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Hempnall Primary reduces their sides waste using the Cool Food Pro Calculator

Hempnall Primary school catering is provided by Norse catering and the kitchen acts as a central hub providing food for Hempnall Primary and three other local schools in Norfolk. The school has an executive head who is keen to reduce the amount of food waste produced in the dining room at Hempnall, with a view to extending this to the other schools that are currently catered to

What was the challenge?

Hempnall Primary school engaged with the Cool Food Pro project to help them understand their food waste situation and how they can reduce it, improve their carbon footprint, and save money.

How did they solve it?

Using the food waste audit and support from the PECT Cool Food Pro project team, Hempnall were able to establish a baseline to measure their food waste against. They discovered that the average dining hall waste per day per meal was approximately 100g; equal to throwing 30% of each meal away.

The Cool Food Pro team presented their findings and made some recommendations for the school based on observations and data which was added to the Cool Food Pro Calculator.

These recommendations included but weren’t limited to:

  • Reviewing portion sizes, particularly for the younger children.

  • Creating a whole school approach to reducing food waste.

  • Making waste audits a consistent part of the kitchen waste management processes

  • Using the Cool Food Pro calculator to monitor situation and understand what other changes can be made

Using the recommendations presented, and the results from the audit, the school chose to focus on reducing the portion sizes of their sides as their first target. In selecting to reduce their sides waste they can build their understanding of how well the whole school adapts to the changes whilst still providing a nutritious meal.


How did the CFP tool help?

The calculator tool allowed them to visualise their waste problem and understand how beneficial any changes could be. By having all their carbon savings in one place the school can understand  the impact of their waste reduction and can start to work on other carbon saving processes such as reducing meat by introducing meat free Mondays.


What happened next?

Between the initial audit of October 2022 and the follow up in March 2023 the daily waste average fell from 5.71 to 1.53kg, which amounts to 3.76 kg CO2e savings and £4 financial savings, a total savings of 73%.


Hempnall Primary Academy have shared a recipe they use in their canteen. To see, click in the following link: toffee-cream-shortbread 

I found the project very interesting and indeed when calculating the waste … I observed for the final three days we reduced the amount of vegetables wasted … I found the project very worthwhile.

Joanne Cogger
Norse Catering - Hempnall Primary School

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Find out how to get involved

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