There’s something unusual on the roof of Nordea Bank’s headquarters in Oslo: beehives and greenhouses, where ISS chefs grow, and harvest produce for employee dining below.
The rooftop kitchen garden is the brainchild of Eirik Nordbye, the ISS Food & Beverage manager who’s working to drive down carbon emissions from Nordea’s food program. The food grown on the roof is only a small part of what is served in the food court, but its presence amplifies Nordea’s commitment to sustainable food solutions.
“People talk about the beehives and greenhouses, which is important,” says Eirik. “In Norway, we’ve only just begun to consider the carbon footprint of the food we eat—and Nordea wants to be at the forefront of this positive change. We feed up to 1,500 people a day here. What we serve has the power to influence their opinions: it shows them how delicious, nutritious, and interesting locally-grown, planet-friendly food can be. And, at the same time, we’re lowering Nordea’s food costs and emissions.”
Reducing CO2 emissions by 80% at the Oslo headquarters
The leading bank in the Nordic region, Nordea, is committed to making the financial sector more sustainable—both through how it invests and how it operates its business. Nordea wants to achieve a net positive carbon contribution by 2030, which requires reducing carbon emissions from its internal operations by at least 50%. As Nordea’s facility management partner, ISS is playing a leading role in this transition—from how we run its buildings and dispose of waste to the food we serve for lunch.
In connection with Nordea’s Sustainability Week 2021, Eirik developed a new climate-friendly menu to serve employees. The menu proved a huge success and reduced the kitchen’s CO2 footprint by 80%—making it an impressive win-win for the bank. More importantly, it was well-liked by employees and food sales went up compared to previous weeks.
“People really loved the food,” says Eirik. “Sustainable food is not about meat or no meat. Avocado can have a higher carbon footprint than chicken, for example. It’s about tweaking recipes that people love to give them the same or better taste, with lower CO2.”
Helping employees make their own choice
The Sustainability Week menu was the culmination of many initiatives introduced in Nordea’s kitchen by ISS over the last few years—all designed to lower carbon emissions and improve employee health. A key aspect of this is helping people understand and appreciate the stories behind the food they eat, so they can make better-informed choices for their health and the planet.
ISS even redesigned Nordea’s dining area to improve this. Now, the chefs serve the food themselves, which gives them the chance to talk about the dishes, the flavours, and where the ingredients come from. Every dish also has a small sign beside it to show its carbon footprint. To give employees clear sense of how the food they’re eating impacts the environment, the signs compare the carbon footprint of the dish to the carbon footprint of driving a car a certain distance. Showing a relatable CO2 measurement has made a big difference, as Eirik explains.
“We served a lamb korma and vegetable korma, for example. Both look and taste great, but a portion of lamb korma produces the same amount of CO2 as driving 3.2 kilometres. The vegetable korma is just 900 metres. We never tell employees what to eat, but we give them the knowledge they need to make the decision themselves.”
The power to impact the greater good
Sustainable menus are just a tiny part of how ISS is helping Nordea reduce its CO2 emissions and achieve its strategic climate targets. Our cleaning services and technical services aid Nordea in meeting sustainability goals as well.
“As a service partner, we have a huge amount to contribute to Nordea’s sustainability goals,” says Eirik. “There’s much more we are doing in the kitchen alone—from food waste reduction to local sourcing—which all contributes to lower costs and reduced emissions for Nordea. We’re also showing employees that sustainable food can be healthy and delicious—and I truly believe that has a really positive impact.”
At ISS, we connect people and places to make the world work better. Our placemakers deliver best-in-class experiences to clients like Nordea all over the world each day. Besides creating nourishing meals and fueling minds, ISS offers custom cleaning services that makes places shine, technical services that bring sustainability to energy management, advisory services on strategic workplace management and design, and much more—all delivered by people who care.
By integrating all your workplace or facility needs into one solution, you will benefit from our cross-functional teams, dedicated key account management and workplace data insights available with an integrated facility management solution.