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Environment and Energy


Sustainable Food Policy

At the University of Cambridge, the University's Catering Services (UCS) 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 (click the link to download) 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).

This policy was reviewed in October 2018. Additional staff have been taken on to assess the environmental impact of the policy to date, and the revised policy is currently awaiting approval from the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Committee. This committee meets in May 2019, and the revised policy will be available in early summer.

On 29 November 2018 a second Sustainable Food Policy was adopted by all College caterers. 

The University Catering Service and College caterers collaborate and share best sustainability practice termly within the Catering Managers Committee (CMC) Sustainability Sub-group. 

The Sustainable Food Policy was launched at an event at University Centre in Cambridge on the 2 February 2016. Watch our video below to find out what happened, and what people thought!

Want to emulate the University of Cambridge's Sustainable Food Policy in your organisation?

We've worked with #NoBeef to develop a 'change pack' for universities, schools, offices, restaurants etc.

This aims to show that removing beef and lamb is not only better for the environment, but also straight-forward, safer, healthier and more profitable.

Visit #NoBeef's website for more useful resources.