The procurements of Helsinki City Hall’s restaurant services reflect Helsinki’s high climate and responsibility targets. The restaurant services are a multi-faceted entity that includes lunch services as well as cafeteria activities and catering for meetings and formal occasions. The staff restaurant at City Hall sells approximately 60,000 lunches a year. The restaurant is also open to Helsinki residents and tourists.
Procurement Specialist Elisa Selki-Rocchi explains which sustainability objectives were emphasised in the procurement of the City Hall’s restaurant services.
The City of Helsinki’s Procurements and Tendering Unit tenders various joint procurements of the city, such as food products, furniture, detergents and textiles. The tendering of the City Hall restaurant services was a completely new entity that was completed last year. The tendering process placed particular emphasis on responsible food production due to its impact on the climate, biodiversity and animal welfare. An employment condition was also used in the procurement.
Emphasis on cooperation during the contract
“In the procurement, we were not satisfied with comprehensive criteria – we also wanted to emphasise work on responsibility and joint development during the contract period,” says Selki-Rocchi.
This means that responsibility issues in accordance with the procurement contract are reviewed annually with the selected supplier, and targets for development are discussed openly.
“It is a privilege to work in the City Hall restaurant in a diverse working environment where we develop things together with our customers. Everyone is welcome to dine with us,” says Restaurant Operations Manager Jani Piirainen.
Tendering continues long-term development work
Helsinki has been developing the responsibility of its food procurement strongly in recent years in several different types of competitive tendering, and the City Hall restaurant service procurement is a continuation of this work. The intensive dialogue has also made it possible to already tighten the requirements in cooperation with the market.
The responsibility targets are also reflected in practice in the city’s internal catering.
“In particular, our carbon neutrality target is reflected in our 2022 catering policy, according to which we no longer serve meat at our own events, and we are switching to a plant-based alternative to milk for coffee,” says Selki-Rocchi.
The series on responsible public procurement to demonstrate how Helsinki’s sustainability goals are reflected in the city’s procurement processes is added to from time to time.
Kuva: Maija Astikainen (c) Tori Quarter.