We achieved a 2 star rating as part of our Sustainable Restaurant Association membership in 2019.
Sustainable Food and Drink Initiatives
Our Environmental Commitments
As the University Catering and Retail Services Team, we take our responsibilities to the environment very seriously. As part of our commitment to the University's climate change emergency declaration, we're always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and become more sustainable.
We are currently working towards 9 initiatives as part of the thematic forum in which students are welcome to input. We also have student guild representation on the Commercial Co-ordination Board to ensure student views are communicated. Alongside with these we had a successful Veganuary campaign where we encouraged our customers to eat less meat and try new meals through promotional offers and food pop ups.
As well as striving to ensure that our daily practices are as sustainable as possible, we have worked hard to make improvements in many areas of our business, and have celebrated some great achievements during the past 3 years, as follows:
- To adhere to the Sustainable Food Policy
- To maintain Fairtrade Accreditation
- To maintain a minimum of Level 2 Sustainable Restaurant Association rating across University owned catering facilities
- To reduce plastic waste as part of the Single Use Plastic Strategy.
Too Good To Go
Our Market Place Forum shop is listed on the Too Good to Go app. This is where you can purchase a 'magic bag' of goodies that are at the end of their use by or best before dates. It helps to combat the huge issue of food being wasted. Items can be anything from sandwiches, to drinks and jars, and you won't know what you are going to get until you pick it up.
2 star Sustainable Restaurant Association rating
The Sustainable Restaurant Association help organisations to move towards a better food system in many areas of their business. They begin by auditing current practices in a range of criteria, then make a series of recommendations for improvement.
Many of the areas help to tackle sustainability issues, including the climate crisis, world hunger, food waste and drought. The University was proud to achieve a 2 star rating in Autumn 2019, scoring highly in celebrating local and seasonal food; supporting global farmers, particularly though our work with the Fairtrade Foundation; treating staff fairly and through efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.
The University is committed to supporting, using and promoting Fairtrade within the retail and catering outlets on campus and works towards a number of goals set by the Fairtrade Foundation.
We carefully select suppliers who share our passion for the environment and are proud to partner with some local and highly sustainable producers.
Find out more about Our Suppliers >
Our Climate Emergency and Sustainability Actions
- A 20% reduction of meat content in meal production, supplementing with plant-based alternatives such as Quorn, soya and jackfruit.
- Use of sustainable fish farmers.
- Glass bottled water sourced from Devon rather than Wales.
- Introduced a local fresh milk refilling station in our Market Place shop in the Forum.
- All our hot drinks and sugar are Fairtrade certified.
- Where meat is on menus, it is sourced via our supplier in a sustainable way.
- Streamlining supplier orders to our Catered Halls has seen a 50% reduction in vehicle deliveries to campus.
- Less diesel truck visits to campus by reducing delivery days by 50%.
- With over 431 South West products on our supply list, the distance that our ingredients travel is minimal.
- By switching to electric vehicles for our delivered food service we have drastically reduced our emissions. 80 % of our vehicle fleet are now electric.
- Significantly reduced our food miles by moving from 40 to 10 suppliers.
- Waste cooking oil is collected and converted into bio fuel.
Plastic and Recycling
- NEW FOR 2021! Coke have just announced they are moving to 100% recycled plastic on all on-the-go bottles of 500ml or less. Read their story here.
- Plastic bags have been replaced by paper bags in our Market Place shops.
- Fresh Ideas, the University delivered food service team, introduced branded water bottles and dispensers for use by customers on campus.
- Fresh Ideas have also introduced reusable cups and draught drinks for live events, removing the need for single-use plastic drinks bottles.
- Reusable water bottles are available to buy from Eat and Shop outlets, encouraging staff and students to fill their bottle from a water point on campus.
- We've prevented the waste of over 5,000 plastic milk bottles through smarter milk use.
- We've removed all plastic straws, cutlery and sauce sachets from our outlets.
- Disposable cups can be fully recycled on both the Streatham and St Luke’s campuses in Simply Cup bins, located in multiple high footfall areas.
- University branded KeepCups are available to buy from the Eat and Shop outlets, with hot drink prices for customers with a reusable cup being reduced by 40p.
- Barisca Coffee Co. and University branded Huskup rice husk cups are also available.
- We use Planglow take away eco-packaging in many of our cafes. This environmentally friendly alternative to polystyrene and other oil-based plastic packaging is designed to have minimal impact on the environment and is made from sustainable, plant-based materials that will break down in composting environments. Planglow work with mills that source their raw materials - wood and corn starch - from renewable growth forests or plantations.
- The sandwich packaging in our cafes comes from the Real Wrap Co. who are working hard to elimate plastic and tackle the issue of food waste. They are working with FareShare South West, a Bristol-based charity who take quality, in-date surplus food from the food industry and redistribute it to over 180 charities, schools and community groups across the region. They have also engaged local brewery Wiper and True to create a toast ale using their waste bread.
- All takeaway containers are now 100% compostable and recyclable.