Green Gown Awards 2015 Food and Drink - University of the Arts London - Highly Commended

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Food for Life, University of the Arts London

UAL is the first University to achieve Gold accreditation for the Soil Association’s ‘Food for Life’ certification scheme. This has challenged the University to overhaul its entire approach to its catering provision with sustainability and wellbeing front and centre.

UAL has achieved Gold accreditation across all six of its associated Colleges. Food is certified as fresh, healthy, locally sourced, ethical and above all environmentally sustainable. Achieving Gold accreditation contributes the University’s ambition to be recognised as the most sustainable HEI in England. UAL has also committed to making significant reductions in its scope 3 emissions.

Catering was a critical part of achieving a more sustainable supply chain. Through the Food for Life certification UAL has been able to demonstrate that the benefits of sustainability go beyond the reduced environmental impacts. That by committing to environmental stewardship, it has not only benefited the environment but has also meant increased sales and improve student experience.

Top 3 learnings

1 We managed to meet the challenges of sustainable food, in a financially sustainable way 

2 We showed that while implementing environmental stewardship we also managed to improve student engagement and student satisfaction

3 We found that just because a service is managed by an outside provider, it does not limit the scope to which a university can help implement ethical and sustainable programmes. 

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