Brussels, 27th April 2023
Shortly after its commitment to become a Zero Waste Certified Business, early in January 2023, aCozinha por António Loureiro became the first certified restaurant in the Zero Waste Business Certification.
The restaurant, located in Guimarães, in the north of Portugal, was audited by the Mission Zero Academy (MiZA) in April, succeed in implementing zero waste measures throughout their value chain and demonstrated proof of compliance with the strict conditions of the certification, having achieved 2 out of 3 stars in the Certification.
ZERO – Association Sistema Terrestre Sustentável, Portugal’s national zero waste association, has been working with aCozinha por António Loureiro in the last four months, supporting the creation and implementation of a Zero Waste Strategy and Plan – that will continue to be implemented throughout 2023 and 2024 – helping this Michelin Star restaurant to get a step ahead in reducing their waste and creating new strategies to promote circular economy in the region.
The audit was conducted by Daisee Aguilera, Coordinator of MiZA certifications in Spain, who analysed the evidence and issued the final verdict. Amongst other measures implemented, she highlighted the “zero-kilometer approach” that promotes the use of local seasonal ingredients, the collaboration with suppliers to decrease the waste of product packaging, and the innovation of the herbs vertical garden that minimizes the use of resources such as water and soil.
“This restaurant is the living proof that we can reconcile high-end products with sustainability and zero waste strategies, making sure measures are implemented not only in the business but in the community, involving suppliers and making them commit to zero waste practices.” – Daisee Aguilera, Coordinator of MiZA certifications in Spain.
The European ZW Business Certificate, developed by Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) and operated by its sister organisation MiZA, was created on the basis of more than ten years of professional experience in the field and is intended for different types of organisations. It encourages the introduction of effective systems that save on natural resources through the prevention of different materials becoming waste. The ambitious certification process is based on the idea of reducing waste by exceeding the 90% separately collected waste target, and consists of four key steps: expression of interest, implementation, certification and annual improvements. It includes ongoing support from professional mentors and contains general criteria adapted to different sectors (hotels, restaurants, events, offices and groceries). One star means good practice, two is equivalent to a best practice at the national level and three is a best practice within Europe.
“Throughout our work in MiZA we have realized that people are making more sustainable choices when it comes to what and how they eat. And these choices also entail the waste impact of the food they consume, where packaging is a big factor. With the certification of aCozinha por António Loureiro, we can show that even high-end customers are interested in choices that minimize the amount of waste, be it waste related to packaging or with not using certain parts of food items. Using thoughtful communication, aCozinha also manages to engage their customers into their sustainability principles, having become an inspiration to the community and to customers that travel specifically to this part of Portugal to have this experience. We are delighted that aCozinha por António Loureiro is the first restaurant in Europe to receive this certification.“, said Kaisa Karjalainen, MiZA coordinator.
After obtaining the certificate, the work does not end. In addition to upgrading the measures, continuously weighting and analyzing their waste, their regular monitoring should continue. At least every three years, an external audit will be repeated to maintain the certificate.
ZERO – Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável has been collecting evidence and will continue in its role as mentor. Among them is Ismael Casotti Rienda, expert associate for Zero Waste, who emphasises: “It is very satisfying to see the synergies of good practices applied at the local level, both from the public sector and business-wise. At the end of the day, the effects will be positive on the whole city’s effort to become a zero waste and environmentally friendly environment.”
aCozinha por António Loureiro has been a Michelin star restaurant since 2019. Located in Guimarães, the establishment was founded in 2017 and has been collecting several awards in the industry due to its world-class gastronomy led by chef António Loureiro and its sustainability and innovation culture, promoted by his partner, Isabel Loureiro. Guimarães is a candidate city to the European Green Capital Award for 2025, an award that amplifies green actions in European cities and joins the ambitions of the European Green Deal, the New European Bauhaus, and the Zero Pollution Action Plan.
Learn more about the Mission Zero Academy’s Zero Waste Business Certification HERE.