Being part of a full-circular system encourages employees at Himkok to stay for a long time


How did the norwegian bar Himkok in Oslo become one of the most sustainable bars in the world? And what’s the unexpected benefit? Well, at Himkok, the circular system is part of the daily work, an approach that involves all employees in its values. Values that make employees stay in the long term.

Sebastian Sandvik, head barman at Himkok, is very proud of the fact that Himkok is ranked 10th in ‘The World’s 50 Best Bars’. He is equally proud of the most sustainable bar award in 2018, where Himkok was named one of the most environmentally conscious bars in the world. With a circular sustainability mindset, Himkok is a role model in the bar world.

This is how they do it.

85% is produced inhouse

85% of everything they do is produced in-house. A clear fact that puts Himkok on the list as one of the most sustainable bars in the world.To Himkok it is all about a circular system, values that includes all employees and an eagerness to spread Norwegian flavors, Sebastian says. As Himkok offers distilled drinks made from aquavit, vodka or gin from their own distillery, the process is sustainable from the start. No transport of bottles and ingredients, so no carbon emissions. The distilled ethanol used is made from leftover potatoes from a local farmer. The honey used is produced on rooftops from local bee farms supplied by the farmers themselves. At Himkok they do not use citrus due to the long transportations and the straws in drinks are made from organic material. Most of the herbs and spices they use are made in Norway.

Doing 85% of what we offer inhouse is very motivating, Sebastian says.

Build up a reputation together with suppliers

Sebastian really would like to encourage bars around the world to go sustainable. The start-up process of becoming sustainable is somewhat a bit costly and time consuming he tells. But by starting to use ingredients smartly in both food and drinks will save money in the long run. As a suggestion Sebastain mentions to create long relationships with local suppliers to build trust and after a while eventually start to talk price.

Show case to suppliers what can be made with their products and build up a renommé together. Our suppliers are mentioned in the menu, Sebastian says.

Involving all employees in sustainability work

Sustainability work pays off – employees stay for the long term, he says continuously. Introducing sustainability work to new employees and having a monthly meeting to discuss the circular model is an important part of this. Making people feel rooted in the values creates loyalty for the right people.

When we started, one noticeable benefit was that having a closed-loop system built team spirit and people stayed for the long term because they felt included and rooted in shared values. That is sustainability for sure, says Sebastian.

Recycling system

Closing the loop, the Norwegian recycling system is one of the best in the world. The full-circle system means that the bottles or waste that are not returned to the producers are recycled according to the Norwegian recycling system.

Recycled plastic is used in the bottles, and the bar menu is made from recycled waste. The aim for zero waste culture is continuously implemented and appreciated, he says.

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R&D behind all flavors

At Himkok a R&D team is behind all new flavors. Both signature drinks and new drinks are developed carefully to spread the norwegian flavors. Using herbs and ingredients in new ways is essential to Himkok, always using one ingredient per drink.

The future bar

Sebastian says that bars will need to be even more local than they are now. Using very local producers is a good place to start. He also thinks that more bars should try to figure out how to use all the flavors of an ingredient, how to combine different flavors into new ones and how to use them differently in food and drinks.

Trying to be sustainable is a system. It starts with making, filling, serving and disposing through recycling. When everyone is on board, it keeps the staff engaged, he says.

The alcohol policy

When talking about sustainability, it’s also worth mentioning alcohol and how Himkok works with sustainability when serving alcohol. In Norway the alcohol policy is very strict, you can’t show that you’re drunk. If someone is too drunk, you are not allowed to drink any more. Staff are trained by the law to know when to stop serving people.


Trivec is a supplier of POS-solutions and Beverage System to the European hospitality market. Our solutions help optimize payment and facilitate operations management for restaurants, bars and hotels. Trivec’s product offering includes POS-systemscard payment terminalsmobile devices and beverage dispensing systems, with flexible options for integration with bookingfinancepersonnel, purchasing and inventory functions. Trivec locally serves more than 8,000 customers from offices in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and France.

Trivec want to simplify the daily business in the hospitality industry with smooth products and services and help our customers to grow. We work hard every day to help customers exceed goals and fulfil dreams.

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