Natural History Museum reviews sustainability of its catering contract
London’s Natural History Museum (UK) is planning to reduce waste through its catering service, with potential financial savings of up to £20,000 – almost 30 percent of the contract’s total value. The museum site supplies 235,500 hot meals each year as well as drinks and cold snacks. Following a review undertaken by the contract department, food waste was identified as a key area for improvement.
The museum ran trials to estimate the volume of food waste produced during normal periods and peak times. Food waste is usually produced at a rate of around 780kg per week, more than doubling during peak times to 1,820kg per week. To overcome this, the Museum will include a Resource Management Plan (RMP) in future contracts, with key performance indicators to help the contract manager check progress.
Behavioural change for both staff and visitors was seen as another key factor in reducing the amount of waste. Ellie Simes, Environmental and Sustainability Manager, said: “We find it difficult to get school parties to segregate waste in the picnic area, so we are thinking of how colleagues looking after school groups can encourage them to sort waste for recycling.”