Active against food waste: great opportunity for climate protection!

Despite Covid, we can be active both at home and in sustainable gastronomy, preventing 1/3 of the food from being dumped. The initiative " Lebensmittel sind kostbar!" offers tips on this.

"Waste avoidance is a decisive step towards climate protection. If global food waste were a state, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gases worldwide. We can all do a lot of good by being more conscious about the way we handle our food and thus simultaneously fight against food waste and the climate crisis," is how Climate Action Minister Leonore Gewessler sums up the message surrounding the UN World Day against Food Waste.


Trade and gastronomy

The food retail trade produces around 74,100 t of food that is no longer marketable. 175,000 tons of avoidable food waste are generated in the hotel and catering industry, in communal catering and in health care facilities. Companies with the Austrian Ecolabel, on the other hand, consciously take measures to ensure that the high-quality sustainable food does not become organic waste. Much of this happens behind the scenes. Some things, however, are directly noticeable to the guest, such as the choice of different sized portions or the possibility to vary the side dishes or if, despite all consideration, it was too much to take away the leftovers in practical boxes.

Private households

In our households in Austria about 157,000 tons of food (packed and unpacked) end up in residual waste every year. Here we can all become active ourselves!

The initiative "Lebensmittel sind kostbar!" has put together practical tips for this:

  • Cooking yourself with a weekly plan
  • Well-planned purchasing with needs-based shopping lists instead of impulse purchases
  • Correct storage of food and sorting according to the First-In-First-Out principle
  • Processing of leftovers into delicious restl dishes
  • Do not confuse expiration date with usage date

More tips on the "Lebensmittel sind kostbar!"

Excellent food initiatives

Best oft the Rest

Since 2019 Elke Oberhauser has been working as a sustainability expert on behalf of waste avoidance in Austria's kitchens. She leads courses, workshops and advises restaurateurs on how to easily conserve resources and save a lot of money in the process. There is really hardly any "kitchen waste" for which she cannot think of a use, even if it is to use potato peels to clean the surface of the stove.

"Best of the Rest" was the winner in the category Economy of the VIKTUALIA-Award 2016



Since 2016, the Brotpiloten have been giving other remaining baked goods a second chance. Bread that is not sold is regularly collected through cooperation with bakeries and sold at a low price at two Viennese markets. Through personal contact with customers, the added value of bread is pointed out. For those interested, special workshops on the subject are also offered.

The Brotpiloten supply various events: from bread and pastries to complete catering with cooked meals made from saved food.



A network of producing and processing companies, which since 2018 has been taking care of the unused portion of the regional fruit and vegetable harvest that would otherwise remain in the field due to visual defects or temporary oversupply. The clientele - catering businesses, school and company canteens - have consciously decided to use the entire harvest.

The Karakterernte creates awareness for the part of the regional harvest that is not yet used and networks different actors to bring sorted out fruit and vegetables onto the plate.