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From words to action: surplus food management to tackle food poverty and food waste.

Introduction to the Sustainability series

This MOOC is part of the series on “Sustainability”, which is one of the world’s major challenges of today and tomorrow and requires multidisciplinary competences. The series provides technical knowledge on a variety of topics, such as sustainable building, energy transition, water management and food waste prevention.

See the full series

Course description

This course is addressed to all those who are interested in reducing food waste and enhancing food security for people in need. Producers, food transformers, distributors, HoReCa enterprises and non-profit organizations, as well as consumers and citizens, can get new insights on issues such as the food waste hierarchy, food donation, healthy and responsible patterns of food consumption, food banking. The course also offers operational guidelines, best practices and conceptual models to managers, employees and volunteers who want to get proficient in surplus food re-use and re-distribution.

After learning the keywords of food sharing and food waste reduction, you will find out how surplus food arises and how unsold or unserved food can still be put at good use, through re-use and re-distribution processes. You will also understand the criteria and operational processes that support an efficient and socially-oriented management of surplus food, and will discover how new materials and new packaging solutions can be used to enhance food safety and resources-efficiency. After that, consumers are put under the lens, because we all can reduce food waste through our shopping choices and consumption behaviours.

A key player is then introduced, namely food banks and their different recovery models. Front-line non-profit organizations are also examined. Finally, the numerous changes occurring in the world of surplus food recovery and food waste reduction are discussed, from new models for non-profits, to new public policies, to innovative services.

Estimated effort: 6 hours

Banco Alimentare

Share Food, Cut Waste is a joint initiative of Politecnico di Milano and Fondazione Banco Alimentare ONLUS, a large Italian food bank.

Intended Learning Outcomes


No formal knowledge is required.


A Forum section is avaliable. The Forum is designed to allow students to exchange opinions and discuss open questions. The instructors participate in the Forum as well, as Administrators, and oversee the developing of the threads.

Topic outline

  • Week 0 - Introduction to the course

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Week 1 - Setting the scene

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Week 2 - Surplus food causes

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Week 3 - Reducing waste: the supply chain

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Week 4 - Reducing waste: the consumers

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Week 5 - Sharing food and reducing waste

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Week 6 - New frontiers

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Useful resources


The final grade for the course is based on your results from your responses to the graded quizzes. You will successfully complete the course if you reach 60% (or more) of the total score. The maximum score possible for each quiz is given at the top of the quiz. You can see your score in the quiz on your last attempt or on the 'Grades' page.

Certificate of accomplishment

You must be registered in POK through Politecnico di Milano personal account to obtain the Certificate of Accomplishment. It will be released to anyone who successfully completed the course by achieving at least 60% of the total score in the graded quizzes and filling the final survey. You will be able to download the Certificate of Accomplishment directly from Politecnico di Milano web services. The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree.

Information about fees and access to materials

You can access the course absolutely free of charge and completely online.

Course faculty


Alessandro Perego, Politecnico di Milano, School of Management

Alessandro Perego is Full Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Politecnico di Milano, where he is also Academic Director of the School of Management, Member of the Senate, Scientific Director of the “Digital Innovation” Observatories and of the “Internet of Things” Laboratory. He is Founder and Member of the Board of Directors of Fondazione Banco Alimentare Italia.

Del Curto

Barbara Del Curto, Politecnico di Milano, School of Design

Barbara Del Curto is associate Professor at the Chemistry, Material and Chemical Engineering Department "Giulio Natta", School of Design, Politecnico di Milano since 2010. She graduated in Industrial Design and she got her Ph.D. cum laude in Materials Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in May 2004. The research and teaching activity of Barbara Del Curto regards the design of materials and surfaces, with particular attention to innovative and functional materials, nanotechnologies and functional treatments of surface and their technology transfer in design, interiors, architecture, and textile/fashion, all sectors related to Made in Italy.


Paola Garrone, Politecnico di Milano, School of Management

Paola Garrone is Professor of Business and Industrial Economics at Politecnico di Milano. Her research interests include utilities economics and policy, and technological change in regulated industries. She has coordinated several national and international research contracts and grants in these fields. Recently, she has been working on the issues of surplus food redistribution, water innovation and infrastructure investments in developing countries.


Marco Melacini, Politecnico di Milano, School of Management

Marco Melacini is an Associate Professor on Logistics at Politecnico di Milano. Since 2007 he has been director of the Physical Distribution course for executives at MIP, the Politecnico di Milano Business School. He was involved in over 20 research/technology transfer projects and since 2011 he has been scientific responsible for the “Observatory on Contract logistics”. His current research interests include: warehousing and material handling system design, global logistics networks, supply chain risk management and supply chain sustainability.


Andrea Giussani, Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus

Doctor of Laws, Andrea Giussani acted in Large National and Int’l Companies. HR Director at Nielsen, Janssen-Cilag, Winterthur and Aurora Ins and he covered many Line positions in Nielsen. He was General Manager in Aurora Insurance, President in Navale Ins., Companies of Unipol Group. Trainer, Management Consultant and Corporate Coaching certified. From 2012, President of Banco Alimentare Onlus Foundation. He had assignments in Foundations and other no-profit Organisations.


Angela Frigo, Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus

Angela Frigo works for Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus, where she is responsible for EU and International Relations. Her role involves advising on European legislation and policies on food, environment and social affairs, liaising with international and European institutions and stakeholders, and collaborating with the European Federation of Food Banks. She holds an Executive Master in European Union Studies from Université Libre de Bruxelles. Moreover, she holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s Degree in Comparative Languages and Literatures from Università di Verona.


Martina Viganò, Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus

Martina Viganò works for Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus since 2015, currently as Food Supply Chain Assistant Manager. In 2014 she obtained a MSc in Development and International Relations at Aalborg Universitet, Denmark. Previously, she studied Foreign Languages for International Relations at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan, Italy. She spent 7 months in Tanzania undertaking an internship on a micro-credit project and for voluntary work.


Lisa Casali, Pool Inquinamento

Both the environment and food are her bread and butter. Graduated in Environmental Sciences, Lisa Casali earned a Master of Economics and Management from Università Bocconi, Italy. Since 2005 she has been working at “Pool Inquinamento” consortium, where she is Pool Manager since 2017. At the same time she is nurturing the passion for sustainable food and engages in combating waste; she founded the Ecocucina (Eco-cuisine) blog along with developing many projects. She hosts several TV programmes and runs a daily column on RDS. She wrote 6 books, of which the last, “Quanto basta” (“As much as needed”) was just published by Mondadori.

Contact details

If you have any enquiries about the course or if you need technical assistance please contact For further information, see FAQ page.