• Menus at COP will be affordable and with a strong focus on sustainability
  • Eighty percent of food to be served at conference will be seasonal and sourced from Scotland
  • Sustainable measures at the heart of approach

COP26 delegates will be served sustainable, locally-sourced food at the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow, the UK confirmed today.

Overall, 95 percent of the food will be from the UK, largely sourced from Scotland, and be seasonal. This will put sustainability at the heart of catering for the summit, reducing emissions and promoting environment-friendly food production.

COP26 will set an example for other large-scale international events, in terms of food sourcing, by taking a number of measures to ensure a sustainable approach:

  • Ingredients will be replicated across the conference’s menus to ensure produce can be repurposed for other meals, if necessary, to avoid food waste.
  • The cups used to serve drinks will be reusable and it is estimated that this approach will save up to 250,000 single use cups.
  • Suppliers are setting high standards for sustainable food production, from Edinburgh’s Mara Seaweed, which is abundant and entirely sustainable and does not require fertilizer, fresh water or soil to grow, through to Benzies carrots and potatoes who use wind turbines to power their cool storage, biomas to provide heating and actively recycle the water they use.

In line with the international nature of COP26, we will be using Scottish produce to deliver an international inspired menu. There will even be a Scottish fusion to certain international dishes such as the ‘Scotch beef ramen’.

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said:

“There will be a tremendous amount of work to be done at COP26, with many hours of negotiations and long days, so the choice of food that we serve our visiting delegations, staff and all our volunteers, is very important.

“It is exciting to see such innovation in the menus that will be on offer and to understand the thought and effort that has gone into making dishes both healthy, sustainable and suitable for different diets and requirements.

“We very much look forward to giving our international visitors a flavour of the wide-ranging cuisine the UK has to offer.”

Kevin Watson, Business Director, SEC Food said:

“We have worked hard to create low carbon menus that are accessible to all. We hope our sustainable food strategy will shape menus of the future as we all work to protect our planet. As well as providing great tasting and nutritious food, our menus are focused on local and seasonal sourcing, with a plant-forward approach. We have been delighted to showcase and work with so many local Scottish suppliers and our teams are looking forward to supporting the event.”

Ends.

Note for editors:

  • The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021.

  • The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  • The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26.

  • The ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System is an international standard which sets out the requirements to establish, maintain and continually improve an event sustainability management system (SEMS).

  • Our approach is guided by 7 Sustainability Governing Principles; actively manage potential impacts on the environment and local community and identify opportunities to deliver environmental and social value, provide an accessible and inclusive setting for all, encourage healthy living, ensure a safe and secure atmosphere, encourage more sustainable behaviour, promote the use of responsible sources and responsible use of resources throughout the supply chain, and leave a positive legacy.

  • The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change. UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Convention has near universal membership (197 Parties) and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise this century as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

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