Hospitality and catering
Sustainability is at the core of our catering outlet operations.
To reduce our impact on the environment, the following measures have been taken:
- We have introduced a 5p cup charge for disposable coffee cups bought in our catering outlets. In September 2019, we have increased the charge to 10p, diverting over 100,000 cups from waste. The funds from the charge are ring-fenced for investment in sustainability initiatives.
- We sell reusable coffee cups across a variety of catering outlets.
- We have transitioned to compostable packaging in most of our outlets. This can be disposed of in our dedicated food waste bins from where it is sent to composting facilities.
- We have introduced 11 new water refill points on campus to reduce single-use plastic and encourage the transition to reusable water bottles.
- We have introduced canned water options across some catering outlets to help eliminate single use plastics.
- We have eliminated single use straws and plastic bags from the Students' Union’s nightclub.
- We have eliminated plastic bags and introduced a whole section of sustainable toiletries and cleaning products in our campus shop.
The University’s Purchasing Policy (PDF) states our commitment to ensuring sustainability, modern slavery, socially responsible procurement issues and equality/diversity factors are considered in purchasing decisions. Sustainable procurement principles for tendering processes with external partners are incorporated in the policy, including those related to food purchasing.
Lakeside Restaurant and Coffee Shop are members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association and have been awarded three stars as part of the Food Made Good programme. For further information surrounding their sustainability commitments, please see their Sustainability Policy.
Growing food on campus
Two community gardens on our Stag Hill and Manor Park campuses provide space to staff and students for growing food on campus. The gardens are also used as a recreational space and are managed by the University of Surrey Garden Society with the support of the Horticulture & Landscape team.
In July 2019, Lakeside Restaurant and Coffee Shop created a garden on their premises, where food and vegetables are being grown to be used on their menu.
Local produce on campus
In order to provide access to local food on campus, we organise a farmers' market every Thursday. The market features various produce and street food from local producers.
We engage with the community across multiple projects to help them grow food locally. More details about this can be found on our Community Engagement page.
In June 2021, we also launched a trial in Lakeside Café to raise awareness of the environmental impact of food and analyse if this changes purchasing behaviours. For more information on the project, visit its dedicated page.
Progress on hospitality and catering is reported quarterly at our Catering and Waste Working Group meetings. To find out more about our various working groups, please visit our governance page.