Producing and transporting the food we eat is a significant and growing environmental issue. It accounts for 20-30% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and 70% of human water use, and is also a leading contributor to deforestation, land-use change, land and water pollution, and biodiversity loss.
On this page you can find out about what is already happening at the University, and how you can get involved in your department or College.
Sustainable Food Policy
At the University of Cambridge, the University's Catering Services have introduced in a number of sustainable food initiatives to reduce the negative environmental impact of the food we eat. The University's new Sustainable Food Policy aims to address issues such as:
Reduce the consumption of meat, in particular ruminant meat (e.g. beef and lamb).
Promote the consumption of more vegetarian and vegan foods.
Ensure that no fish from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) ‘Fish to Avoid’ list is served in the University and seek Marine Stewardship Council certification.
Reduce the amount of food that is wasted in the University.
Source food and other products locally where possible in order to sustain the local economy and reduce environmental impacts.
Use Fairtrade products where applicable, and promote products which actively support Fairtrade initiatives.
Ensure that animal welfare standards are adhered to for any animal produce purchased and to insist on Red Tractor Assured standards as minimum, where applicable.
Communicate to customers, staff and suppliers our commitment to serving sustainable food.
Continue to implement all sustainability measures taken to date (see below).
On 2 February we launched the Sustainable Food Policy at an event at University Centre in Cambridge. Watch our video below to find out what happened, and what people thought!
What's been happening?
The University Catering Service have taken a lead on sustainable food issues at the University, with initiatives such as:
Use of Vegware compostible packaging and provision of compost bins across all UCS outlets
Fairtade certification since 2015, which commits UCS to creating a Fairtrade policy and serving Fairtrade products in its cafes and bars.
Keep Cups which are sold at Cafes to reduce waste associated with disposable cups; use is encouraged through a 20p discount on hot drinks.
Ruminants (beef and lamb) have been removed from UCS menus (excluding Main Dining hall and Riverside Restaurant in the University Centre).
The Main Dining Hall no longer serves a ruminant meat main option every day.
An increase in vegetarian and vegan options at Cafes and Main Dining Hall.
A new vegetarian catering menu has been introduced.
There's plenty more happening across the many catering outlets in departments and Colleges across the University. Read more here.