Hong Kong’s culinary education scene is gearing up for sustainability in 2024! 

Intern @ Future Green | 6th February 2024 | 4min read

The Future Green team with the International Culinary Institute’s students and staff at the Sustainable Gastronomy Forum held on the 2nd of February 2024.

Sustainability is not a far-fetched idea, instead, it is more achievable than you think! We at Future Green believe that this is possible. Everyone has the power to shift towards a sustainable future, and it starts with our youth. We kicked off our February by delivering an exciting Sustainability 101 training workshop for the International Culinary Institute’s Sustainable Gastronomy Forum. It was a bright, sunny morning, and the mood here at ICI was alike! 

The future of Hong Kong’s culinary scene did a quick mood check-in before we began our two-hour-long workshop, consisting of an informative training session followed by an engaging Ideation Matrix activity – our classic! Warming up for the productive morning, the students and staff at ICI shared their thoughts on what food sustainability means to them. One of them highlighted a root problem area, and a preventable one, in food sustainability: portion control. Incredible insight! Portion control is one of the most effective strategies to combat the numerous issues the food sector faces and a solution to one of our workshop’s categories: food loss and food waste.

Quick mood check ahead of the workshop!

Training for solutions!

What food sustainability meant to the ICI community before the Sustainability Training 101 workshop

For this very workshop, we tailored Future Green’s framework to ICI’s more pressing concerns in food sustainability. We focused on five of our fifteen categories, including food loss and food waste, and plant-forward and less and better meat (by the way, the latter is this month’s Future Green’s focus and topic for our upcoming Members Monthly Meetup).  

Heidi conducting the Sustainability Training 101 workshop!

As part of our training, we delved deeper into why the category “plant-forward and less and better meat” is the path to be on. Did you know that 80% of the carbon footprint for most foods comes from land use and land use change? The community at ICI was surprised to find that out, alongside that Hong Kong is one of the largest consumers of meat in the world. That’s alarming. Whilst meat is a great source of protein, its production has a huge carbon footprint. One of the teachers at ICI explained why beef has one of the highest carbon footprints than any other food. Do not worry, there is a growing number of delicious, healthier plant-forward protein and meat alternatives that you can opt. Just like Heidi, the founder and CEO of Future Green, puts it as “a win-win situation”. A win for health, a win for the environment! What’s better than that?


Learning is good… Doing is better!

One of the four groups ideating on our tailored ideation matrix for ICI’s Sustainability Training 101 workshop!

What is training without a productive outcome? After the informative training, the workshop participants got to ideating and roadmapping a possible food sustainability initiative! With the ICI’s community locked in on the five target areas, exciting ideas started pouring in and filling the charts with post-it notes. 

For the many amazing ideas that emerged from the workshop, we later charted them by the impact they bring and the effort they require. Towards the end of our workshop, the participants in four groups, sorted the more than 50 ideas they had come up with into practical solutions that are feasible to follow through!

So many takeaway ideas, not boxes! 

At the end of our workshop, the students at the ICI headed out with many, innovative takeaway ideas and not boxes! Just our aim for any workshop!

Students can now take their 2×2 map to their decision makers and show off their team aligned ideas to kick off conversations and get the buy-in they need for change to happen!

Heidi with ICI teachers Raymond and Wallace

The top four key takeaways from our innovative workshop provided feasible solutions for the five focused areas, such as creating portion controlled plastic models (similar to what you see in Japan) at the point of purchase to address one of food waste’s root problems (over ordering) which we highlighted earlier on in the morning. One of the groups came up with an approach to phasing out single-use plastics by collaborating with retailers and businesses. The participants further explained how incentivising plant-forward diets on a designated “Green Monday”, and starting a social media campaign to purchase only grown seafood (rather than spawning season seafood) would encourage sustainable diets and procurement. Impressive!

Thank you everyone at the ICI for spending their morning with us localising and resolving their food sustainability challenges! 

Ready to convert your challenges into growth? Involve us for a productive, tailored workshop by clicking below!


Interested in learning more about “Plant-forward and Less and Better Meat” and more food sustainability topics? 

Join us for our upcoming Member’s Monthly meetup on 20th February at the Swire Archive Centre!