The school canteen is a very effective tool to enhance the choices made by the government in terms of sustainability. The correct practices that should be adopted in the organization of canteens, starting from the procurement function of food, may have, in fact, a major impact in terms of support to local economies, environmental protection (preservation of natural resources and biodiversity, control of waste production and emission of greenhouse gases) and rural development. Furthermore, if the management of the canteen is paralleled by nutrition education activities aimed at promoting responsible consumption, user behaviour may change considerably, contributing to spread correct eating patterns, which are essential to counteract the phenomena of obesity and overweight, and for imposing a culture of social and environmental responsibility.The realization of a school canteen that present requirements of economic, social and environmental sustainability is, however, a very complex task for the government, because of the multiple constraints introduced by the economic-financial legislation and socio-cultural environment, often hostile to the introduction of innovations.In this context, the aim of this work is to provide a contribution to the dissemination of sustainability practices in public procurement and, in particular, in school canteens. After having defined the theoretical framework, considering the realization of a sustainable canteen project as a wicked problem, whose orientation can be facilitated through the implementation of a business model, some possible practices related to the design of a more sustainable school canteen are individuated. Subsequently, the elements of a Business Model Canvas are illustrated, considered an effective tool for public authorities (even of modest size municipalities), interested to implement a school canteen service that is able to combine local development with environmental protection and the health of children.
Keywords: School canteens, Sustainability, Business Model Canvas
Jel Code: Q01, Q53, Q56