What we do
The University of Westminster in partnership with our catering provider, Aramark, is committed to ensuring that our community has access to healthy, sustainable food, in accordance with our Sustainable Food Action Plan and in line with our belief that our actions can and should respect the environment where we live.
The Sustainability team has also added some new green spaces this year. We added herb gardens and a selection of dwarf fruit trees to green the outdoor social spaces in New Cavendish Street and Marylebone, and worked with the Interfaith Team to provide some calming indoor plants to bring good vibes to their interfaith contemplation space at Harrow.
The University holds Fairtrade Status and is committed to support fair conditions of trade.
All hospitality hot drinks, sugar, fruit juices, and biscuits are 100% Fairtrade certified, as shown on the University of Westminster Hospitality Brochure.
Our catering provider offers a range of Fairtrade certified cookies, nuts, chocolate, and muffins, as well as Fairtrade wine for hospitality.
Every year we take part at Fairtrade Fortnight.
We promote other events throughout the year to improve the demand of Fairtrade products and to engage our community which you can read about on our Fairtrade page.
We encourage our suppliers and Student Union to purchase clothes made from Fairtrade cotton such as staff uniforms and hoodies.
Fish served on our facilities is sustainable as defined by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), respecting the fish to eat list. Aramark holds an MSC certification for our Marylebone campus, a MSC Chain of Custody Standard: Consumer-Facing Organisation, and pursue a policy of purchasing responsibly sourced fish and seafood.
Healthy and sustainable eating
Healthy eating vending machines are provided on our Harrow and Marylebone campuses.
The Sustainability Team supports the University's Wellbeing Day every year in partnership with the Safety, Health and Wellbeing Team.
Information related to healthy eating and well-being is promoted on the Sustainability Blog;
Aramark has a Healthy for Life campaign in place to stimulate students to have a healthier lifestyle, to be better prepared for exams, and more relaxed. This includes regular roadshow events in our campuses promoting awareness of different healthy eating issues where we engage with students through samples of healthy food, quizzes and competitions.
Also, Aramark looks to improving their menu by offering seasonal fruits and vegetables according to the Eat Seasonably Calendar and Fruit and Veg Seasonality Calendar, in addition to fruits and vegetables produced in the UK. The University has also worked with Aramark to install kitchen herb gardens at New Cavendish Street, Harrow and Marylebone. Growing our own herbs onsite reduces the carbon footprint of our supply chain. It also means we pick them on the day they’re needed, which reduces waste through accidental overordering and ensures we use only the freshest ingredients.
Meat and Poultry
Aramark officially supplies Red Tractor Assured beef, pork, lamb, turkey, chicken and sausages, and its suppliers also hold a Red Tractor License Certificate. We’re also committed to providing for all religious and cultural backgrounds, and where possible provide Halal meat in our catering outlets.
In order to reduce meat consumption, the University runs a Part-Time Carnivore loyalty card scheme which rewards staff and students with a free vegetarian meal for every four they buy in our catering outlets. Vegetarian home cooking is promoted through recipes on our Sustainability Blog and cookery classes. Also, the University has its own team on the Part-time Carnivore Platform where students can check how much water, land, and CO2 they save when reducing meat consumption.
Sustainable Food Catering Mark
Aramark hold the Soil Association Food for Life Bronze award for our Marylebone Campus. Also, we are aware of food standards represented by the Sustain web, and we work towards the achievement of Food for Life Soil Association certification in other campuses.
Waste minimisation and control
To reduce waste and our Carbon Footprint, we provide water fountains across our 4 campuses. Students, members of staff, and visitors are welcome to bring their own bottles. We also promote events and campaigns in which students and staff members can win a University branded water bottle. Also, carafes of filtered water are standard for hospitality service.
There is a KeepCup programme offering refillable mugs in place in the cafeterias to encourage customers to minimise the use of disposable coffee cups. Besides helping the environment, they get a discount every time the mug is used and a free drink when the mu is purchased.
All food waste from catering outlets is sent for composting. Further, Aramark has a Food Waste Policy as a standard procedure that all members of staff are expected to adhere to.
The University provides general and recycling waste bins across all sites.
Used catering oil is segregated and collected for recycling into biodiesel.
Compostable containers are used for take away food.