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Sanctuary Care launches new waste strategy

30th January 2024


Sanctuary Care is proud to be leading the way in sustainability across the care sector by launching a new waste strategy, which has seen the national provider reduce its daily food waste by 31 per cent (176,000 kilograms) in just one year alone.

This was achieved using resources from Guardians of Grub, a joint initiative by Hellmann’s and WRAP to help operators rise up against the 1.1 million tonnes of food thrown away by the food service and hospitality industry each year.

The programme aims to tackle the financial and environmental implications of food waste. Approximately 8-10% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions relate to food waste , which costs the hospitality and food service sector £3.2 billion per annum .

With British care homes sending an estimated £50,000 of food to landfill every year, Sanctuary Care, which produces more than 14,000 meals for residents and staff per day, recognised that it needed to do more in the fight against food waste.

By adapting the principles, practical tools and training from Guardians of Grub, Sanctuary Care has created a unique "Warriors of Waste" movement, working with every member of the team, from kitchen porters to chefs, to the carers supporting with food service, to cut food waste.

Sarah Clarke-Kuehn, Chief Operating Officer for Sanctuary Care, commented:

“The kitchen is at the heart of every care home, playing a vital role in preparing nourishing meals to enrich the lives of our residents and staff. However, this essential space can generate a substantial amount of food waste, which creates both environmental and economic challenges for care providers.

“We all have a moral responsibility to address the climate crisis. That’s why we have personalised the principles of Guardians of Grub to develop Sanctuary Care’s Warrior of Waste programme to reduce food waste across our care homes and divert food waste away from landfill into a closed loop system.”

Created in collaboration with the community in each of its care homes, Sanctuary Care’s waste strategy focuses on education, food preparation, production and person-specific portion identification.  Food waste that is returned from plates – and food that has not been used from the trolley and won’t be able to be repurposed - is weighed and recorded daily on Sanctuary Care’s ELIFE System and quantified on a monthly basis.

This innovative programme has enabled the not-for-profit provider to mitigate its food waste footprint, improve mealtime experiences for residents, and redirect funds saved back into the business for the benefit of enriching the lives of its residents.

Sarah Clarke-Kuehn added:

“The reception from our culinary and care teams has been fantastic. We are incredibly proud of the results that we have achieved so far, but this is just the start of our journey. We have set an ambitious target to reduce food waste by a further 20 per cent across our homes over the next year and are now embarking on Phase 2 of the strategy, focussing on waste transportation and moving to a closed loop system.”