We believe that sustainability should always be on the menu.
That is why we champion dishes that not only promote a better food future but are delicious too. From Fairtrade produce and carbon labelling, to cutting back on plastic and food waste, together we can eat our way to a better planet.
Our goal is to provide a healthy offer that is good for you and for the planet.
Have a look what we are doing to achieve this!
We are #PoweredByPlants
In general, dishes with lots of fruit, veg and grains have lower carbon footprints than those which use meat or dairy. You’ll find that at least half of our offering will always be vegetarian and vegan.
We champion the powered by plants initiative, which means that our catering for events is meat-free as standard.
By switching the narrative to plant-based cooking we can make substantial carbon savings. This is not a ban on meat or flavour, but a celebration of delicious, high-quality cooking with a strong positive impact on the climate.
We are Fairtrade
Our signature Circulo Coffee is grown at high altitude in Peru by a union of 70 smallholder farmers. It is then roasted in East London, and served at UCL, just the way you like it.
We are proud to work with Union Roastery for our fairtrade coffee beans, and also serve Fairtrade teas, bananas, sugar and chocolate.
For more information, you can visit the Fairtrade website here.
We are #CLIMATEPOSITIVE
How do you know if your lunch is sustainable? We’ll be making sustainable eating easy by providing loads of delicious, future-focused vegetarian and vegan meals, educating through easy-to-understand labelling on dishes, and providing high-quality tasty food for events.
We reduce Food Waste
We take food waste seriously as it is a hefty contributor to climate change, and are doing our best to minimise it in our kitchens using a combination of tech and good old-fashioned chef know-how!
We redistribute food that would otherwise be wasted with Zero Food Waste, a student-led project at UCL that donates food to vulnerable local communities.
We source Ethically
We work hard to make sure that the food we are buying meets ethical and sustainability accreditation criteria to ensure we are not doing more harm than good. This means:
• Our meat is Red Tractor
• Our fish is MCS accredited or MCS Green Rated
• Our eggs are free-range.
We prioritise purchasing British ingredients where possible, and when sourcing food products we seek to work with community or social enterprises that have strong links to UCL or our local communities.
We cut back on Plastic
Single-use plastic is a big problem for people working in food-service, but we are doing our bit to reduce it everywhere we can.
We do not sell plastic water bottles and are exploring zero-plastic snacking options across campus.
In our kitchens we have radically reduced the amount of clingfilm we use, replacing it with Tupperware boxes.
CLUBZERO is a zero-waste cup deposit scheme that allows you to borrow a cup for free. Download the CLUBZERO app today to enjoy the convenience of throwaway without the waste! Find it in the Wilkins Café, Engineering Café, Student Centre, Brew bar and Science Library.
We also encourage you to bring your own keep cups. If you need a disposable cup then there is a 25p charge each time.
Student Centre Café
Science Library Café
The Engineering Café
The Wilkins Café
The Brew Bar
Don’t just take our word for it…
In 2021 we were audited by Food Made Good and were awarded their top mark of 3 Stars! We were evaluated against criteria covering the environmental and social impact of our sourcing and operations and acheived an outstanding level of sustainability.
Questions about sustainability?
At UCL we take the sustainability of the food and drinks we offer very seriously, so seriously in fact that we have a dedicated sustainability manager, Cicely, who oversees our food and drink offering ensuring that we meet the standards set out in UCL’s Sustainable Food Policy . We strive for excellence, and continuously innovate to reduce our impact.
You can email her with any queries at