Milan lowers CO2 emissions through school lunches

The vice-mayor of Milan Anna Scavuzzo welcomed the results of FOODTRAILS project in confronting CO2 emissions. The new initiative of the project target a crucial place – school children’s plates. The city, a leader in dynamic food policy, has managed to reduce the CO2 emissions of their school canteens by twenty percent in five years.

This result is coming from the collaboration with Milano Ristorazione, and was possible with the help of the World Resources Institute’s Cool Food Pledge.

Milan achieved this by working with the supplier to school canteens, Milano Ristorazione, to develop meals that were balanced between health and sustainability, shifting menus away from food such as red meat and towards plant-based ingredients or meats with a smaller environmental footprint, such as poultry.

“Among the main changes introduced are the carrot pie, the turkey stew and the soy ragù for lasagna and pasta – dishes appreciated by children who eat lunch every day at school,” says the Chair of Milano Ristorazione, Bernardo Notarangelo. His organization serves 85,000 meals every day for Milan’s school children.

The initiative supports organizations to track and reduce the climate impact of the food they serve and is made up of a cohort of cities, restaurants, hospitals, corporate dining facilities, and universities who collectively serve 940 million meals a year.

“With the support of the World Resources Institute, it was possible to certify the 20% reduction in CO2 emissions from school canteen menus in 5 years,” says Vice Mayor Scavuzzo. “It is an exciting result and a working method that we want to propose to the collective catering of the city to reduce the emissions of the Milan food system.”

According to Milan’s calculations, this reduction in CO2 emissions is equivalent to taking around 12,700 cars off the road.