One third of the environmental pollution caused by human beings can be traced back to food production, and within that, primarily to animal products. In the spring of 2014 Sentience therefore introduced the first of a series of popular initiatives in Basel, the goal being to firmly anchor plant-based dishes on canteen menus. The aim was that at least one plant-based dish should be offered on a daily basis. In addition, cooks and students were to be made more aware of vegan dishes. This was followed by similar initiatives and postulates in Zurich, Lucerne and Berne.
Our first popular initiative, to promote plant-based cuisine in public cafeterias, received more than 30 percent of the vote in Basel. Despite the fact that it was rejected, it sent a clear signal to restaurants and canteens that many Basel inhabitants wanted more vegan options when they ate out.
Zurich (Counterproposal acceptedn)
With a clear majority of 60 percent, the inhabitants of the city of Zurich accepted the counterproposal of the municipal council to the initiative. The demand for environmentally friendly nutrition and information to the population regarding the impact of diet on the global climate was formalised in the municipal code.
Lucerne (Counterproposal accepted)
In 48 hours we collected 1000 signatures for plant-based options in all public canteens. The counterproposal of the town council, in whose favour we withdrew the initiative, was accepted with just 60 percent of the votes.
Berne (Proposal accepted)
In order to promote plant-based options in public canteens, politicians of different parties met together with Sentience to work out a corresponding proposal. After being submitted to the City of Berne parliament, the proposal for sustainable and fair nutrition was accepted in October 2016.