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Tackling the challenge of food waste has risen in importance, given its significant impact on the environment. A 2018 WRAP report reveals that in the UK alone, approximately 9.5 million tonnes of food go to waste annually, contributing to more than 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

However, the drive to minimise waste isn’t just an environmentally responsible choice – it’s a sound business decision. Research suggests that for every £1 invested in waste reduction, you can anticipate a £14 return on investment, effectively aligning your sustainability goals with cost-saving strategies.

Reducing Food Waste at an NHS Hospital

Mia Westwood, Client Procurement Manager at Pelican Procurement Services, shares how, with the support of Pelican’s Food Waste Monitoring tools, she helped an NHS hospital client reduce their food waste by 15%, with more to come! The tools are designed to empower kitchen teams to efficiently manage food waste in their daily operations, providing a practical approach to addressing this pressing concern.

Mia shares, “I recently supported one of our hospital client’s catering teams to improve their food waste monitoring processes. As part of their commitment to sustainability and meeting NHS England’s waste reduction requirements, they needed a cost-effective waste management solution that would integrate seamlessly with their existing processes and be user-friendly for their staff.

Pi’s Food Waste Module

To help, I first introduced them to the Food Waste Management module, available on our Pi e-procurement system. One significant advantage was that this module was compatible with the tablets the client’s food service assistants (FSAs) already used for electronic patient meal ordering, which made the implementation easier.

User-Friendly Interface

Our Pi team shared how easy and functional the Food Waste Management module was, and the client’s FSAs quickly adopted it. They liked using the same tablet to record waste as they used it for patient meal orders. The user-friendly interface made data entry simple and saved them valuable time, allowing them to focus more on patient care.

Setting a baseline for waste reduction

The Pelican team helped our client set a baseline for their waste reduction efforts. To do this, they set up the Food Waste Module on each ward and looked at the average cost of plate waste per kilogram across their menus. This helped them start reporting on their progress to minimise waste, focusing on each ward’s total weight of food waste generated.

Expanding to item-level monitoring

As the hospital’s FSAs got used to the system, the catering team wanted to take waste monitoring to the next level. We helped them transition to recording waste by specific items, such as porridge. As the Pi system provides granular data, the hospital catering team could quickly identify the items that contributed the most to their food waste and develop targeted reduction plans.

Empowering Retail Teams

The Pi Food Waste Module is now also helping the hospital retail teams. Previously, the retail team managed waste using manual Excel spreadsheets, but now they have a faster and more accurate way to monitor waste using the Pi Food Waste Management system.

Making informed decisions with data analysis

Using Pi’s Food Waste Module, clients can analyse data and make informed decisions about reducing food waste. The system generates monthly graphs showing how much food waste is produced in different areas. This data helps to identify trends, spot high-waste areas, and implement effective strategies to reduce food waste.


The Pi Food Waste Management Module has been a big help towards reducing food waste in line with our client’s sustainability pledge. It has improved waste management across their hospital wards, and their FSAs and retail teams have interacted well with the system. The module’s user-friendly interface and seamless integration with existing processes made it easy for them to use. The data analysis provided by the system has helped identify areas where the hospital teams can reduce waste and set up new strategies to continue with the progress.

Book your Pi demo

Interested in learning more about how our Pi Food Waste Management Module can help your teams reduce food waste? Contact our friendly team to book your demo at

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