OUR SITES: Centre for Sustainable Healthcare | Sustainable Action Planning | NHS Forest | Mapping Greener Healthcare | Carbon Addict

Meat-Free Mondays Pledge - Renal Unit

By: Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

460 kgCO2e (Estimated)

Background: meat, amongst all food, has a high carbon footprint and is more costly than other foods. The renal unit dietician wished to raise awareness amongst staff of the particularly high carbon footprint of meat.

Approach: Kidney Unit staff were invited to sign the ‘Meat-free Monday’ campaign pledge.


Results: 30 staff signed up to the pledge.

Environmental: if staff were not eating a portion of meat once a week this would amount to 598 kgCO2e per year. Eating vegetables instead has approximately 77% of the carbon footprint of meat so the savings would be approximately 460 kgCO2e per year (Carbon factor is 2.5 for meat and 1.73 for vegetarian meals).

Cost: savings to the Trust would depend upon whether the staff were buying food from the hospital or providing their own meals. Vegetarian meals tend to be cheaper than meat-based meals and so there would be a potential saving for the Trust if this measure was adopted at scale in the canteens.

Social: there are potential benefits to staff in joining a movement and in raising awareness of the environmental impacts of our daily choices and habits.

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare runs the Green Ward Competition as a clinical engagement programme for NHS Trusts wishing to improve their environmental sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint.

Olivia Bush, olivia.bush@sustainablehealthcare.org.uk