Menu Sustainability Index (MSI)

The Menu Sustainability Index (MSI) is a scientifically based tool that rates meals on the basis of nutritional balance and environmental friendliness. The Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) developed it together with ZFV as the implementation partner.

From 17 August 2020 onwards, the MSI will be introduced in the ZFV Group's catering services and marked with two new symbols in the menu plan. This will enable guests to choose an environmentally friendly and/or balanced menu very easily.

On the basis of the guidance system, all ZFV menus will be rated by the MSI and marked accordingly. No rating or marking of this kind is carried out at present for desserts, beverages and foods at the self-service counter.

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    Our food supply creates many different types of environmental impact. Production requires resources such as water, fertilisers and energy. Emissions are also caused during food transportation as well as in packaging and processing. The MSI shows a menu's environmental impact in «environmental impact points» (EIP). The higher the total number of EIPs for the ingredients used, the higher a meal's environmental impact. The dishes marked with the Earth symbol are particularly environmentally friendly, i.e. emissions and the consumption of resources are low.

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    Our health is significantly influenced by our diet. The MSI shows a menu's balance in «nutritional balance points» (NBP). The more qualifying and less disqualifying nutrients in a menu, the higher the NBP value and therefore the balance of a dish.

    Qualifying nutrients:

    • Unsaturated fatty acids
    • Fruit and vegetables
    •  Proteins and carbohydrates

    Disqualifying nutrients:

    • Fat
    • Sugar
    • Salt
    • Energy

    The NBPs are calculated on the basis of the nutritional needs of a healthy adult between the ages of 19 and 65 pursuing mainly sedentary activity (e.g. an office worker). Dishes marked with the heart symbol are optimally balanced, i.e. the menu provides the recommended composition and amount of all nutrient elements considered in the NBP.