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Local and Sustainable Food

Although in many cases employees are responsible for bringing their own food to work, it is still important to promote the benefits of local and sustainable food. Making sure that any food provided by your company is sustainable, alongside educating employees on environmental choices, and giving them proper disposal options is imperative, to tackle the UK’s huge food waste problem.

How to make a change

  • Consider the TYPE of food offered, WHERE it is sourced from, and how WASTE is dealt with.
  • Support a green company kitchen, lunchroom or cafeteria, including sustainable food choices, eco-friendly food packaging and serving containers, and proper waste management.
  • Implement employee training on sustainability and green purchasing policies, and get them to consider their own sustainable food practices at home, as well as what they bring to work.
  • Implement composting in the workplace as an empowering initiative for food waste management. Compost bins should be placed conveniently in workplace eating areas so leftover food scraps can be collected and then taken to the nearest composting facility, or community garden with a composting system in place.
  • Have set ‘plant-based’ lunch days to encourage staff and volunteers to try sustainable vegetarian and vegan alternatives.
  • Try out regular team meals, including food sharing to get staff trying new recipes.
  • Grow produce in the office i.e., lettuces and tomatoes, if you have the space. Produce can be used in the office or taken home by employees. Many small crops can be grown even with limited space, such as herbs, or vertical growing structures can be used for salads.
  • Introduce measures to limit food waste both in the office and at home, e.g., a food sharing programme with employees to bring in their unwanted food, or send excess food home with employees, or donate to a local food pantry.
  • Keep the fridge to below 5 Degrees Celsius to optimise storage.

Example Actions

  • Grow your own windowsill herbs
  • Introduce a food waste collection for composting leftovers
  • Have (x) staff meals a week

Useful Links

Glean for Brum is an organisation that organises volunteering days to harvest surplus food from farms in and around Birmingham and get it to those in need. See what’s on at:

Olio is a mobile app through which you can donate surplus food to people in your local area, or vice versa, you can rescue leftovers from going to waste, all for free.

Too Good to Go is a mobile app which gives you access to reduced unsold food from local café’s, stores, and restaurants. Either donate your leftovers, or rescue someone else’s.

Have a look at this BBC article on food growing in the office.

Love Food, Hate Waste are an initiative working to get people to reduce their food waste, and their website has plenty of free recipe ideas and tips for making the most out of your food.

Download an Action Plan so you can set your own goals!

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