2030. This means that tra­di­tio­nal plas­tic pints will disap­pear from event use, so it is recom­men­dable for you to start thin­king about subs­ti­tu­tes for them well in advance. Read more about legis­la­tion restric­ting the con­sump­tion of single-use plas­tics on the web­si­te of the Mini­stry of the Envi­ron­ment (in Fin­nish).

Do this


Pre­fer vege­table-based local food, sea­so­nal pro­ducts, orga­nic and Fairt­ra­de food ven­dors and cate­ring ser­vices. If alco­hol is ser­ved at your event, pre­fer local mic­robrewe­ries.

Use reusable tablewa­re or bio­de­gra­dable cut­le­ry and tablewa­re, and avoid single-use plas­tic con­tai­ners.

Ensu­re that the cus­to­mers at food points can sort their biowas­te as easi­ly as pos­sible.


Deve­lop a depo­sit sys­tem for drin­king glas­ses, pints and other tablewa­re.

Ser­ve dis­hes that can be wrap­ped in a paper poc­ket or a ser­viet­te so you do not need dis­po­sable or was­hable cut­le­ry.

If you offer ani­mal-deri­ved food, ensu­re that the wel­fa­re stan­dards of the pro­duc­tion ani­mal have been taken into con­si­de­ra­tion and that the fish sold at your event is MSC cer­ti­fied and does not come from an over­fis­hing area. Pre­fer far­med ani­mals that have lived and slaugh­te­red local­ly, which reduces not only the ani­mal suf­fe­ring, but also trans­port emis­sions.

Next Level

Admit a discount on the place of sales to food ven­dors who ser­ve ful­ly vegan food.

Mini­mize food was­te. Make an agree­ment in advance with, for example, a sto­re or food aid about accep­ting surplus food, or distri­bu­te surplus food to volun­teers free of char­ge.

Zes­tii Kitc­hens tes­ted lit­ter-free event cate­ring at a concert event with Kamu­pak reusable tablewa­re – read what was lear­ned through the inno­va­tion tes­ting.