Sustainable food procurement

Copenhagen CSP challenge

This challenge is part of the City Solutions Platform Live @ BLOXHUB event as part of the C40 World Mayors’ Summit 2019 in Copenhagen on 9th October 2019.

For the last 18 years the City of Copenhagen has set ambitious targets for its public meals, for example in schools, day care centres and hospitals. Almost 90% of the food served today in public institutions is organic, triggering a focused effort to increase the proportion of plant-based food. In 2019 the City of Copenhagen launched a new food strategy, setting new targets for how the city will work to ensure healthy, organic and sustainable meals in its more than 70,000 daily servings. The strategy sets a target to reduce CO2 emissions from public meals by 25% by 2025.

Copenhagen is part of a local food system, where the distance from farm to fork is shorter than in most other major cities. The transition will require close collaboration with farmers and food producers in the city’s immediate area to drive sustainable production and strengthen the interdependence between the rural food production and the urban consumption. Each year the City of Copenhagen procures approximately 7,500 tons of food with an estimated value of 300 million DKK.  The city is running pilot projects for the major public kitchens, but with 1000 public kitchens the City need new tools to develop the procurement process, to allow for more local and sustainable producers to deliver to the public kitchens, and to drive more sustainable food production in the region.

Solution requirements

The City of Copenhagen’s challenge is to improve food procurement processes to procure food from small, local, organic and sustainable producers, to reach the City’s target of reducing CO2 emissions from public meals by 25% by 2025, and to support a sustainable regional food system.

The City of Copenhagen is looking for solutions that will:

  • improve the ability for local producers to deliver produce to public meals
  • highlight and assign value to climate reductions
  • have no additional cost to the annual procurement budget
  • increase the incentives for local producers to transition to more sustainable and climate friendly food production
  • be applied by all types and sizes of public kitchens
  • be tested in small scales.

The CSP was a key influencing factor in forming strategic relationships and partnerships post-workshop

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