Our Sustainable University Catering

Our catering operation is a critical – and highly visible – statement about our commitment to sustainability. Food brings together issues such as healthy eating, supply chain integrity, waste and packaging, cultural diversity, fair trade and carbon reduction.


Our catering contract has sustainability at its heart

Our Catering Policy sets targets for all our key sustainability objectives and our Procurement Strategy supports the achievement of this. It specifies that tenders for our catering supplier will have 15% weighting applied to sustainability criteria and awards marks for 4 key sustainability accreditations.

We are proud of our partnership with pioneering caterers, BaxterStorey, who have sustainability integrated across their business model as well as dedicated staff training for continual improvement.

Our Sustainable Food Policy

Our sustainable food policy sets targets on:

  • Maintaining the Fairtrade University status we have held since 2006
  • Sourcing of local, free range and organic food
  • Provision of fresh, healthy and nutritious food
  • Promotion of equality and diversity through culturally varied menus
  • Minimising catering waste including disposables and wrapping

Our Annual Sustainability Report reports on performance against these targets, as well as new projects with local suppliers. Our triple-certified UoG coffee and local cooking oil supplier R-Oil are two examples of local products in use. In 2018 researchers at our Countryside and Community Research Institute released the Mi-Larder app to help people locate and use local food suppliers more easily across our region.

In 2014 we were Finalists in the Food and Drink category of the competitive UK Green Gown Awards, for our performance on sourcing, produce, income, wellbeing, education and waste.

The University has held Fairtrade status since 2006 under the Fairtrade Foundation.  We are now reviewing practice with the aim of being reviewed against new NUS accreditation scheme requirements.

Our success stories

  • Baxter Storey were crowned Sustainable Business of the Year at the Edie 2018 Sustainability Leaders Awards
  • All our catering outlets are certified to Marine Stewardship Council standards – and all fish is purchased from MSC certified supplier, M&J Seafoods
  • All meats are British and Red Tractor accredited
  • All eggs purchased are free range and organic
  • At least 81% of dishes are prepared fresh on site
  • 61.5% of all suppliers used are from region or adjacent county
  • Free drinking water is available at all campuses and refectories
  • Cooking oil made by pressing rapeseed grown at R-Oil Farms in the Cotswolds
  • Our showcase hospitality menu is 100% locally sourced and home made
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