Milan reduces carbon footprint of school canteen menus by 20% in five years

October 23, 2020

Our partner, the City of Milan, has reduced the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the meals served in its public schools by 20% in the last five years. The city accomplished this feat by making food swaps, an action that was inspired by its participation in the Cool Food Pledge.

Launched by the World Resources Institute and its partners, the pledge challenges participating cities, restaurants, businesses, and hospitals to reduce the carbon footprint of the food they serve by 25% by 2030 compared to 2015 levels.

Milan has reduced most of the emissions it pledged to reduce in five short years. According to recent Cool Food Pledge data, Milan’s school cafeterias generate 5.92 kg of CO2 equivalent per 1,000 kcal cooked, compared to an EU average of 10 kg and a global average of 25 kg.

Milan is globally recognised for its efforts to overhaul its food policy in order to balance nutrition with environmental and climate concerns. Over 200 cities from around the world have now signed the Milan Food Policy Pact, endeavouring to follow in its footsteps. Milan is also a participant in the Foundation’s Food initiative as part of its continued efforts to promote a circular economy for food.

Since 2015 the city of Milan has made a virtuous transition towards innovative food systems that have guaranteed better access to healthy diets. This is a very encouraging example of how interventions in the food supply can be an engine of change. We recognise the food policy of the City of Milan as a practice to be promoted, shared and replicated in other contexts both nationally and globally.

- Francesco Branca, Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, WHO

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