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From food and medicine, bed linen and medical equipment, to furniture, printers and mobile phones: for a hospital to function, it needs a large stock of consumer goods. These products inevitably have an impact on the planet. But the HUG are determined to limit these effects. To do this, the institution has a policy of responsible procurement, in line with the principles of sustainable development. All hospital buyers have signed a charter in which they pledge to take into account environmental considerations in their acquisitions. For each purchase, they are asked to think about whether the product is really necessary, whether it is easy to maintain and repair, and whether it is made of recyclable materials.
The HUG are also very attentive to the behaviour of their suppliers, who are asked to ratify an agreement in which they agree to act according to the principles of sustainable development. On 31 December 2015, 250 of them had signed this agreement.
A huge effort has been made to optimize food purchases, a major area of hospital expenditure. The catering department, which prepares over 3 million meals every year, is encouraged to promote seasonal produce sourced from the local market. Wherever possible, foods labeled "Genève Région Terre Avenir" are prioritised. And to encourage employees to do the same at home, chefs at the HUG offer recipe cards to their colleagues at the restaurants tills.
Finally, for those who are keen to reduce their meat consumption, every HUG restaurant offers a full and reasonably priced vegetarian option.
The HUG has signed up to the Beelong tool, created by alumni of the Lausanne hotel school, to evaluate the environmental impact of food purchases. After analyzing patient meals, in autumn 2015 they scrutinised the menus served in the eight company restaurants. The results showed exemplary behaviour when it comes to the purchase of seasonal produce: the majority of fruit and vegetables used at the HUG are served during their "natural" harvest period. And efforts are being made to increase the proportion of certified foods.