Nutrition & environment



At the beginning of 2014 we introduced the Équilibre menu in our restaurants. This provides those who are being careful about what they eat the opportunity to partake of light, flavourful meals. 

The Équilibre range covers everything from appetizer to dessert, and even take-away. It provides a culinary alternative that links wellness with flavour. A very real ally for fitness and health, it guarantees consumers a balanced diet on a daily basis.

Équilibre dishes meet nutritional criteria as defined by Eldora's dietician and Executive Chef. These dishes highlight high quality and nutritional fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season, lean meats, fish and seafood, tofu and legumes, whole grain products, etc. They are cooked using methods selected for their retention of organoleptic and nutritional qualities: steam, papillote, low temperature, plancha, etc. Équilibre recipes are full of flavour and rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. They contain selected, high quality fats in reduced quantities. 

Along with the daily menus, five Équilibre events per year take place in the cafeteria at the Palais des Nations, the MIE, de Motta and the Palais Wilson. With the Eldora SA dietician for UNOG, playful and informative exchanges take place around various themes: a balanced diet, real and false friends, exercise, vitamins and minerals and sustainable development.

Finally, the UNG cafeteria also carries the Fourchette Verte label. This is a health label, delivered by the association Fourchette Verte Suisse and renewed each year. It guarantees that the meals bearing the label meet the requirements of the Société Suisse de Nutrition.

Veggie & Vegan

In order to provide an even more diversified menu, and to present our guests with new flavours and satisfy their widely differing eating habits, a vegetarian dish is offered on a daily basis.

Because vegetarianism is much more than simply eliminating meat and sea products, every Wednesday our vegetarian menu excludes all products of animal origin and becomes vegan. In this way it satisfies the convictions of our most demanding clients and decreases the environmental impact of this menu even further. 

It is true that a vegetarian diet, through the elimination of meat products and even milk products and/or eggs, limits the pollution and use of clean water linked to food production.

Vegetables and whole grain foods produced by organic farming methods are used as much as possible in the vegetarian menus. Furthermore, our dietician makes sure that these dishes are nutritionally balanced.

Allergies and food intolerances

Catering to guests with allergies and food intolerances is a priority for Eldora SA to ensure that meals remain a pleasure and enjoyable for everyone.

The whole team pays particular attention to guests with allergies or food intolerances. Eldora’s dietician at the Palais des Nations regularly makes employees aware of the problems linked to allergies and food intolerances and gives them additional training. These pathologies represent potential risks and dangers and any guest who makes their needs known is immediately directed to the dietician who is very well acquainted with them. She then ensures personalized attention in order to guide the individual towards safe and adapted food choices within the cafeteria.

The cafeteria at the Palais des Nations proposes various individually wrapped, gluten-free and lactose-free breads and cakes on a daily basis. On special request, heat-sealed dishes guaranteed to be gluten and lactose free are also available.

In the take-away areas, foods produced on site are systematically labelled for allergens to make it easier to identify potentially undesirable items


The environment

Eldora SA has made some important commitments with regard to the environment. Thanks to the outstanding work of its quality department, Eldora SA was granted the precious ISO 14001 certification in 2007.

This certification crowns many years of implementing standards which aim at diminishing the impact that this trade has on the environment. To this effect, meetings were held between operational supervisors, clients and suppliers, in order to conceive a stimulating environmental policy that could be applied by all. This label also stands for the continuous development of new solutions in the use of energy and waste disposal.

Through this company project, Eldora SA wishes to "remain a socially responsible service provider" and take things to yet another level with a ISO 26000 or G.R.I. (Global Reporting Initiative) certification.
In order to meet the expectations of the UNOG and its officials, Eldora SA has put in place a new position which will be in charge of "nutrition and environment".  Ms Pauline Alan will oversee the implementation, on-site, of all environmental measures.

In our role as restaurateur, we have been able to identify several areas which can cause a potential impact on the environment.

Raw ingredients

Within the framework of our menus, guests will have the daily choice of participating in the environmental effort by making their choice amongst the wide variety of items produced by organic farming methods, fair trade or local products bearing the label GRTA (Genève Région - Terre et Avenir).

Natura menus give you the certitude that at least one of the components in the dish is part of this commitment towards future generations.

Eldora’s product guidelines also provide a common thread throughout all its restaurants:

  • Select first quality products; make no concessions.
  • Give priority to regional products that are in season and locally produced.
  • Give priority to Swiss meat.
  • Select, as far as possible, wild fish with the MSC label that guarantees environmentally-friendly and sustainable fishing methods.
  • Use selected oils with the sunflower label “high oleic” for cooking.
  • Certify that supplies are obtained for 95 % from approved suppliers who guarantee to respect the standards and instructions elaborated by Eldora.
  • Make sure to guarantee the traceability of merchandise, which must be ensured throughout the distribution chain in which each product bears an identification code.
  • Define a maximum delivery code in order to limit supplier deliveries.
  • Insist that approved suppliers use only appropriate vehicles that meet the latest standards for environmental regulations for deliveries.

We place a lot of importance on the selection of raw ingredients and pay particular attention to the use of seasonal products, local production and environmental labels. To date, the following products have been banned by Eldora’s Purchasing Department:

  • Red tuna from the Mediterranean
  • Chinese garlic
  • Chinese truffles
  • Chinese poultry
  • Brazilian poultry.
Mastering cleaning products

Within the framework of its ISO 14001-2004 certification, Eldora SA defined with its supplier, the company van Baerle SA, a selection of cleaning products that meet the environmental constraints agreed upon under the ISO 14001-2004 certification.

