Webinar | Strategies to unlock the power of food in healthcare

18 March | 15:00 – 16:00 CET

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A sustainable food strategy can help achieve sustainability and health goals, and can also contribute to strengthening local communities and economies. To be effective, these strategies need to encompass all aspects of food delivery, including purchasing decisions, menu creation, food delivery, and waste disposal.

In this webinar, we will explore three important components of a successful sustainable food strategy in healthcare.

First, by leveraging their purchasing power, hospitals can drive more sustainable food production practices, with a positive impact on animal welfare and local food economies. Supporting and investing in local and organic food systems can also help improve community health.

Second, by increasing the offer of plant-based options healthcare providers can help improve health, reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions, and also save money. Hospital catering teams that are exploring the “plant-forward” trend are discovering creative, healthy, and sustainable recipes that satisfy patients, employees, and visitors.

Lastly, a sustainable approach to food also requires the prevention and reduction of food waste. Not only does this help save money, but avoiding food waste can help reduce the climate impacts of landfill disposal and prevent potential wasted energy and resources spent on food production.

During this webinar, we will demonstrate how applying new approaches and forms of collaboration can accelerate the development of scalable solutions in each of these key areas . With first-hand experience from speakers working in healthcare in Europe, participants will learn how to unlock the potential far-reaching benefits of sustainable food in healthcare.

This webinar aims to:

  • Present experiences from Austria, Germany, and Portugal in creating and implementing sustainable food strategies within healthcare that promote health and environmental sustainability.
  • Inspire other hospitals and health centres to implement a sustainable food strategy that combines action on health and sustainability.
  • Stimulate a constructive debate around the benefits, opportunities, and challenges of adopting a healthy and sustainable approach to food provision in healthcare.



Paola HERNANDEZ OLIVAN, Food Policy and Projects Officer - Health Care Without Harm Europe

Paola oversees HCWH Europe’s Sustainable Food programme, advocating for food systems within healthcare that conserve and renew natural resources, advance social justice and animal welfare, build community wealth, and fulfil all of our nutritional needs both now and in the future.

Prof. Dr. Edda WEIMANN, Medical Director - Fachklinik Gaissach (Hospital for Chronic Diseases), Germany

A paediatrician, endocrinologist, and public health specialist, Edda has international experience, obtaining her Medical Degree at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, as well as her Habilitation in Paediatrics and her Master’s degree in Public Health (Health Systems) at the University of Cape Town. She carried out her postgraduate research at a national research institute in France (INSERM) and has received national research grants for her work. She has served as a Head of Department and Hospitals of tertiary care facilities and is a faculty member of universities in Germany, Switzerland, and South Africa. In addition to her current role as Medical Director, she is a Professor of Child Health at the Technical University of Munich and Honorary Associate Professor of Health Information Systems at the University in Cape Town. She has broad teaching and research experience at different universities and faculties, and she has earned research and innovation awards for her work. She has transformed two hospitals towards sustainable management that also included a shift to a meat-free day per week.

Catarina SOUSA, Nutritionist - Hospital Lusíadas, Portugal

Catarina graduated in 2017 as a Dietitian and since 2020 has been working as a clinical Dietitian at the Hospital Lusíadas, a private hospital in Lisbon. She is part of the Dietetics and Nutrition Team comprising four dietitians whose responsibilities include nutritional screening and evaluation of hospitalised patients, as well as control and supervision of food safety.

Christina SCHMIDT, Director of Kitchen Management - Hospital Hietzing, Neurological Center Rosenhügel, Austria

For over 29 years, Christina has been responsible for the economic and logistical management of Hospital Hietzing’s food supply. Located in Vienna, the hospital serves approximately 2,600 meals a day. Christina has been involved in several projects, such as UMBESA and Natürlich Gut Teller. Christina aims to strengthen sustainable nutrition for the entire Vienna Hospital Association.

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