We currently do and will continue to achieve:
We make decisions based upon a balance between economic, social and environmental factors to achieve best value for money. We also encourage local and smaller suppliers to participate in tendering processes and provide advice and guidance where appropriate. We also continue to increase the number of supply agreements with locally based companies and place particular emphasis on locally sourced fresh ingredients. We commit to the integration of our Sustainable Food policy requirements in contracts and tender documents when contracts expire or a new tender process begins.
In order to provide an alternative to purchasing bottled water mains water drinking facilities have been installed in all central food service outlets. All mains water installations are designed to allow customers to fill both cups and bottles. Hospitality Services also provide mains water drinking stations in all key vending locations.
Water for meetings, functions and events
We provide filtered bottled mains water for all functions, meetings and events. No pre-purchased bottled mineral water is used.
Seasonal fruit and vegetables
Wherever possible we plan menus that utilise seasonal produce grown in the UK and will always use locally grown produce when in season. Where this is not possible, in consultation with our fruit and vegetable supplier, we always seek the most suitable alternative produce. Going forward, we will strive to increase the use of seasonal fruit and vegetables.
We ensure the milk we supply has been sourced from British farmers and provide a dairy free alternative in all service outlets..
Free range eggs
All whole eggs purchased by Hospitality Services are from a free-range production system. In recognition of our commitment to use only free range eggs we have received the Good Egg award from Compassion in World Farming and continue to be recognised by the Vegetarian Society as a recommended foodservice provider.
Hospitality Services were awarded Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditation in January 2014. We discontinued purchasing any fish which are on the MCS’s red list in January 2012. In addition we make full use of locally landed fish caught under the Government approved “Responsible Fishing scheme”.
Increasing plant based meals
Hospitality Services are a Vegetarian Society approved caterer. We actively promote the consumption of plant based meals and the reduction of meat and dairy for both personal health reasons and environmental impact. Vegetarian and vegan meals are available across all services and we make use of alternative plant based proteins such as pulses, beans and tofu. We also place an emphasis on wholegrains and seasonal vegetables. All of our restaurants take part in Meat Free Monday promotions.
Sustainable Restaurant Award (SRA)
We were amongst the first Universities in the UK to be awarded three stars with the SRA - the highest achievable rating. The award covers healthy eating, sustainability, procurement and social corporate responsibility. We use the resources available to us from the SRA to seek continual improvement and ensure we meet the expectations of our customers and stakeholders.
Higher welfare meat
We seek to ensure that the meat we serve is, at minimum, Red Tractor assured and continue to work towards 100% of procured meat meeting higher welfare standards.
The University is seeking to regain Fairtrade Status in 2017. Hospitality Services are committed to increasing the use and sale of Fairtrade products and ingredients wherever possible and will work with the Students Union in raising awareness through promotions and events. The University also sits on the Brighton and Hove Fairtrade steering group and reports upon internal Fairtrade activity and developments to the Carbon Management Programme Board.
Waste and recycling
We promote a zero waste culture of ‘rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle’, in order to significantly reduce waste and increase recycling across all areas of the University estate. We actively seek to reduce the amount of packaging used in both sales items and the supply chain (i.e. we request, where possible, the use of reusable crates instead of cardboard boxes for deliveries). We are always working to reduce our food waste, and all of the food waste we do produce is sent to an anaerobic digestion facility. Our waste oil is converted into biodiesel and used in the Big Lemon buses that operate in Brighton and Hove.
Reducing use of disposables
We are working to reduce the number of disposable items used in our outlets, through the use of a reusable coffee cups scheme with financial incentives, and offering china mugs as the default option wherever feasible. All EAT IN catered halls dinners are disposables-free, with EAT IN students provided with re-usable coffee cups and cold drinks vessels. Reusable cutlery and crockery is provided in favour of disposables in all outlets.
Healthy eating and the provision of food and beverages that support a healthy lifestyle are key considerations in the planning and delivery of all hospitality services. In 2016 we introduced a levy on all sugary drinks, making clear the amount of sugar in soft drinks and offering a greater choice of reduced sugar and healthy alternatives. We also promote and market healthy food and beverage choices and no longer offer meal deals and price promotions on sugary drinks.
Customer and stakeholder engagement
We continue to raise awareness of sustainable food, our achievements, milestones and aspirations. We also continue to engage with all customers and stakeholders and encourage feedback and consultation on significant changes to our service. We take an active role in the promotion of healthy and sustainable food within the communities in which we’re based, and work with the Brighton and Hove Good Food Procurement Group on a wide range of common issues related to sustainable food.
Cutting carbon and reducing water use
We continue to work with colleagues across the University to reduce carbon emissions and water use. All kitchens have Green Reps who take part in monthly meetings to address sustainability issues. They all also take part in the c-change Traffic Light scheme, where kitchen appliances are only switched on as and when required. We also regularly review equipment, maintenance contracts and the suitability of current food production and cold storage equipment.
Policy review and publication
The Sustainable Food Policy will be reviewed and updated annually. The policy will be published in a central location that can be accessed by all stakeholders.