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Cool Food Pro innovates solutions to catering’s carbon footprint

Cool Food Pro is an innovative online carbon calculator which enables caterers to reduce their environmental impact by making small changes to the food they serve, tracking carbon savings and sharing the results with their customers.

Recently, the calculator has been shortlisted in the Public Sector Catering Innovation Awards, recognising its pioneering approach to carbon reduction within the catering sector.

As with any new product, Cool Food Pro had to go through a period of trial and error before becoming the user-friendly, carbon saving calculator it is now. Many of these initial teething pains were worked out with caterers – the people who would ultimately be using the app.

Norse Catering were one of the trailblazing catering groups who trialled the app and provided feedback to the team at Cool Food Pro. “The whole set up was run really well from start to finish. There were some teething issues, but there was always very good support with it,” shares Craig Neale, Operations Manager.

At Norse Catering, the team replaced 20% of beef mince in their beef Bolognese recipe with pea protein and were staggered by how much carbon this small change saved. “It did open a lot of the team’s eyes as to the difference we could make with ultimately pretty small changes within our menu.” Not only did the swap reduce carbon, but it also saved money, with pea protein costing far less than the equivalent of beef or vegan mince.

After seeing such a significant demonstration of the difference Cool Food Pro can make to environmental impact, Norse were keen to roll out the calculator to multiple locations. Currently, 12 of their locations are enrolled.

During the development phase, navigability and ease in understanding environmental impacts was a priority for the Cool Food Pro team. It needed to tackle a big issue – carbon reduction – in a way that felt achievable and easy to share with stakeholders.

“We went full steam ahead with it in September 2022, and started recording the data from then on,” Craig shares. “When you look at the calculator and what it gives out in terms of results, like how many kilometres by car you’re saving or how many thousands of kilometres by high-speed train – they’re really good visuals to share with clients.”

With net zero targets on the horizon and consumers more eager than ever to support carbon-aware businesses, Cool Food Pro’s innovative approach to tackling the problem couldn’t have arrived on the scene at a better time.

“It’s very user-friendly, and so easy to navigate your way through,” Craig emphasises. “It gave us the encouragement to do what we need to do to reduce our CO2 footprint.”

Going forwards, Norse Catering are looking to increase their engagement with Cool Food Pro across all 150 of the schools they provide catering for.

Join the sustainable catering movement today with Cool Food Pro. Find out more here.