On-site service provider Sodexo in partnership with Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) has won top honours at the 2012 Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) Awards for Environmental Excellence, which recognises and rewards good practice in sustainable waste and resource management.

CIWM AwardsThe Sodexo/CMFT partnership scooped the Sustainable Facilities Management Performance of the Year award against stiff competition at an award ceremony held at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square hotel yesterday. The awards ceremony was hosted by TV presenter Julia Bradbury, and the judges included Dr Liz Goodwin, chief executive of the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and John Ingham, environment editor of the Daily Express and Gemma Clinton, vice chair of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee.

CMFT is the leading provider of healthcare services in Manchester, treating more than one million patients every year. Sodexo manages and delivers the catering and facilities management services for the Trust in accordance with its own sustainability roadmap to 2020, the Better Tomorrow Plan, of which one of the commitments is to reduce waste.

Focusing on reducing waste, Sodexo has a robust system in place where stock is monitored and linked up with operations on site, ensuring that it manages and orders the right amount of stock with minimal wastage. With CMFT serving over 4,395 meals a day, food waste is a particular issue and close monitoring has allowed Sodexo to determine preferred patient meals and tailor menus accordingly, with the aim of avoiding unnecessary food waste. The food waste that does occur is segregated and the bins are weighed on collection in order to identify peaks and troughs aligning with hospital activity. As a result of these initiatives, Sodexo was able to deliver a 50% decrease in the volume of food waste produced over a six month period.

Work has also been undertaken with WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) who carried out site visits and a compositional analysis of the waste streams. One recommendation which has been put in place includes additional engagement with ward staff to address negative perceptions regarding hospital food, including tasting sessions with matrons, lead nurses and dieticians. It is anticipated that this will lead to further food wastage reductions, as well as other clinical benefits.

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