The University of Bristol becomes a Going for Gold Champion!

The city of Bristol is currently taking part in the national programme ‘Sustainable Food Cities’ and is bidding to become a Gold Sustainable Food City! The University of Bristol is a key partner in achieving this gold status and has recently become a Going for Gold Champion due to the amazing work that is being undertaken across the University to promote sustainable food in Bristol.

The University has successfully taken part in all six Going for Gold action areas: Buying better, food waste, urban growing, community action, eating better and food equality. We are just the second organisation in Bristol to successfully achieve this and therefore become a Going for Gold Champion! Departments across the University have contributed to this accolade from external estates to the hospitality team. Here are just a few examples…  

Buying Better 

All food procurement decisions by UoBare made in line with the University’s ‘Ethics and Sustainable Food Policy’. All suppliers are nominated and regulated through the University’s membership of The University Caterers Organisation and the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium. In addition to this, all menus within catered halls meet healthy living guidelines meaning that the food provided by the University is not only improving the health of staff, students and visitors, but is also maintaining the health of the planet.  

Food Waste 

UoB operates under a ‘Food Waste Policy’ which helps minimise food waste produced through the University’s operations as much as possible. Any food waste which is made is taken to Gen Eco, a local company which anaerobically digests the food waste into compost and energy to power local homes. There is also a growing movement amongst UoB’s student population to minimise food waste. For example, a student group runs a campaign called ‘Just Eat It’ where food waste reduction is promoted through reclaimed food cafes and workshops.  

Urban Growing 

Across the University there are multiple urban growing projects taking place such as the beautiful community garden outside the Life Sciences Building. This space not only presents a space to grow delicious food right in the middle of the University’s campus but also gives staff and students a place to have a break and relax amongst nature therefore helping boost the wellbeing of the University’s community.  

Community Action 

UoB helps run the Bristol Big Give Campaign every year, collecting leftover food and unwanted reusable items from student halls of residences. The 2018/2019 academic year saw 2000 items of food donated to the North Bristol Food Bank! These donations will help the hundreds of families living in Bristol needing emergency food supplies.  

Eating Better 

This academic year, UoB is launching Meatless Mondays within all catered halls. This reduction in meat consumption is a great way to promote the benefits of a plant-based diet: a reduction in carbon emissions from food production and the health benefits which can come with reducing meat consumption.  

Food Equality 

UoB if currently working towards gaining a Fairtrade University Award by choosing to provide Fairtrade products across hospitality and catering services as well as promoting the importance of supporting supply chains which provide farmers a fair price for their produce. This year, the University was awarded two Fairtrade Southwest Business awards for our commitment to promoting and using Fairtrade products across our operations!  

There are so many more actions taking place across UoB – more than we can mention here. If you are undertaking any actions to promote sustainable food at the University, Sustainability would love to hear from you! Get involved by emailing 


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