Our food and sustainability

Our food is procured from ethically and sustainable sources. We aim to cater for a range of dietary requirements.


Since 2019, we've embarked on a remarkable journey towards sustainable food practices. During this time, we’ve made a positive impact on our campus and the environment. Our progress is a testament to the collective efforts of Source Catering and the entire campus community. Sustainability is at the core of our operations. We've implemented a number of initatives to support this:

Eliminating single-use plastics

We achieved our goal of eliminating all single-use plastics from our in-house dining areas three years ahead of the government deadline.

Plastic reduction

Source Catering set an ambitious goal to reduce plastic packaging for "Grab and Go" items by 50% across all sites by 2022. We surpassed this target by transitioning 90% of our products to reduced plastic alternatives. Our commitment doesn't stop there; we're working towards making 95% of our "Grab and Go" offer plastic-free by 2025.

Ruminant meat (beef and lamb)

In our effort to reduce our environmental impact, we've completely removed ruminant meat from our retail sites. We have also significantly reduced ruminant meat offerings in our catered halls. We continue to explore ways to further decrease this percentage by incorporating compound meat and vegetable proteins into our recipes. This is to promote sustainability and animal welfare.

Carbon footprint mapping

We've invested in innovative technology, such as the Klimato app, to reduce the carbon impact of our recipes. Our objective was to map the carbon footprint of all food and drink offerings and reduce it by 20% by 2024.

Supporting local

We're proud to support local businesses by increasing the percentage of local suppliers within a 30-mile radius. Our partnership with Clifton, a local coffee supplier, exemplifies our commitment to local sustainability.

Eco-friendly transportation

We’ve reduced our carbon emissions from 50+ metric tonnes to 14 metric tonnes by replacing aging diesel vans with fully electric ones.

Eco-certified cleaning

We have switched to eco-certified cleaning chemicals. This shift has not only reduced plastic waste but also resulted in a 72% reduction in carbon emissions.

Eliminating single-use coffee cups

We've previously encouraged our customers to bring their own reusable cups by offering a 10% discount. In September 2023, we removed all single-use coffee cups from select locations and replaced the previous discount with a levy. This further motivates our customers to make eco-friendly choices.

Plastic bottle elimination

We've replaced all plastic bottles from our café range with more sustainable options. This includes cans, glass bottles, and reusable aluminium water bottles.

Menus of Change membership

We've embraced the principles of Menus of Change for healthier eating and are full members of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC). We collaborate with university researchers and students across the world to encourage the adoption of plant-based choices.

Repurposing and reusing

We actively explore methods to repurpose and reuse supplier packaging, collaborating with our suppliers and teams to identify innovative ways to reduce waste.

Food waste reduction

Our commitment to reducing food waste has led to significant improvements. Across our catered halls, the average student meal generated 15% less food waste in 2022 compared to 2021. Food which was previously waste is now repurposed.

Our food

We're committed to ethical and sustainable sourcing, animal welfare, and providing diverse dietary options. Read our Animal Welfare Policy (PDF, 120kB) to learn more about our approach.

We strive to create lifelong eating practices that promote wellbeing and healthy eating behaviours.

We offer a wide variety of plant-based options, Halal food and meat-free days to cater to the diverse needs of our community. Read our Source Allergen Statement (PDF, 250kB) to learn more about how we reduce risks to our customers.

Our Food Charter reflects our commitment to supporting the welfare of our community and promoting a brighter, healthier future.

Together, we can cultivate the long-term wellbeing of all people and the planet, one student, one meal at a time. Join us on this inspiring journey towards sustainability.


Close up of a meal of salmon and noodles Sustainable Food and Beverage Policy

Read our Sustainable Food and Beverage Policy 2022 to 2024 (PDF, 1,668kB) to learn more about the positive changes we're making.

Fair trade at the University

Learn more about our fair trade initiatives and the products we stock.

Food Safety Policy

The aim of the Food Safety Policy (PDF, 797kB) is to set out the requirements that must be followed by all University catering units and used as best practice for all outside caterers and third parties providing catering on University premises. 

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