The University of Southampton

Environmental Policy

Our environmental policy sets out the University of Southampton Catering Department’s intention to be more environmentally sustainable and minimise the impact of its business activities on the environment.

We recognise that day-to-day production, operation, service and disposal of food and drink is likely to consume moderately high levels of natural resources and generate significant volumes of packaging and food waste. It is therefore vital that we constantly take measures and review practices to reduce waste and manage our procurement processes to support and protect the environment, natural habitat and our precious eco-system. 

Updated April 2024

Our Commitments:

Purchasing and Supply Chain

  • Where feasible, purchase local and seasonal produce from local suppliers
  • Purchase local drinking bottled water supplied by a local distributer
  • Work with regional food organisations that seek to promote local supply and enterprise


  • The Arlott will be maintained as our palm oil-free location with the aim to eradicate palm oil from one other catering outlet by 2024
  • We will continue to reduce palm oil products across all of our catering areas
  • All catering service outlets where hot food is served will limit the number of soy products offered on the menu to less than 30% by the end of 2023.
  • Catering administration will continue to only use recycled paper
  • Purchase RFA certified coffee
  • Continue to create awareness of the RFA to our customers, inform people of the importance of protecting our most endangered habitat and species

Reducing palm oil across our Cafés

We are working incredibly hard across all of our sites to reduce the number of products which use palm oil. This is always a consideration when introducing new retail items or creating new dishes.

Land Degradation

  • Reduce beef products in all outlets, remove all beef products from the Interchange Kiosk and Cafe 85 on Highfield Campus, and create more awareness about the detrimental effect cattle farming is having on our eco-systems

Resource Depletion

  • Support the campaign to ‘turn off’ power, water and gas across all outlets, offices and kitchens
  • The energy efficiency of all proposed new electrical equipment for the Piazza and other kitchen areas will have an efficiency rating ‘A’.
  • All future contractor tender processes must have an environmental consideration and be part of the scoring matrix

Food Waste

  • All waste kitchen oil is sent for recycling
  • All our ground coffee bean waste is recycled as soil improver and scattered across University grounds
  • Our hot food provision in the Piazza and Blue Room Restaurant have been adapted to significantly reduce food wastage over the service period.
  • In 2021 we implemented the food waste scheme 'Too Good To Go' across all campuses which has successfully decreased the wastage of pre-packaged food by over 50%.
  • Remaining left over pre-packaged food is sold at a heavily discounted rate at the Hartley Library Starbucks on Highfield campus twice a week.
  • In 2022 we introduced an additional scheme to decrease wastage further – the remaining unsold products are taken to the “Boiler House” – a new student bar located in halls of residence and sold for a further discounted rate.
  • We have produced streamlined menus throughout all areas and utilise our smart till software reporting capability to monitor product sales and remove any products which do not sell.


Transforming our waste into nourishment for our campus plants, cultivating fresh produce in the process.

Ocean Degradation

  • The re-usable cup and container scheme has been re-introduced in Residential Halls, eradicating all single use containers
  • All plastic/plant-based cutlery has been replaced by wood alternatives across all catering outlets and catered halls
  • A reusable cup scheme has been implemented across all barista coffee outlets to encourage people to move away from disposable cups. We offer a Keep Cup for purchase, which includes a stamp card for five free hot drinks to offset the purchase price.
  • By the end of 2024, where feasible, non-single use service ware will be used within our hospitality offering, in instances where disposables are required, they will be recyclable.
  • Unavoidable single use containers must be disposed of via the University’s recycling policy
  • Bring your own cup schemes are in place across all catering outlets

Too Good To Go

Download the app to collect a magic bag full of heavily discounted delicious food from one of our campus cafes

Air pollution & environmental degradation

  • Rice dishes are to be reduced to a maximum of one offering per outlet and alternatives offered that are not so methane intensive
  • Our hot food menus in all catering outlets offer a minimum of 30% vegan and vegetarian options to provide choice and encourage customers to try new products and promote a change in regular eating habits.
  • Replace half of the existing delivery fuel vans with electric powered vehicles by 2025. 

Vegan and Vegetarian food on Campus

We are constantly increasing the number of vegan and vegetarian dishes and confectionery across all University campuses

 Procurement statement concerning sustainability and animal welfare

  • Suppliers must have Farm-Assured and Red Tractor accreditation to supply to the University poultry and dairy
  • The University will only purchase British poultry and eggs
  • The University will only purchase free-range eggs
  • The University will only source fish from sustainable sources and will avoid any species named on the Marine Stewardship Council endangered list


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