Carbon cut from menu at St George’s Hospital

Mitie and apetito innovate to cut carbon from hospital catering process

The new menu at St George's University Hospital prioritises ingredients with a lower carbon footprint, including poultry, fish and vegan options. Image Marta I Seco from Pixabay

Mitie has launched its first ‘low-carbon menu’ for patients at St George’s Hospital in a move which will save up to 23 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Designed in collaboration with its food partner, apetito, and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; the menu focuses on prioritising ingredients with a lower carbon footprint, such as poultry, fish, and vegan options.

Designed by dietitians, the new menu will ensure all dietary requirements – such as gluten free, vegan and easy to chew foods – continue to be catered for.

The move comes as it is estimated that from growing crops and feeding cattle, through to packaging, transporting, and throwing away waste; food-related emissions account for over one third of the world’s greenhouse emissions.

The specially-designed menu includes three different hot meal options for patients to choose from for each lunch and dinner.

From the origin of ingredients, to how meals are prepared; the food we eat has an impact on the environment

As well as providing ample variety for patients, the new menu also prioritises ingredients with a lower carbon footprint 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 every year, demonstrating that even small changes can have a significant impact on the environment, while still giving patients plenty of choice.

As well as saving carbon emissions, the menu has been reviewed by Mitie and St George’s dietitians to ensure 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.

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.

And 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.

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

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

Alice Woodwark, managing director of communities at 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 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 of estates and facilities at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, adds: “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.”

Mitie and apetito innovate to cut carbon from hospital catering process

Mitie has launched its first ‘low-carbon menu’ for patients at St George’s Hospital in a move which will save up to 23 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Designed in collaboration with its food partner, apetito, and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; the menu focuses on prioritising ingredients with a lower carbon footprint, such as poultry, fish, and vegan options.

Designed by dietitians, the new menu will ensure all dietary requirements – such as gluten free, vegan and easy to chew foods – continue to be catered for.

The move comes as it is estimated that from growing crops and feeding cattle, through to packaging, transporting, and throwing away waste; food-related emissions account for over one third of the world’s greenhouse emissions.

The specially-designed menu includes three different hot meal options for patients to choose from for each lunch and dinner.

From the origin of ingredients, to how meals are prepared; the food we eat has an impact on the environment

As well as providing ample variety for patients, the new menu also prioritises ingredients with a lower carbon footprint 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 every year, demonstrating that even small changes can have a significant impact on the environment, while still giving patients plenty of choice.

As well as saving carbon emissions, the menu has been reviewed by Mitie and St George’s dietitians to ensure 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.

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.

And 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.

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

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

Alice Woodwark, managing director of communities at 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 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 of estates and facilities at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, adds: “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.”

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