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Order sustainable catering

Ordering vegetarian food, reducing disposable plastics and reducing food waste when organising events will all help UCL meet our sustainability goals.

Rows of vegetarian salads

4 October 2021

UCL now provides a 100% disposable free hospitality service, with reusable cutlery and crockery provided, but here are some ways you can reduce your impact when ordering catering. 

1. Order plant-based food


Research shows that increasing the proportion of plant-based meals improves health and is good for the planet. 

The meat and dairy industry produces 60% of agriculture's greenhouse gas emissions and is considered to be the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, habitat destruction and land desertification.

Reducing meat consumption improves health and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

All UCL caterers provide vegetarian food as standard. Meat options will need to be specially requested. 

2. Reduce your plastic waste


By 2050, there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish! 

Ask attendees to bring their own reusable cups or mugs. It's warmly received and sparks conversation. 

Use UCL's catering service on campus. They don't sell plastic water bottles, sachets of sauce, pre-packaged sandwiches come in plastic-free packaging radically reducing single-use plastic!

Participate in Kings Cross' CLUBZERO zero waste returnable packaging scheme. This allows you to borrow and then return packaging to host locations. 

Join CLUBZERO at UCL

Reduce waste rather than choosing biodegradable options.

> learn more: Avoid plastic alternatives: more harm than good

3. Reduce your food waste


Contact your catering to advise you on portion sizes or contact UCL's Zero Waste Student Society to find out if they can collect your leftover food. 

>  UCL Zero Waste Society 

References

  • Poore T and Nemecek. Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. 2019;360(6392): 987-992;
  • Machovina Brian, Feeley K and Ripple W. Biodiversity conservation: The key is reducing meat consumption. 2015; 536(2015);419-431;
  • Craig, W. Health effects of vegan diets. 2009;89(5): 1627S – 1633S;
  • NHS. Red meat and the risk of bowel cancer [Internet]. No date.