Hospitals and other institutions through the United States are leveraging their food service operation to support environmental and human health.
By creating a sustainable food service vision statement and policy, hospitals move from isolated projects, sustained by the interest and involvement of a few staff, to a formal framework for understanding and making progress.
Conducting an inventory or assessment before setting the policy and plans is recommended as part of this process in order to include effective goals, benchmarks and tracking, and performance systems.
Adoption of a sustainable food service policy and plan offers many important potential benefits:
- Institutionalize food service operations and purchasing initiatives.
- Build awareness and support by decision‐makers, budget holders, operations, and purchasing staff.
- Clarify goals, expectations, and the limits of key areas of focus.
- Facilitate communication with GPOs, suppliers, employees, patients, and the public.
- Establish a framework to drive operations and purchasing decisions.
- Specify and justify bidding and contracting provisions.
- Create and rationalize incentives for change by food and food service suppliers.
- Address policy conflicts and other barriers that can hamper projects.
- Create mechanisms to collect and assess cost and performance data to guide efforts.
- Provide a clear path for increasing scope and impact.
Practice Greenhealth offers recommended goals, tools, and case studies to help our members with assessment and implement strategies.