Client Organization: University of Michigan Health System
Secondary Client Organization: Patient Food & Nutrition Services
Secondary Client Website: Patient Food & Nutrition Services
SNRE Faculty Advisor: Ming Xu
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Jenna Agins (Erb ’13), MBA/MS Sustainable Systems
  • Annie Cronin (Erb ’14), MBA/MS Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Catherine Dyson (Erb ’14), MBA/MS Sustainable Systems
  • Kate Newlin, MS Sustainable Systems
Summary of Project Idea: 

About Patient Food and Nutrition Services (PFANS) 
PFANS prepares and provides food and food services to patients throughout the UM health and hospital system including, University Hospital, Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and the Cardiovascular Center. It also delivers meals and supplements to elderly outpatients through its Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels program. PFANS staffs about 250 employees and has an operating budget of over $16 million.

About the Project
With the opening and construction of several new facilities, PFANS is currently going through significant transition in the way it operates. These developments provide a significant and timely platform for a student team to assess and make actionable recommendations on how to change PFANS’s waste stream management to incorporate industry-leading sustainability strategies. There is significant impetus from the group to find opportunities for waste reduction that streamlines operational processes and delivers tangible cost-savings. These opportunities will help further the dual goals of reducing PFANS’s waste footprint and continuing to remain a leader in healthcare delivery. Considerations include expansion and improvement of recycling efforts (possibility taking advantage of existing programs within the University of Michigan), incorporation of composting processes in new facilities, product improvement/replacement, vendor selection, operational assessment, social and environmental benefits to stakeholders, employee engagement and cost analysis. The final deliverable would be a comprehensive waste management strategy, business plan and possible action plan for a pilot program. Read more

SNRE Program Areas: 

  • Behavior, Education, and Communication
  • Sustainable Systems