Food & Beverages

Photo: Chris Tonnesen

Think sustainable when choosing food and drinks

Why is it important

Food accounts for over a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, and 70% of global freshwater withdrawals are used for agriculture. It is important to consider food and beverages for events to avoid food waste by e.g. portion size. Other considerations may include how products are sourced in terms of transportation, animal welfare and working conditions. Key questions to ask are:

  • How much can you reduce food waste? Can you find ways of working with portion sizes and the number of different servings to reduce food waste? 
  • Where is it sourced? Are you sourcing locally, bringing a clear environmental benefit, supporting local business, communities and providing a strong narrative towards your participants?
  • What are the ingredients? Are you going for food types that have the least environmental footprint and in general are local and seasonal?
  • How are leftovers handled? Should it be donated? Should it be composted?

How high are your ambitions?

To support your efforts in working with food and beverages, we have put together a list of key actions to take. Consider these a starting point. A guide, and not a final checklist. It is meant to get you going in building your own list of actions and in exploring if and how this will help you achieve your established sustainability ambition for your event.

In case your favourite venue cannot support your ambitions for your sustainable event, we hope you will take on the opportunity to challenge the suppliers by asking them to commit to e.g. a local food-waste program or a no-single use plastic policy. Making a more sustainable future across the entire value chain takes encouragement and suggestions that can help stimulate a change in the meeting and event industry.

Working with Copenhagen suppliers and producers

For sustainable foods and beverages, Copenhagen will be able to deliver on all your requirements while giving your participants and audience unique experiences. Here are some things worth noticing about Copenhagen when working with food and beverages for your sustainable event: 

  • The New Nordic Cuisine focuses on local, organic ingredients in season. Today, this focus is stronger than ever among restaurants in Copenhagen, and you will find climate-friendly and organic eating options, suppliers and vendors in all price ranges from Michelin-starred Noma and Geranium to Reffen street food market.Explore more options here.
  • In Copenhagen, buying organic produce is easy and not necessarily more expensive. Organic food makes up 24% of the total food sale in Copenhagen, and close to 90% of the food consumption in the City of Copenhagen’s public institutions is organic according to C40 City Solutions Platform.
  • Denmark has been said to be among the top 5 best tasting tap drinks of water in the world – no need for that bottled water.
  • If you want to serve your participants and audience one of the many organic, locally produced soda or juices, do not worry. The national bottle deposit and recycling system in Denmark covers both glass bottles, cans and plastic juice containers.

Finnished with this planning area?

Click on the next planning area to continue planning your event.

Materials and communication

Photo: Wonderful Copenhagen

Social sustainability and partnerships

Photo: Thomas Høyrup Christensen