Healthy eating

A healthy lifestyle contributes positively to sustainability

We all know that regular exercise and a good diet have a positive effect on our health, but they also contribute to sustainability. Things we can do includes buying local produce to:

  • get fresher food
  • support our local economy
  • reduce the need for products that require longer journeys for delivery

We also know that:

  • ethical sourcing of food and drink helps the welfare of workers, animals, communities and biodiversity
  • local produce often comes in less packaging, reducing our use of plastics
  • healthier eating promotes wellbeing, makes physical activity easier and means there is less chance of developing medical complications - this makes our population a more sustainable one

What we are doing

Our Sustainable Food System Policy (Word, 147KB) provides a framework for our commitments to ensure that food and drink is produced, sourced, sold, consumed, and disposed of in such a way that considers the protection of the environment, provides benefit for society and that sets high standards for animal welfare.

We have committed to providing healthy and sustainable food on campus. We also ensure that our offering is inclusive for all our staff and students. Nearly 30% of our current menu is suitable for a plant based or vegan diet.

We work with students from our Sports and Nutrition programmes to provide nutritional information for our menus.

We have committed to reducing single use plastics in internal catering services. Where possible, we have switched to compostable packaging, currently 85% of all packaging is using the Vegware brand.

We strongly encourage the use of refillable cups and bottles and have water fountains readily available and signposted.

We have developed a University-wide Hospitality Policy to ensure that staff use internal catering services. This has reduced delivery miles, packaging and food waste.

We are also bringing more of our catering outlet contracts back “in-house”. This enables us to uphold university core values such as:

  • utilising Fairtrade ingredients
  • upholding the living wage
  • using local, sustainable products and consumables

Whenever possible, we buy from and support local independent businesses.

How we are promoting healthy and sustainable food

We work closely with Love Food Hate Waste and Liverpool Food People (a co-lead of the Knowledge Quarter Sustainability Network along with us).

We donate food to the Whitechapel Centre - a leading homeless and housing charity for the Liverpool region.

We plan to introduce ways to reduce food waste even further – such as the Too Good To Go app which lets students and staff buy and collect food that has not sold in time, so it gets eaten instead of wasted.

Our Students Union has developed three growing sites in the city. These are found at Kensington Fields Community Centre, Henry Cotton Building and the Student Life Building. The sites will allow the whole community to grow and enjoy fruit, vegetables, sensory herbs, and flowers for pollinators.

We work with suppliers to deliver high quality food and drink services and goods. We work to meet the current and future needs of staff, students and the local community based on our values:

  • we actively buy certified products
  • all on-campus coffee is Fair-trade
  • our fish and seafood supplier is MSC-certified
  • our meat products are Red Tractor certified
  • we provide free-to-use water stations around the campus

Our policies and procedures are in place to ensure the correct process is adopted to meet the university’s needs and ethos. For example, we ensure compliance with policies for:

  • health and safety
  • sustainability
  • diversity and equality
  • corporate and social responsibility

More details and our policies can be found at How to do business with LJMU.

We also work closely with our purchasing consortium to ensure that sustainability is embedded within all procurement functions and frame works.

We ensure that our nutrition-related undergraduate degrees include the scientific, psycho-social, cultural, political, sustainable and commercial aspects of health care, health promotion and nutrition aspects of food production.

Why we think this is important

Our students and staff are very keen on health, sustainable and ethically sourced food.

Student impact statement

“For as long as I can remember, sustainability and especially food sustainability has always been a huge part of my life, whether it be through the media or education. My generation has been brought up on how to be more sustainable and ethical due to the alarming rates of climate change and what dangers this brings to the environment and our future generations. Sustainable living and ethical choices have always been a huge learning point from primary education through to degree level. This was reinforced from the very start of my third level education through modules involving food sustainability and sustainable food policy.

Through this lifelong education we are taught as global citizens about the importance in playing our role and make choices that are sustainable by being mindful to reducing waste, contributing to local food suppliers that are marked organic and Fairtrade, shop seasonally, and aim to have some meat free meals, if not already following an entirely meat free diet as many of my generation do. Therefore, university students hold companies with good sustainability scores to a high level of respect and will praise and contribute more to a sustainable food outlet, over a less sustainable food outlet. A sustainable food policy has given many universities, schools, and the hospitality sector the opportunity to not only rebrand and modernise their food outlets but also have a positive impact on the local community, help the environment and gain accreditation and praise as they work towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals to give their customers the option of a healthy, nutritious sustainable meal.”

- Aisling
Sport and Exercise Sciences Student 2023