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Internship: Sustainable food at the University of Cambridge

Status: Completed | Date: August 2016

Person: Laura Farrell (IARU Intern) | Subject: Sustainability Science (Australian National University) | Supervisor: Emily Dunning

Project summary: This project investigated the impacts of reducing meat consumption within University Catering Service outlets (part of the University’s sustainable food policy - available under Quick Links).

Key findings: Overall spend and overall weight of meat increased from 2015 to 2016 (likely due to more outlets and more sales). However, the percentages of ruminant meat purchased in terms of spend (£) and weight (kg) decreased which had a positive effect on associated greenhouse gas emissions and spend per kg of meat.

Total spend on fish, and total spend on fruit and vegetables similarly increased from 2015 to 2016 as did the total weight of fruit and vegetables purchased.

120 responses were gathered in a survey on food options and preferences: customers said they are aware of sustainable food issues and many indicate a willingness to change towards more sustainable consumption.

Read the full summary here.

How has it been used? The findings from this work are being presented as evidence of the trialled implementation of aspects of the draft Sustainable Food Policy, to support its approval for adoption. The Sustainable Food Policy has subsequently been approved (October 2016) and can be found here