Sustainability is one of Catalyst by Wellstar’s six strategic focus areas, as caring for our environment directly impacts the health and well-being of the people in our communities and the world. In April 2023, Catalyst by Wellstar approached Goodr with a proposal to collaborate on sustainability initiatives.


Goodr, a sustainability-focused company born in Atlanta in 2017, specializes in diverting surplus food from businesses to nonprofits, reducing waste and helping feed the people who need it the most. The company has provided food to millions of people across the United States while diverting millions of pounds of waste away from landfills.

The partnership between Catalyst and Goodr started at the bistro located at the Wellstar Corporate Office (WCO) in Marietta, which handles all of the food preparation for all of Wellstar’s health parks, hospital bistros and the entire system’s catering. Since then, the partnership has extended to Wellstar Cobb Medical Center, Wellstar Windy Hill Hospital and Wellstar Paulding Medical Center.


In 2018, United States landfills received 146.2 million pounds of municipal solid waste (trash or garbage), according to the Environmental Protection Agency. While landfills are needed, overreliance on them causes damage to our planet, as they release gases like methane, one of the key greenhouse gases accelerating climate change (University of Colorado Boulder 2021). According to the same article, landfills also tend to have leaks of leachate, a liquid produced by these sites, which can contaminate local water sources, creating a health threat.


In 2023, this joint effort successfully diverted 15,837 pounds of waste from landfills and prevented 8,599 pounds of carbon emissions.

The Wellstar corporate bistro alone accounted for diverting 9,205 pounds of organic waste—onion peels, roots and other inedible food scraps—from landfills and preventing nearly 5,000 pounds of carbon emissions. That’s the equivalent of 5,625 miles driven by a car – over 255 gallons of gasoline. It also equates to saving 911,245 gallons of water, charging 275,800 phones or preventing the burning of over 2,500 pounds of coal.

Additionally, every three pounds of waste diverted creates one pound of soil, which means Wellstar has created about 5,280 pounds of healthy soil in one year.

Here’s a crafted quote from the leader of the Wellstar bistro reflecting the positive impacts of organics recycling as highlighted in the case study:

“Embracing organics recycling at Wellstar’s bistro has been a transformative journey toward sustainability that extends beyond our kitchen. Since partnering with Goodr, we’ve not only reduced our environmental footprint by diverting significant waste from landfills but have also actively contributed to nourishing our community,” said Michael Fakih, Executive Chef and Assistant Manager of Bistro Operations, Wellstar Health System.

“By converting waste into healthy soil while cutting greenhouse gases, we are not merely discarding less — we are healing more. Each handful of healthy soil we create is a step towards a greener tomorrow, and every reduction in emissions a promise to future generations,” said Jaimie Clark, Head of Innovation at Catalyst by Wellstar, and the Director of Innovation and Venture Strategy for Wellstar Health System.


Each handful of healthy soil we create is a step towards a greener tomorrow, and every reduction in emissions a promise to future generations.

Jaimie Clark, Head of Innovation at Catalyst by Wellstar, and the Director of Innovation and Venture Strategy for Wellstar Health System

These stats highlight the importance of reducing the waste we send to landfills. While the WCO bistro initially used two containers for scraps, it now fills six containers, all collected by Goodr every month. This expansion shows the significant impact a single restaurant can produce.

Wellstar is not only helping preserve our environment, but also addressing food insecurity in our communities. The collaboration with Goodr provides meals to nine Atlanta nonprofits, including Second Helpings Atlanta, resulting in 7,340 meals served in 2023.

“At Wellstar, we truly believe each and every person deserves to live their healthiest life, regardless of their circumstances. And, for a person to live their healthiest life, they need sustainable access to fresh, nutritious food,” said Julie Teer, SVP, Wellstar Health System, and president, Wellstar Foundation.

Read more on our Bee Downtown case study about other ways we help address food insecurity in Georgia.


The Goodr and Wellstar partnership is set to continue through 2024. The program’s success in its initial stages has inspired possible expansions to other Wellstar hospitals. This collaboration aims to integrate sustainability into the broader healthcare system, creating a positive ripple effect in waste reduction and community support.

By diverting substantial amounts of waste from landfills, preventing carbon emissions, and supporting local nonprofits, this initiative stands as a model for environmentally-conscious and community-oriented healthcare practices. As the partnership evolves, its impact will positively influence the entire Wellstar system and surrounding communities.