Over the past decade, the movement to create healthier, more sustainable food systems and to reduce food waste on hospital campuses has intensified. On average, more than 20 percent of a large hospital’s total waste is food waste, despite the fact that almost everything coming out of the kitchen and dining areas could be recycled or fed into a biological process (e.g., composting, anaerobic digestion, food for farm animals).20 While there are numerous ways that food service operations can be more sustainable, many of the short-term strategies that are listed primarily focus on eliminating waste. The goal is for UNMC/NM’s food service operations to become zero-waste, which the Zero Waste International Alliance defines as achieving at least 90 percent diversion of all waste from the landfill or incinerator.21 There are also short- and long-term strategies that focus on increasing the amount of sustainably-produced food offerings and promoting healthier lifestyles through good food choices. By working with its long-term food services vendor, Sodexo, which has demonstrated a good foundation and willingness for adopting sustainable food service operations, UNMC/NM have the opportunity to further reduce the waste that they produce as well promote healthy food choices in alignment with their community health-oriented missions.
There is no specific metric or baseline
Food Services Waste
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