Reading Time: 2 minutes 'We really want to engage with our staff around environmental sustainability and empower them to feel that they can help make a difference' Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission
Reading Time: 2 minutes

An NHS hospital in the UK has appointed a vegan Head of Sustainability and is working on reducing the amount of meat in its canteen – which serves both customers and staff.

As a result, University Hospital Southampton (UHS) served exclusively vegan and vegetarian food in its canteen. It took place on Earth Day this week.

This is as part of a drive to remove more meat from its menus.

Hospital’s meatless menu

According to a staff member – one of an 11,000 strong team – UHS is calling for meat-free Mondays to become a permanent fixture. This is inside its canteen, The Feast Restaurant.

Alongside the menu, posters listed the environmental benefits of ditching meat.

One read: “Every Monday The Feast Restaurant served 70 portions of pork. This contributes to 9.8 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

“This is the same as driving your car 25,000 miles a year, heating your home for nearly four years, and taking 22,000 showers for eight minutes in one year.”

Moreover, a similar poster displayed the environmental costs of beef production.

Earth Day environmental efforts

Alongside the new menu, UHS unveiled a virtual event consisting of a wealth of speakers. This was ‘to address the environmental challenges in the healthcare industry’, the staff member added. 

The hospital trust is keen to put plans in place to achieve this.

She added: “We really want to engage with our staff around environmental sustainability. And, empower them to feel that they can help make a difference.”

Sustainable healthcare

Jason Light is Head of Sustainability and Energy at UHS. He is also vegan.

He told PBN: “As the public sector grouping with the highest level of carbon emission, the NHS has a responsibility to respond to this crisis, which is why we are committed to delivering a world-class sustainable healthcare system.

“Today’s event is just the start of our renewed sustainability agenda.”

You can find out more about University Hospital Southampton’s sustainability efforts here

Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.