The goal of the CLIKIS project was to include school kitchens in climate protection efforts by demonstrating that they can use energy and other resources more rationally while preparing tasty, climate-friendly meals. 

The preparation of meals is associated with a high carbon footprint, resulting from many factors directly or indirectly linked to the production of food products, their transport and energy use during meals preparation. Many different measures can be undertaken to reduce the impact on climate. An important role of schools is that they educate future generations. The school kitchens, which are facilities for collective nutrition, should support the educational activities of schools in the field of ecology by giving a good example. Within the project, three areas have been distinguished in which school kitchens can become more climate-friendly. These are energy (by improving the efficiency of its use), waste (by minimizing their quantity) and food products (through the use of those with a lower carbon footprint).

Project partners, based on the experience of the German project KEEKS, undertook the investigation on how Polish school kitchens (and other entities responsible for preparing meals for students) currently manage energy and waste, and how and from which products they compose the menus. Based on the results improvements in the analysed areas have been proposed.

Five "pilot kitchens" have been directly involved in the project. In these kitchens "energy and climate audits" have been carried out, and on its basis - individual solutions have been proposed to reduce energy and other resources, reduce the amount of waste generated, and develop sample recipes for tasty, balanced meals from local, ecological products. The results of the project are also applicable to other school kitchens not involved in the project.

More about the project

Activities within the project

The following activities were planned as part of the project: 

  • Training of trainers responsible for the implementation of the project and direct cooperation with pilot kitchens. 
  • Selection of 5 pilot kitchens.
  • Preparation of training materials and organization of the first workshops (closed workshops for employees of pilot kitchens).
  • First visit in the kitchens: a kitchen audit to estimate the potential for reducing energy consumption, reducing the amount of waste generated and modifying selected recipes. 
  • Development of methodological materials: how to more effectively manage resources in kitchens and prepare healthy, balanced meals from local, ecologically produced products. 
  • Second visit in the kitchens: proposing individual improvements to reduce the amount of energy consumed and waste generated, proposing new regulations to be tested. 
  • Open workshops prepared on the basis of materials developed within the project and cooperation with pilot kitchens.
  • A final conference promoting solutions developed within the project.

Pilot kitchens and their role

The project involves 5 "pilot kitchens" from Małopolska Region. Their task was:

  • Participation in thematic workshops.
  • Participation in on-site visits, including audit and development of individual solutions to reduce the energy consumption and waste amount.
  • Implementation of the regulations developed under the project.
  • Exchange of their experience, practices and needs with project partners so that the prepared materials and training best meet their needs and the proposed solutions were adapted to local conditions.


  • Increased environmental awareness of chefs and employees of school kitchens as well as other persons responsible for preparing meals for pupils (employees of catering companies, etc.).
  • Increased knowledge of rational resource management in the organization of mass nutrition and preparation of balanced, tasty meals, which at the same time are more environment-friendly and climate-friendly. 
  • Model solutions that can be implemented in school kitchens to reduce the amount of energy used and the waste generated. 
  • Recipes for balanced meals using local, seasonal products. 
  • Launching a debate on more environmentally friendly and climate-friendly collective nutrition.

School kitchens and the climate

Carbon footprint

Carbon footprint means the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated directly or indirectly with a given person, organization, object, process, event or product. It also accompanies the meals we eat - it is associated with many factors related to the production of food products, their transport and use in the meal preparation process. These include cutting primary forests for farming and breeding purposes, cattle methane emissions, use of artificial and natural fertilizers and energy consumption throughout the food chain.


Energy efficiency

Kitchen equipment, kitchen lighting, hot water preparation consume a lot of energy. It is important to reduce its consumption, and thus costs, which in the case of school kitchens, designed to provide not only balanced but also cheap meals, are crucial. Of course, the best effect will be given by the replacement of old equipment with a new one with a higher energy class. Often school kitchens are equipped with quite old, energy-consuming equipment.


