Master Chefs shows serious commitment to sustainability by serving 25,000 hot beverages in reusable cups at NUI Galway
Master Chefs have just released figures for 2018 which further demonstrate their long-standing commitment to sustainability and innovation in the catering and hospitality sector. Over the last twelve months, the multi award-winning contract and event caterers have served a mammoth 25,000 hot beverages in reusable cups at NUI Galway having incentivised their customers to make the transition from single use take away cups – further reinforcing the University’s ambition to become one of the greenest, smartest, healthiest and community-focused campuses in the world.
As well as having a huge environmental impact by significantly reducing the amount of single use cups ending up in the bin, the scheme has also saved the staff and students at NUI Galway as much as €5,000 in discounts..
Pat O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Master Chefs said, “While we have led the way in sustainability for many years, this is the first time we have measured the impact of our reusable cup campaign over a whole year, the results are impressive”.
Ann Duggan, Director of Commercial Services at NUI Galway said, “The University is committed to preventing and reducing waste and managing it in a sustainable way that improves resource efficiency, reduces costs and protects people’s health and the environment. We engage with the entire campus community to reduce waste generated and promote recycling. Master Chefs’ promotion of single-use cups is an excellent example of the significant steps being taken on campus to reduce waste. NUI Galway’s current recycling rate is 53% and our target recycling rate is set at 60% by 2020. This is set to increase to 70% by 2025 ahead of the EU Commission’s objective to reach the same target by 2030.”
This is just the latest in a number of forward-thinking schemes that Master Chefs have implemented across their nationwide business in recent years.
Committed To Using Compostable Packaging
Since 2016, Master Chefs have exclusively been using compostable packaging in all public food outlets at Thomond Park Stadium, where 26,000 customers access the facilities on match days. All Master Chefs sites across the country use only compostable packaging.
Reduction In Food Packaging
Master Chefs has also been working closely with its suppliers for many years to reduce the amount of packaging coming into their business. All of their suppliers have partnered with them to ensure that only minimum packaging is used. For items such as fruit, vegetables, fish and meats, they immediately transfer them into their own storage containers – their suppliers take away and recycle their delivery boxes.
Another example of the company’s commitment to sustainability is evident at Moffetts Restaurant, located in the Orbsen Building at NUI Galway. The restaurant has become more self-sufficient and dramatically reduced its carbon footprint by establishing its own herb garden directly outside the restaurant. The space, which is used to grow the likes of thyme, rosemary, mint, chives, dill, camomile, sage and nasturtiums, is cultivated daily during the summer months by Chef Paul Gannon and used in the restaurant’s dishes.
Irish, Organic, Seasonal & Sustainable Produce
Master Chefs are passionate about supporting local farmers and using as much Irish produce in their food as possible. The latest example of this approach is Copia Green – the company’s new health-driven eatery, which opened in Castletroy, Limerick in October 2018. To make it onto the menu, each ingredient needs to be organic, seasonal or sustainable. Copia Green aim to use 75% organic and Irish produce throughout the year. They source their meats from organic Irish farmers, only use organic Irish eggs and dairy and their fish is sustainably sourced.
Zero Waste Business
Their stated aim is for Master Chefs to be a zero waste business. Waste is divided into three categories: compost, recycle, and waste, with a target to throw away less than one bag of waste per day. They are able to achieve this following several years of useful engagement with their suppliers and partners in eliminating unnecessary packaging. This has significantly reduced their waste costs as it has done with other measures like water conservation and electricity reduction.
Reducing Food Waste – Using By Products
Master Chefs aims to use as much of a product as possible including its so called by-products. For example, they make their our own labneh (cultured yoghurt) and the leftover whey is used as a brine in their fermented foods. They use the pulp from juicing veggies and fruits in their gluten-free crackers and the almond pulp from making their own nut milks they use in their broccoli and almond soup. Naturally, they compost all of their food scraps.
Eco Friendly Products
At Copia Green, non-chemical eco-friendly cleaning products are used to wash the dishes, dining space and bathrooms and their j-cloths, teabags, hand towels and toilet rolls are all biodegradable. Even the pens used to take down customers’ orders are compostable. This is something which Master Chefs will be implementing across the rest of their business in 2019.