Social responsibility

The focus on social responsibility within the catering industry has increased in recent years. We have held focus group meetings with student customers looking at ethical foods and sustainability.

Over the last 6 months Catering Services have introduced a number of environmental initiatives, including;

  • Introduction of the Sustain It re-usable cup scheme. This has involved implementing Coca Cola Freestyle machines that allow customers to use their re-fillable cup. We have also introduced a 20p tax on disposable coffee cups to encourage people to use re-usable mugs.
  • Removal of plastic straws from our outlets


Animal Welfare

We currently hold a Good Egg, Chicken & Pig Awards from Compassion in World Farming, an organisation promoting higher welfare for farm animals. Further information on Compassion In Word Farming can be found at

Meat & Dairy

All fresh meat used in our kitchens is required to meet the Red Tractor standard and is from a local butcher, so is of British Origin. We source our milk from a local supplier and in addition to this the University is a Dairy Farmer itself, with a large herd of cows. Find out more at and

Fruit & Vegetables

As far as possible we source produce from as locally as possible through our Greengrocer. Seasonal produce is used throughout our menus to help keep our prices are reasonable as possible. The University also safeguards the National Fruit Collection in Kent which contains thousands of species, you can find out more information at

Reducing Waste

Our outlets currently are leading the way in recycling with rates above the University target and our Central Kitchen reaching rates of 89% recently. We currently recycle paper, card, tetra paks, oil, left-over food & trimmings, plastic bottles, cans and lots more smaller items. We have achieved Gold in the Universities & Colleges Green Impact Awards. Find out more at and click here to see our Carbon Savings Certificate from waste oil.

Reducing Energy

Cooking food is an energy intensive whether at home or eating out. Our outlets are use modern and efficient equipment reducing the amount of energy required. We use a variety of technologies to take this further such as heating Park Eat using outside air with Air Sourced Heat Pumps (basically collecting lots of small amounts of heat and squashing it to make it hot). We have been busy installing LED lighting across our outlets to reduce energy consumption by around 95%. Our bar areas are using state-of-the-art chilling equipment reducing energy use by up to 90% in some cases. The University is Carbon Trust accredited for being committed to reducing Carbon Dioxide year on year. For further information see (for Chilling Equipment) and

MSC Fish

Our kitchens are all Marine Stewardship Council Awarded so all fish products meet higher standards of fishing with a particular focus on marine conservation & sustainable fishing. You can find out more at

Healthy & Homemade Food

Our state-of-the-art Central Kitchen is any budding chef's dream! There are no conveyor belts or production lines, just a dedicated team cooking up lots of tasty home-made food. A large proportion of our cakes, soups, sauces, salads, desserts are lovingly hand made by the team. All these foods are free of any strange additives and help cut down the food miles to your plate. Many of our outlets have achieved the Eat out, Eat well award as well as our whole business being accredited by the Vegetarian Society. Find out more at and

Ethical Trading

The University is a Fairtrade Accredited university with all our Coffee and Tea fairtrade, as well as large range of other products such as biscuits, cakes and bananas. Our trade association, The University Caterer's Organisation, manages many of our grocery contracts and prioritises ethical trading. Further information can be found at We are also approved by the Workers' Right Consortium, a group advocating better worker's rights in developing countries - see

Responsible Retailing

Our bars business is approved by the British Institute of Innkeeping, a trade group committed to driving up standards in pubs, bars and other outlets that sell alcohol. Find out more at and

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