Hospitality - sustainable food

UWE Bristol Hospitality delivers high-quality sustainable food across our three campuses.

Our students and staff are increasingly concerned about the source of their food, and its impact on the environment and animal welfare as well as on their own health.

We are in a unique position to provide environmentally friendly and healthy food to a receptive audience and to encourage a longer-term change in buying and eating habits.

We are particularly committed to using local food and ingredients, both to cut food miles and to contribute to thriving local economies and sustainable livelihoods. We recognise the link between healthier diets and sustainability, and our Sustainable Food Plan has been developed to contribute towards UWE Bristol’s Healthy and Wellbeing Strategy and action plans.

A close up of a salad

2030 Strategy targets

Our 2030 Strategy targets are contained in our sustainable food plan (PDF). Read below how we are meeting them and be inspired by what we are doing.

Sustainable sourcing

  • Local food: by 2030, 70% of our food (by value) will be sourced locally within the UK; (our definition of ‘local’ is taken from the Soil Association Food for Life accreditation). We will facilitate the provision of ultra-local produce from growers within a 30-mile radius where possible and viable, and not exceeding excessive cost.
  • Provision of seasonal fruit and vegetables: currently at 60%, by 2030 75% of fruit and vegetables used and sold on campus will be seasonal (2016 baseline 52%), with an intention to reach 80%. Our supply chains are already set up to prioritise seasonal food and the majority of vegetables and some fruit have Red Tractor traceability.
  • Vegan and vegetarian food: we have increased vegetarian and vegan options in line with our policy to reduce meat consumption and currently 30% of our food is now plant-based. This will rise to 40% by 2025 and to 55% by 2030.
  • Plant based food champions: we will introduce a Flexitarian Café, serving hot & cold food and beverage sourced from wholly plant-based products, showcasing the best quality products and how this is a very real alternative to an animal-based diet.
  • Alternative proteins: we aim to look at different alternative proteins when creating menus, along with educating our customer base through marketing and promotions throughout the year. We will aim to look at increasing this by a minimum of 15% by 2030.
  • Plant based milks: we commit to the provision of plant-based alternatives to dairy milk in all outlets, with a focus on those with the lowest carbon impact (i.e. oat milk).
  • 100% free range eggs: we use free range shell eggs from Reynolds Fruit and Veg, Total Produce and Cotswold Dairy. We have been awarded the Good Egg Award in conjunction with Compassion in World Farming. Where liquid egg is used, it is a free range product.
  • 100% organic milk: all our fresh milk is organic, supplied by a local dairy farm based in Tewkesbury which uses dairy farms within a 30 mile radius of their site.
  • 100% sustainable fish and seafood: all products we use have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as sustainably sourced and we are independently audited by them.
  • All our meat is Red Tractor assured: this means that we can trace all our meat back to independently inspected farms in the UK which must meet safety, hygiene and animal welfare standards. Our chicken, pork and lamb come from John Sheppard Butchers in Bristol.
  • Urban growing: we will explore innovations in urban growing techniques and look for opportunities to facilitate provision of boxes of fresh seasonal and local produce to the University community.
  • UWE Bristol grounds: The UWE Bristol grounds team will continue to develop the edible campus approach to near-building growing of herbs and edible plants as well as planting additional on-site fruit and nut orchards.
  • Sustainable palm oil: our purchases of catering products will be certified to Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and, where possible, by 2030 all products that UWE Bristol purchases will meet this expectation. We will also take steps to avoid deforestation within our supply chain, and encourage sector purchasing consortia to adopt similar standards, as the norm in future tenders.
  • Fairtrade champion: UWE Bristol champions Fairtrade and has Fairtrade products at all its outlets including over 70% Fairtrade coffee in its cafes, over 50 Fairtrade goods in The Students' Union shop and more. Our plans include consolidation and expansion of our product range plus increased promotion and renewed Fairtrade university status is being applied for. Find out more about Fairtrade at UWE Bristol. Find out more about Fairtrade at UWE Bristol.

Food for Life Soil Association silver award

We have been awarded the Food for Life catering mark for OneZone, our main outlet at Frenchay campus, Awarded by the Soil Association, the Catering Mark ensures that our meals are made up of seasonal, traceable, healthier, sustainable and fresh ingredients, free from trans fats and additives, as well as reducing food waste. We will expand the Food for Life programme to include Glenside Campus and any other outlet that fits the Food for Life criteria. 

  • Healthy eating: fruit is for sale at a cheaper price than the cheapest dessert at all our outlets. We also provide a healthy Meal Deal choice of fruit instead of a chocolate bar.
  • Reducing salt and sugar: In preparation of our food, we use below the Government target level for salt and are reducing sugar usage and intake under the national Sugar Smart programme. For our vending machines, we are CQUIN compliant.
  • Reducing use of artificial additives: we do not use any food additives in food prepared in our kitchens.
Soil Association Food for Life Silver Award logo

Supporting circular economy and waste prevention

  • Building on work on reduction of portion and plate size, established through accreditation under the Soil Association Food for Life award by 2020, we will continue to take measures and do public education on food waste and cooking with leftovers. We will continue to buy non-standard vegetables and to maintain excellent food storage practices to ensure longest life of food used on campus.
  • To make sure that our food surplus ends up on the plate not in the bin, we offer customers discounted food through the Too Good To Go app.
  • The University will facilitate and promote customers using china or their own reusable containers and cutlery, as the preferred option, and then only as a secondary option will bioware be offered.
  • A levy on all takeaway packaging will be introduced in 2021 to incentivise waste-free serving, when alternative options are available (china plates).
  • Bioware products: Wherever there is a take away offering, we will provide a compostable container (currently excluding retail brands), including compostable cutlery. We will work together with the waste management team in providing a suitable waste stream to support this.
  • Used coffee grounds will be given away to customers and used on our own grounds as a soil enhancer. We sell reusable mugs at cost in all cafes to encourage the use of reusable cups rather than single use disposable ones, with the added incentive of 20p extra charge (levy) on customers hot drinks taken in disposable cups.

Any ideas/feedback?

We are keen to hear your views – please email sustainability@uwe.ac.uk.

Student support and study projects

We can support you by providing information and opportunities; email the Sustainability Team at sustainability@uwe.ac.uk.