Social Zero Waste Catering Service

Social Zero Waste Catering Service: Events without waste

Graz, AustriaGraz
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

ÖKO-Service, a social enterprise, together with Genusswerk PUR is providing a social zero waste catering service for the football stadion in Graz. The common project leads to the avoidance of waste (no plastic waste in the stadion) and is creating jobs for disadvantaged people. The project is related to the strategy of the Styrian Provincial Government "G'scheit feiern", which means "Celebrating without waste".

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The project combines the two topics of environment and employment, addressing two major issues in the field of sustainable development. On the one hand the project tries to solve the waste problem of public events (e.g. in football stadions), on the other hand the project creates new jobs for disadvantaged people mainly in the field of environmental services.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

ÖKO-Service together with Genusswerk PUR have developed together a Zero Waste Catering Service for the football stadion in Graz. For every soccer tournament (about 20 per year), ÖKO-Service is delivering re-useable cups and dishes while Genusswerk PUR delivers the food and drinks to the football stadion. All food and drinks in the football stadion are served via the reuseable dishes - visitors have to pay a a deposit of 1€ per cup/plate, which is refunded after bringing back the used dishes. After the tournament, ÖKO-Service is picking up the used dishes and cups and is washing them in their dishwashing machine. ÖKO-Service is working with longterm unemployed people, therefore enabling them a job in the environmental sector.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Roland likes visiting football games in the VIP area of the UPC arena in Graz, appreciating eating his Wiener Schnitzel from real plates and drinking his beer from real glasses instead out of plastic dishes. He likes the nice atmosphere in the stadion that is free of waste. And he knows, that Markus, his longterm unemployed brother got a new job in the social enterprise ÖKO-Service in the field of the dishwashing service, thanks to the new Social Zero Waste Catering implemented in the stadion.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

It is planned to expand the service of the multi-use dishes and cups of the social enterprise ÖKO-Service to other regions in Austria and the neighbouring countries (Slovenia, Hungary, Italy), als trying to find new partners for cooperation.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are direct competitors in the field of providing re-useable cup and dishes solutions in Austria. But what really makes a difference is that ÖKO-Service is the only provider that is combining the issues of environment and employment, meaning that the cooperation is contribution to an environmental topic (waste prevention) and a social topic (creating job places for longterm unemployed people). What is more, ÖKO-Service is the only local provider of a dishwashing service.


The success of this project is the combination of addressing an environmental and employment topic. The social enterprise ÖKO-Service, employing also social workers, has the knowledge how to train longterm unemployed people in the environmental sector. Genusswerk PUR - as a high quality Catering Service is the best partner in order to get in contact with new cooperating partners. The cooperation of this two partners ensures an optimal output for the customers, for the environment and the employment.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Eventmanagement and Catering Genusswerk PUR
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Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)

social enterprise

Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


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General Manager



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Organization Name

Eventmanagement and Catering Genusswerk PUR

Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name



General Manager



Twitter URL
Facebook URL
Organization Website
Basic Info
Project Starting Year


Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, STE, Graz

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact
Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

New products & services: Entries in this category develop and offer essentials product and services that address needs currently unmet, Job Creation: Entries in this category create new jobs for people away from the labor market.

What awards or honors has the project received?

Environmental protection Award of the City of Graz, Global Energy Award Styria

Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

-ÖKO-Service Beschäftigungsgesellschaft m.b.H.
-social partner
-short description: active in the field of environemental services; job creation for disadvantaged people
-provision of a re-useable cups and dishes and dishwashing service for the football stadion in Graz; environmental service
-motivation: creation of jobs for longterm unemployed people

-Genusswerk PUR
-business partner
-high quality Catering Service
-motivation: avoidance of waste in the football stadion and therefore reduction of costs
-offering food and drinks in the football stadion only in multi-use dishes and cups, therefore contributing to the reduction of waste and the related disposal costs.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

The common project creates a social and an environmental impact.
The introduction of multi-use dishes and cups reduced the amount of waste in the football stadion by 90%, further reducing the total costs of waste disposal by 50 - 70%. In total, ÖKO-Service is delivering more than 150.000 re-useable cups, 55.000 plates, 132.000 pieces of cutlery each year to the football stadion, therefore employing 7 disadvantaged people in the dishwashing service.

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Regional government, Customers.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

The offered Zero Waste Catering service is financial sustainable, as the social enterprise is offering its service on the free market.
ÖKO-Service is financially supported for the employment of disadvantaged people by the National Labour Agency.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

Since 2001 the Province of Styria has launched the inititative "G'scheit feiern" - meaning "Celebrating without waste". Since this launch, each public event is advised to use re-useable dishes that are not generating waste. The cooperation between ÖKO-Service and the Genusswerk PUR is contributing to this initiative.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

There were no main problems to overcome, as similar cooperations between ÖKO-Service and other Catering Service providers had already been tested in advance.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

The relationship between the partners is a contractual relationship.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

The implementation of the Zero Waste Catering Service enables longterm unemployed people a new job opportunity especially in the field of environmental services. People get trained special skills that are demanded on the labour market in the field of green jobs.

How did you find out about this competition?

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