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As a social enterprise, we have always been committed to making our operations as sustainable as possible, even in the face of the biggest challenges. Our core pillars are community, dignity, and sustainability and consideration for our shared environment is a priority in every area of our work. One essential part of our commitment to sustainability is the recent addition of an electric cargo bike to the EFS kitchen. Currently we are renting a bike from XYZ Cargo as part of a new pilot scheme, but we hope to be able to purchase our very own EFS bike in the future.

XYZ show us the ropes

For the last few years we have been delivering our catering through a sustainable cargo bike delivery company, Farr Out, but now we’ve made an even bigger step towards making our community food education more environmentally friendly. As part of a new pilot we are renting an electric cargo bike!

Back in April, XYZ Cargo delivered us our new, energy-efficient wheels and we’ve been spinning around Craigmillar ever since. We regularly teach cookery classes at community centres around Craigmillar and Niddrie and this means we can get to all of our partner organisations easily without any nasty emissions or uneccessary packaging (we use insulating wool to keep ingredients cool and meals hot). This also means we can deliver community meals without using any fossil fuels, or being stuck in traffic.

So far we’ve taken the bike on lots of local adventures including to;

  • Niddrie Mills Primary schools for six weeks of drop in early years cookery education
  • The Greenhouse Pantry for various essentials skills classes
  • Sandy’s Community Centre for their weekly cookery club for adults with additional support needs
  • Thistle Foundation for our classic cooking basics classes
  • Richmond Church and Hays Pantry to drop off hundreds of prepared food donations

Using a cargo bike is safer, quicker, easier and more energy efficient than travelling around Craigmillar by car. It saves our chefs time unloading and means they can get right to the door when dropping off recipe kits and healthy ready meals. It’s safe to say we now can’t imagine life without our new three-wheeler!


How else do we keep things sustainable at EFS?

We’re so glad you asked. Here are a few of the steps we take to ensure sustainability across all of our operations.

Conscious Sourcing

We work with local growers, farmers, and producers to source fantastic produce, reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring our dishes taste amazing. We support organic, sustainable, and nature-friendly farmers and growers wherever we can.

Waste Not Want Not

We work directly with farms and producers to make use of their excess produce in addition to the surplus food we receive from Fareshare to ensure nothing goes to waste. We do not use disposable containers for our catering but instead, a variety of biodegradable packaging to ensure that we use the least amount of plastic possible across our operations. 

Low-impact Deliveries

Wherever possible we deliver our catering through a sustainable cargo bike delivery company, Farr Out. Approximately two-thirds of our catering orders are delivered with no emissions, and we only use vehicles for deliveries that are either too large or too distant to be carried by cargo bike. 

Ethical Working 

We believe that sustainability extends to the conditions that we work in, and we create social opportunities for development through volunteering wherever possible. All staff are paid at least the Real Living Wage and all volunteers and staff are offered a meal as part of their shift. Sitting and eating together isn’t just important for our community food projects, but for our team too.