University caterers are leading the way with innovative campaigns to encourage behaviour change across their campuses. From showing creativity and consideration for how healthy food and drink is procured and served to implementing innovative ideas to mainstream recycling and waste minimisation across their campuses, catering teams are committing to responsible consumption and reduction.

The Winners of the Green Gown Awards will be announced in a Virtual Ceremony on Wednesday 24 March and will celebrate the best in sustainability initiatives from universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland. The Campus Health, Food and Drink category will recognise education caterers that are promoting and prioritising conscious food and drink choices for sustainable living.

Finalists include Cardiff Metropolitan University which launched the Cardiff Met & Keep Wales Tidy campaign in January 2019 to reduce cup waste and boost correct recycling on-the-go. The campaign encourages students, staff, and visitors to switch to re-usable cups, making use of University extensive free water refill facilities. The University has facilitated the saving of 22,704 cups by switching to re-usables and the collection of 17,313 single-use cups. 

Another Finalist that is also establishing a conscious food choice is University of St. Andrews which is working closely with local farmers, increasing the service of plant-based options, making food waste into bioenergy, and taking several measures to reduce waste to landfill. The initiatives empower the local community and support the well-being of both students and Earth. In addition, many of the projects supporting the sustainable campus are easy to implement in any University campus across the UK.

There are eight Finalists in the Campus Health, Food and Drink category:

University of York - How to make a cup of (sustainabili) tea!

University of Winchester - Catering for Life

University of Westminster - Changing for good

University of St Andrews - Small changes for significant impact on sustainability

Sheffield Hallam University - Drastic and fantastic plastic reduction

London School of Economics & Political Science - Nudge LSE to plant-based options

City of Glasgow College - City grows green

Cardiff Metropolitan University - Cup, cup “n” away!

At a time when institutions are facing a huge challenge to minimise food waste and engage in more sustainable catering practices, it is heartening to see Finalists from the Green Gown Awards embracing schemes that have a positive environmental impact.

You can find out more about how education caterers are taking on the sustainability challenge by reading the Green Gown Award case studies here: .