Eaternity - climate friendly food

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Eaternity - climate friendly food

Zürich, SwitzerlandZürich, Switzerland
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

We are passionate about establishing delicious, healthy and climate friendly food in society.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

About 1/3 of European greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the food supply. This amounts to more than 2 tons of CO2 per capita and year. A growing world population coupled with an ever increasing demand for resource-intensive products are resulting in an increasing burden on our planet. If the entire world population were to follow the same food consumptions patterns as the average European person, we would need 2-3 the amount of land and 3 times the amount of water globally. Individuals and companies are increasingly aware of the need to reduce emissions but their actions are most often related to energy resources or to “greener” means of transportation. Despite a huge potential a widespread awareness of the impact in CO2 emissions from food patterns has not yet taken place.

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

We introduce climate-friendly menus and create awareness among individuals and institutions regarding food-related CO2 emissions. We provide up-to-date and transparent scientific data, and implement measures to engage businesses in delivering services in the fields of climate optimizations of food. A climate friendly menu is not simply equivalent to a standard vegetarian or organic menu. Our optimization strikes the most effective balance between economic value, taste and attractiveness, healthiness and CO2 emissions to maximize customer interest. We have developed a web-application that will enable individuals, institutions and restaurants to calculate and optimize their own menus, label them with the CO2-value and present the added value directly to their customers. By providing an easily accessible and cost-efficient way to put this into practice, our application makes it possible that climate friendly foods become widely available and recognized in society.
Sustainability

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

We partner with NGOs and associations to increase awareness of climate friendly food and with scientific and environmental institutions to collaborate on research and data-development (LCA). We do not have direct competitors, although 2 types of companies offer related services. ESU-Services licenses a database on CO2 fooprints on a range of products, including food. They do not provide effective communication and services to implement measureable solutions or engage critical stakeholders such as chefs and consumers. Bluehorse - carbonostics has build a software for the processed food industry which calculates and optimizes carbon emissions, nutritional value and cost based on ESU-data. This product is similar to our offering, but targeted at mass produced food products.
About You
Organization:
Eaternity
Background Information
First Name

Judith

Last Name

Ellens

The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you

Yes.

Country of residence of entrepreneur

The Netherlands

Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?

My interest and love for live and nature is at the heart of my efforts to work for a sustainable world. To preserve and divide our resources in a fair and sustainable way is the best way to achieve this goal. I am an enthusiastic hobby cook too and being able to combine these two passions in Eaternity is absolutely thrilling to me.

The idea of saving CO2-emissions with climate-friendly and good food, I first presented at the ETH ecoworks-workshop at the end of 2008. Our team won the first price and a few months later I founded the association Eaternity. The three years following I was in charge of several smaller and larger projects carried out by the association, mainly on a voluntary basis, with several partners such as SV Catering, ETH Zürich, City of Zürich, Zunfthaus zur Saffran and others.

I hold a Masters degree in environmental sciences with a major in ecology. I have two years of experience in the area of carbon footprinting and ecological impact evaluation of food products which is an important asset to the association. Further, I have gained additional experience in campaigning and project-management through my work for WWF Switzerland and the University of Copenhagen. My core strength is interdisciplinary project work. I work consistently and remain the overview of complex and on multi-stakeholder issues.

It is my vision to create a more environmental-friendly and fairer world. With Eaternity we move towards this direction. It is my believe that the contribution of every single person is an important aspect to achieve this.

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Eaternity

Organization Country

, ZH, Zürich

Country where this project is creating social impact

, ZH, Zürich

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Innovation
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities

In order to make a scalable business model, expandable to other regions, our model is a hybrid. On the one hand, we have "Eaternity" a non-profit entity; and on the other hand, we will have "Services by Eaternity" a for profit entity.

Eaternity positions itself as an organization that fulfills an important role in society by representing a neutral and scientific position, representing the ideological interests that are central to the accuracy and validity of the data, as well as developing and representing our core message of eco-friendly food consumption. Eaternity already operates effective PR and media work via presentations, publications, events and its homepage. As a public institution, Eaternity continuously builds on the existing trust it has received.

“Services by eaternity”, will be a profitable entity that will develop hand-on solutions from the scientific data of Eaternity and provide services to restaurants, cafeterias, schools, kindergarden, etc. We had already run a pilot with the city of Zürich (http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/menu-plus) by offering a climate-friendly menu at one of their cafeterias. By also calculating the emissions of the rest of the menus, a direct measure of the impact in CO2 emission reduction can be obtained.

Select the stage that best applies to your business

Operating for less than a year

Social Impact
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?

We have successfully carried out 2 projects, with the ETH Zürich and with the City of Zürich. During several weeks climate-friendly food was offered at the institutions canteens accompanied by an information campaign. Both projects have had an extensive evaluation (indicators were: meals sold, CO2 reduced, customer survey, media coverage) with overall positive feedback. In addition, we have cooperated with for profit and not for profit parties to raise awareness on the topic either with information booths, holding lectures, support employee awareness events and public events and have been present in several local and national wide media (magazines and newspapers). Impact can be measured by homepage-hits (1000-2000 a month) , facebook-likes (400) and general increased interest.

What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?

The calculation and optimization services need to be provided fast and in a consistent basis. One barrier is that for every new menu there is a chance that we do not have available data for a particular ingredient. However, as our database improves this risk will diminish over time.
Another barrier is that behavioural change is difficult to induce in individuals. Therefore, we intend to implement awareness campaigns through media and co-operations with restaurants to make climate-friendly meals more appealing to society. One form to attract restaurants and chefs to engage on our project is to offer trainings and to certify them.

Sustainability
How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?

The advantage of our model is that the services provided are flexible and can be tailored to each customer. “Services by eaternity”, as a company, will set up in the future more products and business models for other markets (e.g. specific food products, hotel chains, mass-market mobile application, etc.).

A delicious, healthy and climate-friendly nutrition causes 50% less green house gases as compared to nutrition that does not take ecology into account. That is 1 ton of CO2 per capita and year. In addition, climate friendly nutrition implies a fair and appropriate stewardship of natural resources. In the end it is about helping solve long-term social issues like global warming and resource scarcity.

In order to induce change we focus primarily on people directly. Therfore we also tackle social issues by providing lectures and workshops to different educational institutions, and by giving free access on relevant scientific information about climate friendly food.

Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?

Resource scarcity, crony governments and a growing population are some of the challenges that developing countries face. Whether some or all of these aspects are present in a given country, what we see as a result is inequality and pollution. Unfortunately, both of them continue to grow as businesses comply with corrupt and bureaucratic structures in order to be successful. We see social entrepreneurship as a different way to do things, having always in mind a more efficient resource usage and working towards an empowerment of individuals and local farmers. This entails a more direct relationship with every actor in a business' supply chain, giving them the required tools and education required to reduce their environmental impact and improve social conditions. we believe that creating these relations, establishing synergies between them and avoiding corrupt organizational structures are an imperative towards true sustainability.

What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?

One of the biggest challenges I might find is that as I have never been in Africa I really do not have an adequate overview of Uganda’s problematic, making it difficult to adjust my perspectives towards their motivations and reality. Nevertheless, I am eager to seize this challenge and to enlarge my vision about their needs and culture during my stay in Uganda.

The close interaction with the Uganda’s farming community is another important rewarding experience as it will open up perspective on additional possible optimizations and will allow us understand our supply chain oversea. This can have a big impact in our social model as within the agricultural production stage lays the most important phase in carbon foot printing as most emissions are caused here.