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11 December 2019
The meeting of the Basque Culinary Center Board of Trustees, the institution’s governing body, took place on Wednesday 11 December. Outstanding among the topics presented at this second meeting of the year was the presentation of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development 20-24, which defines the challenges and the framework for the Basque Culinary Center. The proposals for this plan are based on the 2030 Agenda and the guidelines of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The seventeen SDGs proposed by the United Nations form an ambitious action plan to promote the well-being of people and the planet and prosperity within the 2030 Agenda framework. They represent a worldwide instrument to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities and vulnerability, under the paradigm of sustainable human development.
As Joxe Mari Aizega, Director General of the Basque Culinary Center points out, “We must rethink gastronomy in a sustainable way, and use it as another tool to combat climate change, improve people’s health and social awareness, and transform gastronomy processes and practices to reduce their environmental impact. As far as the Basque Culinary Center is concerned, it is essential to promote sustainable eating habits that affect the entire current value chain, which is why we believe it is necessary to strengthen and redefine our action plan. We understand sustainable development as an opportunity for creativity and innovation”.
The new Basque Culinary Center Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development 20-24 consists of a total of 82 actions and measures that will be implemented over the next four years and impacts particularly on nine of the seventeen SDGs. Most of the actions are directly connected with goal 4: quality education; goal 7: affordable and clean energy; goal 12: responsible consumption and production; and goal 17: the creation of partnerships to achieve the established goals. In relation to this last goal, we are exploring the possibility of reaching agreements with relevant actors at national and international level that will allow the focus of action and the impact of the other goals to be broadened.
Similarly, the Plan indirectly affects these goals of the SDGs; goal 1: no poverty; goal 2: zero hunger; goal 3: guarantee a healthy life and promote well-being; goal 5: achieve gender equality; goal 11: sustainable cities and communities; goal 9: industry, innovation and infrastructure; and goal 13: climate action, which will also be part of the challenges and short-term goals of the Basque Culinary Center.
The Basque Culinary Center as a pioneering academic institution in gastronomic training has established quality education as a priority line of action. Based on this premise, a series of cross- cutting actions that affect the rest of the Plan have been defined. In this regard, a commitment has been made to educate in reducing, classifying, managing and making use of waste, to attract professionals in the field of sustainability or to organise a variety of different events focusing on this subject.
In addition, another series of actions have been defined, such as the monitoring and optimisation of energy consumption, the recovery of discards, the promotion of healthy living and education in nutritional values, and action on the purchasing policy with a focus on sustainability, etc.
Outstanding among the new, more concrete measures that directly affect the activity of the centre are the definition of animal welfare criteria to be applied in purchases, designing actions that encourage a reduction in the generation of single-use containers, promoting the consumption of organic food and identifying and implementing projects that improve the impact of the waste generated, such as the Zero FoodPrint initiative from the Basque Culinary World Prize 2019 winner, Anthony Myint.
This ambitious plan is a continuation of the actions that have been taking place since the institution was set up.