Neighbourhood Hubs win the Earthshot Prize

The Royal Foundation award for the Milan project against food waste

The City of Milan with its Neighbourhood Hubs Food Policy project against food waste is the winner in the "A world without waste" section, of the first edition of the international Earthshot Prize for the best solutions to protect the environment, organised by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

On Sunday October 17th, live on the BBC and Discovery Channel, Prince William unveiled the winners after an international panel of experts selected Milan from 750 candidate initiatives from around the world. In Milan, the BBC arranged a link to London from a terrace overlooking the Duomo, which was attended by Deputy Mayor Anna Scavuzzo, with representatives of all the partners who bring this project to life.

The £1 million prize will be used to further develop the three hubs in the neighbourhoods Isola, Lambrate and Gallaratese, open new ones, ensuring their long-term sustainability, and replicate this excellent practice in the network of cities working with Milan on food policy.

The project was the result of an alliance, in 2017, between the City of Milan, Politecnico di Milano with the research group from the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering "Food Sustainability Lab", of which the Food Sustainability Observatory is part, Assolombarda, Fondazione Cariplo and the QuBì Programme

The creation of the first Hub then brought in Banco Alimentare della Lombardia and saved over 10 tonnes of food per month, ensuring a stream of 260,000 equivalent meals in one year, reaching 3,800 people, thanks to the contribution of 20 supermarkets, 4 business canteens and 24 Third Sector organisations. 

This was followed by the launch of the Hub in Lambrate, immediately after the first lockdown in spring 2020, also managed by Banco Alimentare della Lombardia in a space made available by AVIS Milano and with the support of BCC Milano. The third Hub, at Gallaratese, is managed by Terre des hommes with the support of the Fondazione Milan. Another one, currently in the planning stage, will be the neighbourhood Hub against food waste in Corvetto, managed by the Banco Alimentare della Lombardia and with the support of the Fondazione SNAM; while the Municipality of Milan has recently started the co-design process for the Hub in the city centre with Associazione IBVA and the support of BCC Milano.


The team from the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering:
Alessandro Perego, Marco Melacini, Giulia Bartezzaghi, Annalaura Silvestro and Andrea Rizzuni from the Food Sustainability research group. 

Partners involved:
The project involves major retailers including Lidl Italia, Esselunga, Carrefour, NaturaSi, Erbert, Coop Lombardia, Il Gigante, Bennet, Penny Market with the support of Number1 Logistics Group who provided the vans for the Isola and Lambrate hubs. With Fondazione Cariplo and SogeMi, The Municipality of Milan has also launched the Foody zero waste initiative to replicate the hub model at Ortomercato and recover fresh food together with Banco Alimentare della Lombardia, Recup, Croce rossa sud milanese, Università degli studi di Milano and many other supporting partners.