Sustainable Restaurant Association

SRA 2 star logo

We achieved a 2 star rating as part of our Sustainable Restaurant Association membership in 2019.

Reduction in plastic bag sales

Sustain Carrier Bag Stats

Sales of single-use plastic carrier bags on campus reduced by 7,400 between April 2018 and April 2019.

Re-usable cups increase

Sustain KeepCup Stats

2018 saw a 49% increase in the use of KeepCups

Reduction in vehicle deliveries

Sustain Catered Halls Stats

By streamlining orders we've reduced vehicle deliveries to our catered halls by 50%

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 increase our sustainability.

As well as working hard to ensure that our daily practices are as sustainable as possible, we have made the following environmental commitments‌:

Our Environmental Achievements

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.

Reduction in sales of single-use carrier bags

  • Through a collaboration with the Students' Guild, introducing a charity donation through a token system for customers purchasing a plastic carrier bag in our Market Place shops. Since the end of last year, the initiative has seen over £1,440 donated to charities. Single-use plastic bag purchases reduced by 7,400 between April 2018 and April 2019.

Reusable Water Bottles and Concert Cups

  • 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 draft drinks for live events, removing the need for single-use plastic drinks bottles.
  • Give Me Tap 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.

Disposable Cup Recycling - Simply Cups

  • 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 KeepCups

  • 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 25p.
  • Rice husk cups are also available with a new range of Barisca Coffee Co. branded cups coming soon.

Carbon Footprint Reduction

  • Streamlining supplier orders to our Catered Halls has seen a 50% reduction in vehicle deliveries to campus.
  • 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.

Our Suppliers

We carefully select suppliers who share our passion for the environment and are proud to partner with some local and highly sustainable producers.

Honeybuns

Dorset-based artisan bakery Honeybuns is renowned for indulgent handmade cakes of exceptional flavour, quality and texture. They pride themselves on baking their products in small batches through a slow process, using carefully sourced ingredients to create delicious 'free from' and vegan-friendly traybakes.

Honeybuns also try to leave a light footprint on the environment, with their green achievements to date including the creation of a 5 acre nature reserve and installation of 5 beehives at the bakery.

They are also conducting ongoing research into compostable film and are committed to extensive on site recycling. The installation of solar panels provides up to 40% of the bakery’s electricity needs.

Enjoy their sweet treats in our campus catering and retail outlets and on the Fresh Ideas refreshments breaks menu as the gluten free, vegan traybakes option. 

Burts Crisps

We stock local Burts Crisps in all our campus cafes and shops and on our Fresh Ideas menus.
Their environemntal credentials include:

  • A commitment to be a zero to landfill site
  • Their 30,000 ft warehouse has been installed with the latest energy efficient light system.
  • Their cardboard and wooden pallets are all recycled.
  • They were the first crisp producer to meet Red Tractor standards

Truly Treats

Find the cakes and traybakes of this family-run local bakers in many of our campus cafes.

Being based just down the road in Kingsteignton means getting their products to the University has a relatively low carbon footprint. Truly Treats themselves are committed to reducing their environmental impact, so by sourcing their ingredients from local farmers, as well as supplying their products to other local businesses, they are able to keep their food miles to a minimum.

Trewithen Dairy

You'll spot Trewithen Dairy products on the shelves in our Market Place shops, from bottled milk to clotted cream. We also use their ingredients in our cafe products and menus and in the Fresh Ideas delivered food service.

All Trewithen Dairy products are from herds farmed by families local to the Glynn Valley in Cornwall. Environmental responsibility is a top priority for the dairy, including the following objectives:

  • They have a team of engineers who help to ensure that their waste materials are disposed of in the correct ways.
  • They have a goal of zero to landfill by 2020.
  • All their milk bottles, caps and labels are 100% recyclable.
  • Plastic remains a viable material for their milk bottles, as it is very light and allows them to transport more milk on fewer vehicles. Their bottles are also currently made with 15% recycled plastic, helping to reduce waste and sustain the recycling chain.

Booker Group

Booker Group supply many of our products to the Market Place shops. They share our committment to sustainability and can boast the following environmental achievements:

  • They have recently achieved four certifications to the Carbon Trust Standard for the second time, recognising reductions in carbon emissions, waste output, water use and the achievement of zero waste to landfill status. Booker Group is the only wholesaler to hold these four certifications.
  • They have made year-on-year reductions to their carbon emissions, water use and waste emissions.
  • In the last five years, they have seen an electricity saving of 42 gigawatts.  Since starting their LED project, they have saved enough energy to power 42 average size Booker branches. 
  • The latest round of audits confirm that Booker Group has delivered twelve years of absolute carbon emission reductions.  During those twelve years, the Group has saved almost 14,000 tonnes of carbon, equal to a family driving for 44 million miles.

Bidfood

We order many of our products from Bidfood for use across the University Catering and Retail Services. Ordering multiple ingredients from one supplier means less deliveries to campus, therefore reducing our carbon footprint. Sustainability has been a key part of the Bidfood business strategy since the business began in 1999 andsince then, they have radically changed the way they manage their sustainability agenda, putting in place a three-year strategy. This combines everything from reducing fleet emissions and supporting beekeepers across the country, to reducing paperwork through the use of apps and striving to source responsibly, minimise their
consumption and waste and recycling as much as possible.

Other sustainability headlines include:

  • Introducing plate2planet.co.uk, their leading online initiative dedicated to creating positive change for sustainability in foodservice. plate2planet.co.uk acts as a central hub, bringing organisations together to share best practice and to help take the industry’s sustainability agenda forward.
  • Signing up to the WRAP Courtauld Commitment 2025, which aims to reduce the resources needed to provide food and drink in the UK by 20% in 10 years.
  • Supporting WRAP’s Guardians of Grub campaign https://www.guardiansofgrub.com and the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.
  • Being part of the Planet Mark sustainability certification programme, which requires evidence of measurable reductions in carbon footprint.