Kent Community Oasis Garden is now open

University outlines sustainable food strategy

The University has launched a sustainable food strategy to reduce the environmental impact of its catering operations, including cutting down on the use of single-use disposable items, using more locally produced food and drink and phasing out the use of palm oil in cooking.

The strategy was officially launched on 1 October 2018 as an initiative led by Kent Hospitality, Kent Sport, Gulbenkian and the Estates Department, along with the Kent Union Environment Officer and student and staff representatives.

There are several key areas of focus within the strategy that will be incorporated into the University’s day-to-day operations. This includes reducing overall meat consumption across campuses and increasing the amount of livestock meat purchased that has been reared under the Red Tractor Assured label by 10% a year.

There will also be a focus on reducing the miles fruit and vegetables travel to reach campuses, increasing the seasonality of menus and only serving sustainably caught fish.

Other initiatives included within the strategy are:

  • Incorporating food grown on campus into menus
  • Carrying out a full review of the amount of single-use disposables the University uses
  • Pursuing options for food composting
  • Not using palm oil in the preparation of food.

Commenting on the launch of the strategy Director of Commercial Services, Kevin Stuckey, said: ‘The University recognises its responsibility to carry out its procurement activities in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, and to encourage healthy and sustainable food production and consumption.’

The strategy forms part of the University’s commitment to adhere to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals that it pledged to follow earlier this year.

The University has also recently launched a community garden for staff, students and the wider Kent region to use which will feature growing plots for fruit and vegetables that could in time be incorporated into the sustainable food strategy.