Menu changes help Cambridge University to cut emissions

The University of Cambridge has revealed that its Sustainable Food Policy has enabled it to dramatically impact its food-related carbon emissions.

On 10 September, it revealed its actions have seen carbon emissions across the University Catering Service (UCS) drop 10.5% since October 2016. Carbon emissions per kilogram of food purchased have fallen by a third (33%), while there has been a 28% reduction in land use per kilogram of food purchased.

To accomplish this, the UCS has reduced the consumption of meat – in particular beef and lamb – while improving and increasing the availability of plant-based options, removing unsustainable fish from the menu and reducing food waste. The UCS has also replaced single-use plastic bottles with glass bottles, cans or bio-degradable bottles. This has seen 30,000 plastic bottles saved from landfill per year.

Andrew Balmford, Professor of Conservation Science at the university, advised the UCS on how to make changes. Balmford said: “It is hard to imagine any other interventions that could yield such dramatic benefits in so short a span of time.”

University of Cambridge