Circularity through Zero Waste Approaches in Hotel Gastronomy

The project explores the best practices in the hospitality sector focusing on the kitchen and the topic of food waste. The objective is to identify key drivers for the kitchen’s transformation in the hospitality sector, towards a circular economy.


VisitBerlin, Hans Sauer Stiftung




December 2021 – February 2022

The challenge

Tourism and hotels have an impact on sustainability: through their consumption of food, water and energy, through the generation of waste, through the products they buy and the logistics involved, and through their relationship with the environment and local communities. It is estimated that hotels and restaurants that do not have a food waste monitoring system waste 3-8 times more than they think.

Our approach

Circular Economy for the hotel industry, refers to transport, accommodation, catering and other place-based activities. For the objective of the current pilot project, we focus on food supply and processing activities. This primarily concerns the kitchen, restaurants, procurement (food) , as well as related activities in the hotel sector.

The overall visionary goal of the project is to advance the transformation of hotel processes further towards circularity. This means to go beyond waste prevention and resource saving, and to instead look at the hotel both as a stand-alone system and as part of a larger system and network in order to optimise material and resource flows in terms of their circularity.

The project is divided into two phases:

  • Content research, further education and network building on the topic of zero food waste in the catering/hotel industry.
  • User research to determine the system boundaries, challenges and potentials.

The outcomes

The core element of the project is the transfer of knowledge: first from Circular Berlin and experts to the hotel, second, to the public also in the form of project documentation. This will collect knowledge and experiences of the project participants and make recommendations of approaches and measures regarding their feasibility and impact.

Further steps

The result will be a guideline that shows possibilities, outlines potentials, and clearly presents concrete measures. This helps the hotel industry (and gastronomy) to take action and to take the first important steps towards the circular economy in the tourism sector. In this way, the industry will emerge in a sustainable and future-oriented manner and Berlin’s hotel and restaurant businesses will be able to tap into the growing market of environmentally conscious travellers. The shared and publicly accessible knowledge enables all hotels to become active in a self-determined way.

In Berlin, there are already various initiatives that have gained practical experience and theoretical knowledge in the areas of zero food waste and reduction of (disposable) packaging waste. With this pilot project, we would like to put this knowledge and that of experts in practice to improve the situation for the hospitality area. Furthermore to provide broader access to that knowledge.

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Project contact person


Dina Padalkina

Founder & CEO

Email | LinkedIn

Co-founder of NEW STANDARD.S, a consulting and design studio guiding companies in their transition to sustainable or circular businesses.

Maximilian Mauracher

Co-founder of NEW STANDARD.S

Email | LinkedIn