Catering and the Green New Deal

We are working to reduce the carbon intensity of catering at Goldsmiths, as part of our work to cut carbon across the College.

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Catering is a major source of carbon emissions across the university sector.

Following our PLAN25 commitment to reduce our Scope 3 emissions by 30% by 2025, we are taking steps to reduce the carbon impact of the food and drink we serve to students, staff and visitors. 

Reducing carbon-intensive foods

In 2019 we removed beef from sale in all campus food outlets. This was in response to a student and staff campaign calling for a Green New Deal for Goldsmiths.

Beef generates the highest carbon emissions of any single food, and removing it from our menus has saved the annual equivalent of 283 tonnes of CO2.

Since 2018, the PSH Café in the Professor Stuart Hall Building has served an exclusively vegan and vegetarian menu.

Cutting down single use plastics

We charge a 10p levy on all bottled water sold on campus, with money raised going towards the Student Green Initiative.

We sell branded water bottles to encourage refilling. These are available for less than the cost of two bottled waters and can be refilled at drinking fountains across the campus.

We also sell reusable coffee cups in all our cafés, with a free coffee for every cup purchased. Our own-cup discount has been applied over 30,000 times since 2019.

We have replaced plastic-based or plastic-coated bags with paper or reusable alternatives. Plastic food containers have been replaced with more sustainable options including those made from paper or palm leaf, and all polystyrene food packaging has been removed and replaced with fibre-based materials such as bagasse (sugar cane).
We have also increased our use of metal cutlery and swapped out plastic for wooden or paper single use items to further reduce our plastic use.

Tackling food waste through partnerships

We work with charities and social enterprises to reduce our food waste and support local communities.

Through our partnership with Plan Zheroes we donate food and drink to charities and food banks in south east London. In 2020-21, we gave away 410kg of food, drinks and snacks to good causes.

We also work with Too Good to Go. They help us sell on surplus fresh food each day, offering heavily discounted items from the Refectory, Thirty Five Café & PSH Café.