Jun 3, 2015  Düsseldorf / Germany

Adopt more sustainable behaviors

Live sustainably through food

Henkel is participating in the first European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW), taking place from May 30 until June 5, 2015. This European-wide initiative, supported by the European Sustainable Development Network, aims to boost the visibility of activities, projects, and events that promote sustainable development.

With its “(Y)OUR MOVE toward Sustainability” campaign, Henkel encourages sustainable behavior through simple actions, including choosing sustainable and healthy food.

Seasonal and regional

These two words are the key to a sustainable shopping trip. Look for produce that is currently in season and that comes from your region. The less food has to travel to make it to your plate, the smaller the CO2 footprint.

At Henkel, 5,000 fresh and sustainable meals are prepared every day under the motto “seasonal and regional.” Christoph Reingen, head of catering at Henkel’s headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany, is cooking asparagus and cauliflower from the region in the spring for example. Henkel gives preference to suppliers within a radius of 40 kilometers and conducts regular visits and audits – regarding animal welfare for example. What is left on the plates at the company’s canteens is re-used as biogas.

Christoph Reingen, Head of Catering

Christoph Reingen, Head of Catering, promotes seasonal and regional products in the canteens of Henkel’s headquarters in Düsseldorf.

Is it more expensive to buy regional products?

Changing your shopping routine can seem more expensive at first, but by buying locally, you can actually save money. Food that is scarce or has been imported from far away can be expensive.

Do I have to become a vegetarian in order to eat sustainably?

It is true that the CO2 emitted for a kilogram of beef (13,300 grams) is much higher than that for potatoes (200 grams) or apples (550 grams). But that doesn’t mean you have to stop eating meat completely. You can make a difference by simply eating less meat and putting emphasis on quality instead of quantity. One kilogram of organic beef, for example, has 1,800 grams less CO2 emissions than conventional beef. Replacing beef with chicken is also a smart move: A kilogram of chicken emits 3,500 grams of CO2.

Where can I find out what produces grow when?

A few great websites out there provide in-depth information on seasonality. See if there is one for your region below:
North America: Eat the Seasons
South America: ZipMEC
United Kingdom: Eat the Seasons UK
Australia: Seasonal Food Guide
South Africa: Natural Nutrition
Western and Northern Europe: Seasonal calendar (pdf)
Asia: Seasonal Asian Cooking with Chef Yuji Iwasa (Interview from Bon Appétit magazine)
Japan: Japan Guide

Sustainability on-the-go

Smartphone apps are also becoming more and more popular for scoping out seasonal produce. Here are two to start off with:
Farmstand: Discover the best locally grown food from over 8,700 farmers’ markets around the world.
Seasons: This app offers an overview of seasonal fruits and vegetables in many parts of the world.