Sustainable UCL


Supporting food enterprise projects

UCL is happy to support individuals and groups interested in sustainable food initiatives, whether it is a Living Labs research project or a new idea or product.

Image of IOE garden

10 January 2023

Rice Inc / Paddi

In 2019, UCL began buying rice from Rice Inc,now called Paddi.

Rice Inc was founded by UCL students. Their concept strives to eliminate food waste, promote sustainability and bring food security, by helping farmers nearly double their income from recovering rice which would otherwise be lost.

UCL Innovation and Enterprise supported their idea, which went on and won the 2018 Hult Prize challenge, including $1million in funding. 

Our caters CH&Co have pledged to continue to buy and use their rice in UCL meals.

> Visit Paddi
UCL alumni tackle food poverty with ‘world’s first sustainable rice brand’


Milids was set up by a UCL student wanting to produce coffee cup lids made from grains, thus reducing plastic waste.

UCL caters, CH&Co have provided support and advice into a catering provision.

> visit Milids on Linkedin

UCL Food4Thought

Two student members of UCL’s Vegetarian and Vegan Society, Aashish Khimasia and Elena Bashkova, founded UCLFood4Thought, to deliver the F4T campaign on UCL campus. 

They calculated and analysed the carbon footprint of UCL’s catering food purchasing. This baseline and the students support will be utilised to create carbon footprinting of meals in the refectory, in partnership with Foodsteps.

> visit UCLFood4Thought

Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

In 2019, then UCL caterers, Sodexo partnered with the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE), as four students conducted a living lab project on single-use plastic in the catering industry, using the refectory as a test bed.

The project focused on the elimination of plastic cling film.

Sodexo achieved a 28% reduction in cling film use, by adopting the measures suggested by the students:

  • Replace open boxes with click-close boxes
  • Use cloth covers for tray and food trolleys instead of wrapping film
  • Increase the training and awareness

UCL Food4Good

In January 2023 a cross-sectional group of faculty have come together to tackle food poverty at UCL. Made up of members of Gather & Gather, the Student's Union, professional services, and the UCL Chaplaincy and Interfaith team - this group is seeking a systems solution to the cost-of-living crisis affecting UCL students.

The Sustainable Food Working Group

The Sustainable Food Working Group is a perfect platform to present an idea and get feedback and thoughts from across UCL. The group leads sustainable food projects, including Fairtrade promotion. Membership consists of representatives from UCL caterers, the Sustainability Team, the Students' Union UCL and Student Societies.

Email the team to find out more about how to get involved at sustainableucl@ucl.ac.uk