Information in English

A brief summary of the key components of the Diet for a Green Planet concept.

Södertälje municipality has implemented the concept “Diet for a Green Planet” in the public food sector since 2010. This work has led to several awards, notably “The school meal-municipality of the year” award.

The meal concept was developed during two research projects; BERAS (2003-2006) and BERAS Implementation (2010-2013). Södertälje Municipality has all along had a leading role in development and implementation of the concept.

The journey towards a sustainable public food sector started in 2001, when Södertälje Municipality took a political decision to use food as a tool in the effort of sustainable work. A food policy was formulated, and step by step the municipality has worked towards a more sustainable food supply, both in-house and through development projects.

In 2015 the EU-project MatLust started with the goal to develop a sustainable food supply in Stockholm County, as well as creating a regional food hub in Södertälje. MatLust helps small and medium size enterprises within the food sector to grow sustainably. Diet for a Green Planet is fundamental to MatLust's work.

Sustainable in several ways

Diet for a Green Planet is a research-based concept that incorporates sustainability in several aspects.


  • Food is costly to produce and creates emissions, notably greenhouse gasses. It is therefore important to decrease food waste.
  • Meat production requires large areas of land and creates emissions. Consumption of meat needs to be reduced, in favor of more vegetable-based foods.
  • We need to cut carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. This can be done through creating natural carbon sinks, where biomass and soil can contain excessive carbon.
  • Transport is energy intensive and we need to decrease transportation, in a climate friendly way.

Baltic Sea and eutrophication

  • The Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted in the world, mainly from phosphorus and nitrogen deposits. This is largely caused by agricultural practices.
  • The agricultural industry needs to reduce the release of pollutants into the connecting waterways.


  • A healthy lifestyle includes a varied and nutrient rich diet.  Vegetables, whole grains and legumes are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber necessary for a healthy diet.
  • Eat meat and meat products in moderation.

Biodiversity and soil fertility

  • Varied agricultural practices, with a diversity of plants and animals provides our landscape, fields and planet with biodiversity.
  • Fertile soil contains millions of microorganisms, making it productive and a part of the earth’s biodiversity.

Land use

  • We have approximately 1,4 billion hectares of arable land on Earth, meaning that each human has roughly 2000 m2 at their disposal.
  • In Sweden, this translates to the double the number of square meters per person. Diet for a Green Planet gives us a possibility of keeping within the 2000 m2 boundary.

Diet for a Green Planet – The Criteria

Diet for a Green Planet builds on five criteria which can be implemented anywhere in the world, but provides different foods depending on location and time of the year.

Tasty and healthy food

To have a sustainable diet that is widely applied it needs to be well prepared, well combined and healthy.

Organic, and preferably ecological recycling agriculture

In lack of ecological recycling agriculture, EU-organic or Swedish KRAV-labeled products can be used.

(Ecological recycling agriculture is an agricultural technique which minimizes the negative environmental impact of agriculture on the Baltic Sea and other water resources, simultaneously giving a positive climate effect. There is a balance between the number of animals, land use and fertilizers as well as crops in an ecological recycling agricultural practice.)

Less meat, more vegetables, legumes and wholegrains

A benchmark is a maximum of 20% meat, fish and egg of your total food intake. Choose meat from well raised animals, and fish from sustainable sources. Choose wholegrain products in contrast to refined grains. This is more filling, nutrient-dense and creates less food waste. 

Locally produced in season

Products produced in a sustainable way close to its end-consumer are automatically in season. The definition of local varies, roughly max of 50-250 km from end consumer.

Less food waste

Minimization of waste, through the whole chain of production, processing, distribution and preparation, and from your own plate.

Helena Nordlund
Projektledare, MatLust
Tel: 08-523 071 23
Daniel Dworetsky
08-523 010 00 (vxl)
Uppdaterad: 13 oktober 2019
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Diet for a Green Planet är ett koncept från Södertälje kommun via projekt MatLust