Waste management

School kitchens tend to generate a large amount of waste. Some of it is unavoidable (like peeling potatoes, for example), but some can be avoided. This is especially important with prepared but not issued meals, and leftovers left on plates. It is worth considering how to streamline the process of ordering, issuing and cancelling meals so that leftovers are as few as possible.


Pro-climatic menu

Food products have a different carbon footprint. Chicken meat has a lower score than beef, and wholemeal pasta has a lower footprint than rice. Fresh tomatoes and even canned tomatoes are more climate-friendly than tomatoes grown in greenhouses. The packaging is also important - the tomato sauce in the carton has a lower footprint than the one in the bottle. It is worth considering and, if possible, modifying the foodstuff used for the preparation of meals.


The first meeting of project partners and workshops for trainers

On 2nd and 3rd of October 2018, the first meeting of CLIKIS project partners was held in Krakow. The meeting was accompanied by workshops for trainers, during which the trainers got acquainted with the methodology and results of the German project KEEKS. The project had analyzed the impact of collective nutrition on energy consumption and climate. It also promoted energy efficiency and reduction of waste in school kitchens, as well as use of more sustainable, climate-friendly food products, including organic products, fair-trade and with an MSC certificate. During the workshops, the trainers broadened their knowledge about the carbon footprint accompanying production and food preparation, as well as ways to reduce this trace. They also learned how to conduct "audits" in pilot kitchens, analyze data and prepare recommendations on possible improvements.

Workshops for pilot kitchens

On November the 16th, 2018, the first workshops for the representatives of five pilot kitchens of the CLIKIS project were held in Krakow. The workshops were an opportunity to get to know each other better and discuss the biggest challenges related to the nutrition of pupils in schools, including those related to the use of resources necessary for this purpose and their costs. The participants also got acquainted with the concept of carbon footprint and the possibilities of limiting this trace for school kitchens. A list of the dishes most liked by pupils was prepared and a carbon footprint was calculated for selected meals. Next, the participants started a discussion: what could be changed in the analyzed kitchen recipes to make the carbon footprint smaller?


The second workshop was organized on the 5th of April. It covered the analysis of carbon footprint of the meals prepared in pilot kitchens (the recipes have been gathered during the kitchen audits) and also a cooking demonstration. The demonstration included the preparation of vegetarian meals which could be introduced in school menus. The workshop had an open formula and chefs from other than pilot kitchens could participate.

School visits

At the beginning of January 2019, the first visits to pilot kitchens took place. The CLIKIS project coaches got acquainted with: 

  • work organization;
  • kitchen equipment; 
  • with the types and amount of waste generated and how to handle them; 
  • menu from the last days. 

Also, energy loggers have been used to measure the energy consumption of selected refrigeration equipment. The CLIKIS project coaches got acquainted with chefs' habits and use of appliances, hot water, etc. Based on the collected data individual recommendations for individual kitchens regarding possible improvements were prepared.

Final conference

The final conference of t the CLIKIS project took place on the 13th of June 2019 in Kraków. It gathered 50 participants interested in climate-friendly nutrition in schools. The conference was divided into two thematic sessions. The first one introduced the CLIKIS and KEEKS project and presented their experiences. The second session brought together experts from National Institute for Food and Nutrition, ProVeg Polska, Open Plan Foundation, Energy Efficiency Foundation and Venturis HoReCa to discuss various aspects of nutrition in schools including meatless diet, healthy nutrition, waste reduction and energy efficiency of kitchen appliances.

After the conference, the participant had a pleasure to try vegetarian lunch – with all the dishes signed with their carbon footprint. The conference had very positive feedback from the participants.

Resources (in Polish)

Ulotka Clikis An information leaflet about the project


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The CLIKIS project is funded under the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) (contract number 81230248), which is a new financial instrument of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The authors sole responsibility for the content of the site is incurred. It does not express the opinion of the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.