Sustainable food

We are committed to offering healthy and sustainable catering that is produced, processed and traded in ways that:

  • Contribute to the local economies and sustainable livelihoods.
  • Avoid damaging our planet.
  • Enhance animal welfare.
  • Provide social benefits.

We are committed to delivering food services at the University which are environmentally sustainable. We have achieved a significant amount over recent years, including:

  • Fairtrade university status.
  • All of our eggs are free range.
  • All of our chickens are farm assured.
  • All of our fish appears on the Marine Conservation Society approved list.
  • Our animal welfare policy (Food in Residence only).
  • Our sustainable food policy.
  • Starting a cooperative, Manchester Veg People, to increase the number of organic vegetable growers in and around Manchester. We now spend around £40,000 a year on local, organic, seasonal vegetables from in and around Manchester through Manchester Veg People.
  • Free tap water is available from all of our catering outlets and from water fountains across campus.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association has awarded us the following for our hard work and commitment to sustainability:

  • Three stars for Food in Residence.
  • Three stars for the Greenhouse Cafe.
  • Two stars for Christies Bistro.

The certification scheme assesses us on the following topics:




  • Community Engagement
  • Treating People Fairly
  • Healthy Eating
  • Responsible Marketing
  • Environmentally Positive Farming
  • Local & Seasonal
  • Sustainable Fish
  • Ethical Meat & Dairy
  • Fair Trade
  • Water Saving
  • Workplace Resources
  • Supply Chain
  • Waste Management
  • Energy Efficiency

We are committed to ensuring our activity is environmentally sustainable and will work towards achieving three star status, the highest possible award, by 2020.

For more information visit sustainability in catered halls.

How can I play my part?

There are a number of ways in which you can reduce your environmental impact when buying food at work or university:

Want Not Waste shop

Within the University's Student's Union you can find the student-run Want Not Waste shop for all your refillable needs including dried goods, cleaning products, beauty products and a TerraCycle station for food wrappers that you may not be able to recycle from your own homes.

Food-Sharing Apps

Another way you can reduce your environmental impact and food waste, is by downloading a food-sharing app on your phones, such as Olio, Too Good To Go and Karma.

By downloading these apps, you can advertise foodstuffs that are still useable and edible that you may no longer want or need. You can also see what others in your local area are giving away. Flick through these apps before you go to the supermarket, reduce potential food waste, and save money!

Food waste

In the UK around 9.52 Million tonnes of food is thrown away every year. Nine tonnes of this food waste is thrown away by hospitality and food services. Members of the University can help reduce those numbers by considering what they order for University catered events.

If an event has used University approved catering suppliers from Unibuy, staff can contact and deliver leftover food themselves. The list of approved suppliers can be found in the events’ food waste guidance.

For more information on food waste and where the nearest food waste bins are please visit the food waste pages.

Community food

Food growing spaces are available on campus at:

We partnered with the Kidling Trust to set up the Veg Box People local food scheme and we have several collection points on campus.