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Mitie Launches Low Carbon Menu for NHS Hospitals

Mitie Launches Low Carbon Menu for NHS Hospitals
22 June 2021

Mitie and apetito are collaborating to cut carbon from the menu at St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

This is Mitie's first low carbon menu, which will save up to 23 tonnes of CO2 a year for the trust.

Designed in collaboration with its food partner apetito, the menu focuses on prioritising ingredients with a lower carbon footprint, such as poultry, fish and vegan options


Tackling Food Related Carbon Emissions


Food-related emissions are estimated to account for over one-third of the world’s greenhouse emissions, and therefore catering options are an important consideration in any business's net-zero plans.

Following the roll-out of the new low carbon menu at St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Mitie and apetito will look to offer reduced CO2 meal options to their other NHS customers.

With catering services accounting for around six per cent of the NHS’s carbon emissions, these efforts will play a key role in Mitie and apetito continuing to support the NHS with its objective of becoming net-zero by 2040.


British Dietetic Association Standards


As well as saving carbon emissions, the menu has been reviewed by the Mitie and the St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s teams of dietitians to ensure that it continues to meet all the British Dietetic Association Standards and provides balanced and healthy meals. This includes offering patients a number of options – gluten free, easy to chew and low fat or low sodium plates – for people with special dietary requirements.

The specifically designed menu includes three different hot meal options for patients to choose from for each lunch and dinner. As well as providing ample variety for patients, the new menu prioritises ingredients with a lower carbon footprint, including poultry, fish and vegan options, to limit the impact on the environment.

Assuming all options in the menu are equally popular with patients, a reduction of just three meat options a fortnight will save the equivalent to over 34 return flights from London to New York a year, demonstrating that even small changes can have a significant impact on the environment, while still giving patients plenty of choice.

Every menu will also provide patients with information about the nutritional benefits of some ingredients, such as lentils and chicken, as well as their carbon footprint, to help patients identify options that are both healthy and environmentally friendly.

Moreover, all meal orders are made through Mitie’s specialist patient catering app, ensuring that the right number of plates are prepared, meaning less meals are thrown away and helping to further reduce the impact on the environment. All the food waste generated is sent to anaerobic digestion plants where it is transformed into compost for gardens and farms as well as biogas to help heat homes and businesses.

Alice Woodwark, Managing Director, Communities, Mitie, said:

“From the origin of ingredients to how meals are prepared, the food we eat has an impact on the environment. Combating climate change is a priority for both Mitie and the NHS, so we’re pleased to be working with our suppliers to help St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust cut its carbon emissions. We look forward to continuing to use our sustainability and catering expertise to keep finding new ways to help the NHS reach its net-zero goal.”

Jenni Doman, Deputy Director, Estates and Facilities, St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added:

“This is a significant commitment to delivering the overall green plan at St. George’s as well as national and NHS net zero carbon targets, while supporting an even more sustainable food service for our patients. We’re so pleased this has been a successful collaboration with all our partners and Trust teams and it shows what can be done in the NHS – an amazing achievement and we’re very proud to be one of the first NHS Trusts to lead the way.”

Picture: a photograph of a chef chopping vegetables 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 22 June 2021


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