Over the past three years, HCWH Europe and the Hospital of Niort have run the MECAHF project, a pilot project to measure and reduce food waste. Reducing food waste not only helps to reduce the negative environmental impacts of the healthcare sector, but can also benefit patients’ health and help reduce costs, allowing for further investment in healthy and sustainable food as part of the overall procurement process.
With this pilot project, we have demonstrated that catering services in healthcare can play an important role in making food a fundamental part of patient and staff satisfaction with healthcare services, as well as reducing the environmental impact of hospitals. The project has also shown us that involving a wide range of stakeholders, including patients and local, organic farmers, is essential in developing and implementing sustainable food strategies within hospitals that help to prevent and reduce food waste.
Towards the end of 2020, the project concluded with a virtual conference, where the results of the measurement were presented in French (you can learn more about this event here). In the webinar recording below, Paola Hernandez Olivan, who coordinated the project, presents an overview of the project’s objectives and the actions taken to achieve them, as well as the set of tools that were created as part of the project to measure food waste, and the carbon footprint of food products in order to inform and support purchasing decisions. The final project report is also available in English.
A key objective of the MECAHF project is to raise awareness and share the experience of the Hospital of Niort, by scaling up their success across the European healthcare, so we can accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems in healthcare.