St John's - First College in Cambridge to be Awarded Food Sustainability Rating

24th November 2015

The catering team at St John’s College, Cambridge, have become the first to receive a two-star award of sustainability from the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Food Made Good programme for their commitment to serving sustainable food.

A two-star rating of sustainability has been awarded to St John’s College, Cambridge, by the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Food Made Good programme, making it the first College in Cambridge to achieve recognition of this kind for its passionate commitment to running a sustainable catering operation.

The Food Made Good certificate is based on an assessment of a catering service with three core areas of sustainability in mind: society, sourcing and environmental practice.  St John’s was therefore assessed on factors ranging from involvement in community projects to sourcing local produce, and from waste management and energy efficiency to ethical meat and fair trade.

St John’s, which has in-house catering areas serving a total of 1,400 meals per day, joined the programme in summer 2014, making it one of the first members in the university and college category.  An officer from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) then carried out an in-depth assessment of the catering service, providing a full report and action plan.

Since then, the St John’s College catering team has developed its operation by supporting local suppliers and serving local produce whenever possible, training staff in sustainable catering practices, hosting sustainable fish dinners and participating in an annual “Green Week” to encourage environmentally-friendly values across the College community.  A recent kitchen refurbishment also included a wholesale switch to energy efficient equipment.

These steps led to a significant reduction in the College’s carbon footprint and resulted in the college being awarded a certificate with two stars out of a possible three by the SRA for its efforts to become more sustainable.

Bill Brogan, Catering and Conference Manager at St John’s said: “We believe that sustainability is extremely important and are delighted to have achieved two stars after lots of hard work and determination from the whole catering team. We are still receiving valuable support from the SRA and are already working towards achieving three stars in our next Food Made Good sustainability rating”.

The College catering team is using the rating as a starting point for further improvements by joining a campaign to make Cambridge a sustainable fish city, offering further sustainability training to staff and installing meters to measure the College’s energy and water consumption.  St John’s is working closely with its suppliers on sustainable food initiatives and using a locally sourced Suffolk rapeseed oil, which is recycled as biofuel from fryers in the kitchen.

St John’s College has committed significant resources in a variety of environmental areas over recent years. To find out more about the College’s environmental policies visit:

More information on the SRA’s Food Made Good Programme and its members is available here

News Source: St John's College
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