Zero-Waste Restaurant

Restaurant Nolla

2. Zero Hunger 3. Good Health and Well-Being 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

Restaurant Nolla is a restaurant, bar, and brewery located in the heart of Helsinki. Its main purpose is to serve delicious products while respecting the environment thanks to a waste-free concept, from the food they provide to their clients to their clothing and their energy consumption. It was created in 2018 by Albert, Luka, and Carlos, three cooks who wanted to raise Finnish awareness on sustainable zero-waste business models.

Authors

Anniina Helkala

Anniina Helkala

Claire Buffet

Claire Buffet

Viktoriia Shishkova

Viktoriia Shishkova

Marie Jacob

Marie Jacob

School

Hanken School of Economics

Hanken School of Economics

Professors

Martin Fougere

Martin Fougere

Eva Nilsson

Eva Nilsson

Innovation

Restaurant Nolla is a zero-waste and sustainable restaurant. They strive to buy their products locally and straight from the producers whenever possible and composing their menus regarding the seasons is one of their main prerequisites! They compost their organic waste right at the restaurant and offer composted soils to their suppliers in return. It is also a bar and a brewery where they offer small producers’ wines that are produced in adequation with sustainable practices and serve beers from local producers but also Nolla’s own in-house microbrewery.

Their approach goes beyond the food and drinks they serve, they also try to be sustainable regarding their clothes, soaps, glassware… knowing where they have been made and how and by reusing them. They work hand-in-hand with their producers to find better solutions: they have reflected with their fish supplier on how to deliver the products in a reusable container because the one they used to use were single-use and always thrown away. Another example is from how they get their coffee from Kaffa Roastery 10 meters away from the restaurant: it was delivered in disposable plastic bags but now they get it from a reusable 5kg barrel. A sustainable restaurant value chain is their ultimate goal to work towards.

Also, the restaurant strongly suggests advance table reservations to avoid excessive buying of the ingredients.

They do not widely promote their ideology to their customers. The aim is to try to show that even though your business model is different/sustainable, it doesn’t have to look different to the customer.

Zero-Waste Restaurant

Inspiration

Sustainability and responsibility are important for all three founders and stem somehow all the way from their youth. Carlos grew up in the countryside where they farmed and harvested their own raw materials. It is “such a simple and natural thing to treat the raw materials with respect and not to waste any of it,” he said.

Luka on the other hand had lived in a big city and during his youth money wasn’t abundant. Their lifestyle didn’t involve throwing viable things away; “everything was used 100%” he said. That is why they also wanted to change something about how much waste is produced, excessive waste production simply cannot continue. Luka also told us: “my own children are my better motivation”. He feels it is highly important that his children can be fed with clean and pure food and that we have to preserve the planet for their future. Thus, they are pursuing that mission for their customers: feeding them with good and fresh food and helping preserve the planet.

Also, Carlos traveled around the world for inspiration and stumbled in Australia across a zero-waste house and in the United Kingdom where he discovered Restaurant Silo which claims to be the world’s first zero-waste restaurant.

Then, they started to ideate how to make the business models work with their vision, passion, and location. Thus, they had to learn and create ways to make it work by themselves. And they succeeded in creating a wonderful zero-waste restaurant business model, here, in Finland!

Overall impact

Their new way of running a restaurant has several short-term and long-term impacts, as much on their consumers as on their suppliers or competitors.

On the one hand, they have been the cause of multiple innovations in their sector. As previously mentioned, we can talk about the reusable container their fish supplier proposed to them. It resulted that not only they showed it was possible, but also, they paved the way for other similar businesses. Indeed, other restaurants have started to adopt the same reusable fish container. This would never have happened if Nolla had not asked for it in the first place. This was the same case with the reusable 5kg barrel of coffee. They participated in changing how partnerships work in their field. They are changing the restaurant value chain and they are actively working with the producers to find better solutions.

As a long-term effect, they are positively affecting awareness. Their initiatives will lead to better management and eventually to more sustainability in the restaurant field. They showed that another way of consumption in the catering sector can exist and that it does not affect consumers’ well-being and contentment.

Business benefit

The minimization of the waste reduces costs for the business and lets them concentrate on other issues for making a better impact on the environment and supporting local producers to operate sustainably.

Additionally, the concept ensures that the business is operating according to the current trend and gives a competitive advantage against competitors.

Social and environmental benefit

The main impact on society is that Restaurant Nolla proved that this innovative concept can be zero-waste and at the same time profitable. They are thus an example in the industry. Additionally, the concept has changed the value chain of the restaurant where suppliers are also required to operate sustainably.

This increased the overall impact on the society and the environment because all in the value chain decrease their negative impact on the environment in a way of responsible consumption and sustainable operations and decrease the waste and CO2 footprint.

More than that, the example of Nolla Restaurant, has affected other players in the restaurant industry. Other restaurants have benchmarked their concept and made some changes in operations to reduce their waste, i.e. in the packaging (reusable fish container), as well as using a composter, thus increasing material efficiency and reducing emissions.

Interview

Luka Balac, Owner

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Restaurant Nolla

Restaurant Nolla

Helsinki, Uusimaa, FI

Business Website: https://www.restaurantnolla.com/fi/etusivu

Year Founded: 2018

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Restaurant Nolla is a restaurant, bar, and brewery located in the heart of Helsinki. Its main purpose is to serve delicious products while respecting the environment thanks to a waste-free concept, from the food they provide to their clients to their clothing and their energy consumption. It was created in 2018 by Albert, Luka, and Carlos, three cooks who wanted to raise Finnish awareness on sustainable zero-waste business models.