After many months of planning and Covid19 lockdown, we were finally able to kick-off the Living Lab with 10 of the largest public canteens of Kolding. The overall objective of this Living Lab is to explore ways to drive a more sustainable canteen management and develop a roadmap towards circular economy of canteens. The purpose of the kick-off was for the participants to better understanding FUSILLI project, getting to know each other and the sustainability knowledge already present in the project group, networking and mapping out the opportunity areas for becoming more sustainable in the canteens. The canteens form a great representation of the citizens. Collectively they serve approx. 3.000 persons every day for lunch across all ages. (Kindergartens, municipality, high educational schools and elder homes).

Kick-off of Kolding’s Canteen Living Lab. Credits: City of Kolding

Highlights from the kick-off

To understand the current sustainability status of the canteens, we had, prior to the workshop, conducted quantitative data in means of a questionnaire. The data was used to create profile cards of the individual canteens, so they could share and quickly identity their experience level within the below sustainability measures. The cards also played a role as “action cards”, as all the canteens had to write their “main sustainability challenge” and an “action” on the back of the card for how to address the challenge after receiving sparring from the group. Long term the cards will also serve as “traction cards”, as we can follow their progression on the measures throughout the project.

Example of a Canteen Card. Credits: City of Kolding.

The kick-off was held at SDU (University of Southern Denmark), just above the canteen. As SDU is also participating with their canteen, we also leveraged the opportunity to visit their kitchen to hear about their best practise within food waste, as they have found a way to measure their food waste and work in into their daily working routine. The plan is to visit a different canteen every time we meet to learn more from each other.

As warm up for the workshop part about future initiatives we did a “Blind tasting” with nuggets – traditional chicken nuggets vs. plant based nuggets (thanks to @Source Technology for the sponsoring). It was so much fun! The plant based nuggets was served to them first followed by the traditional one and the participants had a real hard time selecting, which one was with chicken and even referred to the plant based one as more tasty, juicy and crispy.  So a real eye-opener to the audience – even being blindfolded with masks 🙂

Blind tasting at Canteen Living Lab Kick-off Event. Credits: SDU

Next phase will be to prioritize the opportunity areas and build a process to address and facility exploration of them. In order for the canteens to connect and share their learnings throughout the process, we have created a Facebook group for them, where they can post and document their process.

Helle Fuglsang Vilsbøll
FUSILLI Project Manager of Kolding Kommune