Each year, Green Key runs a best practice competition to encourage its awarded sites to present their most inspiring sustainability stories. And today on World Tourism Day we announce our winner: A Cozinha por António Loureiro restaurant (Portugal). Finishing second and third were Sinatur Storebælt (Denmark) and STF Lugnåsbergets vandrarhem (Sweden).
This year, Green Key’s best practice competition focused on how to inform and involve guests in sustainability. The theme relates to SDG 12 “responsible consumption and production” to ensure “sustainable consumption and production patterns". Not only does Green Key help consumers to identify responsible tourism establishments, but awarded establishments also have to inform their guests about sustainable practices during their stay. Furthermore, Green Key awarded establishments are encouraged to engage their guests in their sustainability actions through activities, events, rewards etc.
At ‘A Cozinha’ , Chef António Loureiro and his team are totally committed to sustainable eating and also strive to pursue a policy of near-zero waste. An integrated approach considering several practices was implemented since the opening day. António, awarded Portuguese Chef of the Year in 2014, is well-known for his high quality gastronomy that combines tradition and innovation. He mainly uses regional or local products and the motto “cooking what Mother Nature is offering” has become an integral part of every menu he creates. To prevent food waste, António uses the entire product that is bought, cooked and combined in different ways.
As a part of the restaurant’s mission towards sustainability, António opens his kitchen for several initiatives to inform the local community and children about food waste. For example, in the activity “be a chef for a day”, or "team building with a cooking experience" guests have the chance to have a hands-on high level experience where they learn how to respect the products, how to promote the local economy with their choices and how to plan a week menu without creating a big amount of food waste.
In addition, António has adopted the ‘Eco-Cooks’ initiative which is part of the Eco-Schools programme in Portugal promoting healthy and sustainable food in schools.