The Importance of Environmental Awareness in Institutional Food Systems

SDGs 12: Responsible consumption and production

The institutional food service system is integral in meeting consumer demands, with a minimum production requirement of 50 portions per batch. These institutions can be categorized into commercial and non-commercial sectors, with objectives ranging from profit-seeking to meeting the needs of specific groups. However, it is crucial to consider the environmental impact of these operations.

The food service system has several stages, from ingredient purchasing, preparation, processing, and serving the consumers. Hygiene and sanitation are paramount to ensure food safety, healthiness, and compliance with consumer satisfaction standards.

Regarding ingredient selection, animal protein sources such as beef have a significant carbon footprint compared to vegetables, fruits, and plant-based protein sources. Hence, raising awareness of environmental impacts is necessary for food choices by promoting diverse consumption and prioritizing local products.

Extended cooking processes can escalate carbon footprints due to fuel combustion. Surveys conducted in the UK indicate that cooking activities contribute to CO2 emissions. Therefore, it is essential to opt for simple processing techniques to minimize environmental impacts, such as utilizing steam for boiling ingredients or substituting deep frying with shallow or stir-frying.

The importance of environmental awareness in institutional food service systems were addressed in the “Institutional Food Service Management” webinar organized by the Foodnatic Student Activity Unit of Universiti Putra Malaysia on January 16, 2024. Faculty members from the Department of Nutrition Health, R. Dwi Budiningsari, Ph.D., and Marina Hardiyanti, S.Gz., M.Sc., presented on “Institutional Food Service Case Studies” and “Sustainability in Institutional Food Service.” This webinar was part of the efforts by the Nutrition Health Department of FK-KMK UGM to raise public awareness of Sustainable Development Goal number 12, focusing on responsible consumption and production.

Through enhanced understanding and awareness of the environmental impacts of institutional food service systems, it is hoped that individuals can actively choose and support eco-friendly practices in food consumption and production. (Contributor: Marina/Nutrition Health Department. Photo source: