By the Environmental Management and Technology Students’ Society (EVMTSS)
What are the main culprits of global warming?
What images do you identify as the main contributors of global warming? Power plants with smoking chimneys? Heavy traffic during rush hour? Whilst these are some of the main culprits, there is one seemingly innocent item in our daily lives which often goes unnoticed – food. Globally speaking, food is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for a quarter of them. When focussing on Hong Kong, meat and dairy product consumption alone contributes to a stunning 52.8% of the total consumption-based emissions. As such, when discussing ways to reduce emissions, reducing the impact of our diet should be placed high at the top of our agenda.
Credit: Faculty of Science, HKU
What does our students’ society do to promote the importance of green dining?
Realising the importance of green dining, we, EVMTSS, have partnered up with Marriott International and introduced a new theme ‘Green Dining in the Hospitality Industry’ in our annual event, the Joint University Eco-Business Innovation Award (eBIA). eBIA is an interdisciplinary competition open to all undergraduates from any tertiary institutions in Hong Kong. Participants are expected to come up with innovative solutions to the environmental challenges faced by a buffet restaurant in the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel.
One of the challenges would be to reduce the food waste disposal in the buffet restaurant since the catering industry is a significant source of food waste. According to the Environmental Protection Department, 1,147 tonnes of food waste generated from commercial and industrial sources are disposed of in landfill daily in 2018, accounting for 32.2% of the total food waste. In face of this enormous problem, we hope that our participants would be able to identify the enormous potential of eco-business and to make a positive environmental impact on our case site or even the whole catering industry in years to come.
Credit: Hong Kong Ocean Park Mariott Hotel
eBIA is more than a case competition. It is a development programme. By that, we would provide 5 workshops or site visits centered around green dining and eco-business. One of the workshops is the food sustainability workshop delivered by our knowledge partner, Food Made Good in which they would adopt a framework to introduce how a restaurant could operate more sustainably from sourcing to disposal. Every team would get a chance to visit the case site of this competition, and during the visit, teams could interact with the chefs and the F&B Director to learn more about the daily operations of the case site which would help them generate innovative yet feasible solutions.
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