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Why London is a stepping-stone for Klimato

With climate change on the rise and the need to switch to a more sustainable lifestyle being more crucial than ever before, it might not be easy to know which choices to make or where to start. Facilitating the climate impact caused by food, the Swedish food services company Klimato’s recent expansion to the UK has been on the horizon since its establishment. “London is an obvious place for us to be having ambitions to be a global company,” says Erik Olsen, Head of Growth at Klimato.

Since 2018, Klimato has been on a mission to reduce the climate impact caused by food. “We work with hotels, restaurant chains, caterers, and anyone who serves food to help them understand the carbon footprint of their food and drinks.” By offering a programme that tracks food services’ carbon emissions, Klimato can analyse its impact on the climate. “We track emissions over time by letting users generate monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports as well as calculating and communicating emissions down to dish level,” Erik explains. The gathered information is then used to communicate the carbon footprint on menus as well as educate staff and customers.

“Originally we planned an expansion to the UK in March 2020, but because of the pandemic it was delayed until August 2021,” says Erik. Today, the UK team consists of six people, and Klimato is looking to add a few more faces to that. “We are mainly looking for people within customer service as well as marketing to get our name out there even further in the UK.”

Sparking conversation at COP26

In terms of milestones, Erik addresses one of their biggest ones. “We teamed up with Levy at the UN’s 26th Climate Conference, as they were the catering partner. What we did was label the menus with the climate impact caused by the food that was served.” Even though the climate impact caused by food was not on the agenda, the collaboration sparked conversation at the conference. “In the beginning, the conversation revolved around the fact that our labelling is nice to have, which then transformed to a need to have and everyone seemed to be really impressed,” says Erik.

Hotspot for restaurants

When discussing the importance of the UK market for Klimato, it is made evident that the possibilities are endless. “London offers a global setting, as well as being one of the most attractive cities in the world for tourists.” Erik adds: “We are an impact startup that wants to educate the public, which is why it is the perfect place to be.”

In addition, Klimato’s expansion has been significant for its future possibilities to grow as a company. “We figured out quite quickly that London alone has five times more restaurants than Scandinavia in total.” Not only is the city a hotspot for restaurants, but Erik elaborates on why the UK is a great place to begin. “For a European company, the UK is a stepping-stone before expanding to the U.S, as well as being similar to Scandinavia from a cultural aspect.”

Different markets

Even though Sweden and the UK are similar in many ways, there are things that set them apart when doing business. “In Scandinavia, we’re a bit shyer and more afraid to say no, and when doing sales, it is much better to get a final answer rather than being hesitant.” Erik says that in the UK it is the complete opposite. “If they are not interested, they will say no immediately which is positive because then you can move on to the next.” Even so, Erik is clear about the fact that the two countries are similar in their working culture and he believes that it is an easy transition. “People are generally very nice and welcoming, and the country is very open to innovation which makes it a great place to be when doing business.”

Tips and tricks when expanding

“Hire someone locally because you are going to need someone who knows how business in the UK works as it differs from how it is in Scandinavia.” Erik explains that having someone on the ground is a great asset when setting up your business in the UK market because it will save time when getting to know the market as well as looking for potential customers.

Finishing off, Erik recommends reaching out to the Department for Business and Trade as they helped Klimato on its journey. “They were really helpful in the initial stages, and we still keep in touch as we have some questions from time to time, and they always help us.”


Key sectors and opportunities for Swedish business


Clean growth & Smart City technology


Life Sciences:
Healthtech & medtech


Tech: Fintech & games development


Advanced engineering:
Electric vehicles

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