The company van Baerle SA has undertaken to respect the rules of the “Responsible Care Initiative” as laid out by the International Council of Chemical Associations.

It also conforms to the Business Social Compliance Initiative, an economic initiative for companies who commit to improving working conditions throughout the entire supply chain system.

The company van Baerle SA works in close collaboration with the Agence de l’énergie pour l’économie (AEnEC) (TN: Economic Energy Agency) in order to further reduce its CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency within the company.

The cleaning and maintenance products used by Eldora SA at the Palais des Nations are part of the “green” line produced by van Baerle SA. These ecological products are grouped in the “Avantgarde” range made up of the lines “Ambiance”, “Ecoline” and “Techno Green”. The cleaning process of the “Ambiance” line relies on the activity of naturally selected bacteria and enzymes. These enable rapid and in-depth elimination of organic residues and odours without changing the materials in any way. The “Ambiance” products have minimum quantities of organic liaisons and are both biodegradable and pH neutral. “Ecoline” et “Techno” products use natural components and perfumes and contain no preservatives or optical brighteners and a very limited amount of phosphates.

Although these products are of organic origin and extremely biodegradable they are none the less very efficient. They are concentrated and used in automatic dosing systems. Specific training in their safe and efficient use is given once a year at the request of the Catering Director and the Eldora SA Sector Manager.

The Nutrition & Environment Manager is also kept up to date on these products and, if need be, may intervene for on-the-spot reminders for our teams.

The fight against waste

All cleaning products are linked to dispensers in order to avoid over use. Our partner checks the dispensers five times a year and all members of personnel are trained in their use.

Eldora SA long ago began a sensitization campaign on the theme of the environment. It has held ISO 14001-2004 certification since 2007. It therefore seemed normal to carry on this initiative by joining the eco-contract offered by the City of Geneva, in order to further reinforce the sensitization of Eldora SA employees to other environmental aspects such as saving water and electricity. Our working methods have a strong impact on the amount of electricity and water used. Specific training, provided in the framework of the eco-contract, broaches the following four themes that we may work on:

  • Cooking / Keeping warm
  • Cooling / Keeping cool  
  • Cleaning / Rinsing
  • Lighting.

Eldora SA hopes that the restaurants of the Palais des Nations will obtain this label during the year 2014.

The very large volume of produce used at the Palais des Nations automatically generates waste. On a daily basis it is very difficult to maintain the variety and quantity of food without sustaining losses at the end of the service. Furthermore, the current rules and regulations impose the destruction of certain foods such as the salad buffet in its entirety. This is the biggest cause of foodstuff waste.

Eldora SA has named the association PARTAGE as a partner of choice to redistribute part of the remaindered foods that are not appropriate for storage. Treatment of these foods scrupulously follows Eldora’s standards for hygiene and traceability. They are frozen and then picked up on the first Friday of each month or as soon as a minimum volume is reached. Eldora SA estimates that they can supply approximately one hundred meals per month for a total of 1200 meals per year.

Created in 2005, the association PARTAGE is the central food bank for Geneva. It picks up, sorts, stocks and packs on a daily basis the foodstuffs and hygiene products supplied by 260 companies, in order to redistribute them free of charge to the associations and social service members who provide help to those in difficulty. The founding members of PARTAGE are the Salvation Army, C.A.R.E, Caritas Geneva, the Colis du Coeur and Emmaüs, who guarantee the mission of this association.

Waste management

The Eldora SA Quality Service has drawn up a good practice guide for sorting waste that every manager is obligated to observe. This enables a large number of materials such as cardboard, PET, metal, glass, oil and paper to be recycled. Kitchen waste is also subject to specific treatment. Every year the Quality Service undertakes an audit to ensure that the guidelines are being followed. Each sales point at UNOG has collection points for mixed waste to be incinerated, PET, aluminium, glass and paper.

Eldora’s staff sorts any waste in the same way when removing trays. Other waste is also recycled: cooking oils, organic waste, metals, IT material and batteries.

Eldora SA works with the specialist Transvoiries SA in Geneva, who ensures the pick-up and recycling of all types of waste. Organic waste and cooking oils are recycled and transformed into biogas.

Since November 2012, Eldora SA has gone even further into the environmental approach. A line of biodegradable coffee cups has been placed at the sales points in the UNOG. After use they are collected and sorted in the sink areas at the Palais des Nations. 90% of the take-away packaging is also biodegradable. Although part of these single-use green containers are disposed of by incineration, their basic composition sends less CO2 into the atmosphere than classic packaging made from petroleum products.

Although we are aware that the least polluting waste is that which is never produced, we encourage our clients on a daily basis to use porcelain tableware that can be washed and reused thousands of times.

Use of eco-friendly single-use

Since November 2012, Eldora SA has committed a little more in the environmental movement.

A line of coffee cups, recycled and biodegradable, has been established within the outlets UNOG.

These are collected in the spaces of the Palais des Nations sinks. Packages offer Take-away is, 90% of them also biodegradable. Although some of these single-purpose green hand in the incineration sector, their basic composition releases less CO2 into the atmosphere than conventional packaging, made petroleum-based products.


Nutrition and Sustainable Development Manager

Pauline Alan
+41 (0)22 917 35 89