Health and Sustainability

We all know that a good diet has a positive effect on our health, but this can also contribute to sustainability. For example:

  • buying fresh, in-season, local produce helps to reduce carbon from food delivery miles and often comes in less packaging. 
  • food produced ethically helps the welfare of workers, animals, communities, and biodiversity
  • eating more plants and less processed food helps to reduce carbon emissions and has a number of health benefits.

We believe that health and sustainability go hand in hand and we aim to promote this through our catering outlets on campus.

What we are Doing

Our Sustainable Food System Policy (PDF, 207KB) provides a framework for our commitment 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 sets high standards for animal welfare.

Our Food Offering

We follow The University Caterers Organisation Ltd (TUCO) framework for catering procurement which ensures our food purchasing decisions are made in an environmentally friendly, responsible and ethical way. We also ensure that our offering is inclusive for all our staff and students. Actions we have taken towards this include:

  • all on-campus coffee is Fair Trade certified
  • our fish and seafood supplier is Marine Conservation Society (MSC) certified
  • our meat products are Red Tractor certified
  • our eggs are free-range
  • most food and drink, including milk, cheese, eggs and meat are sourced from local, independent businesses where possible
  • we provide a 25p discount for those bringing a reusable cup to our coffee counters
  • our menu is 70% vegetarian
  • our menu is 25% plant-based or vegan
  • four different plant-based milks are available on our drinks menu
  • we have halal meat options available

We also work with students from our Sports and Nutrition programmes to improve our offering. Some projects from the last two years have included:

  • improving the nutritional value of our offering to provide healthier options and nutritional information sheets for each item
  • analysis of our recipes to produce food allergen and ingredient labelling
  • adapting and redesigning our menu to increase the amount of plant-based products available

In addition, we have moved away from third-party franchise agreements for our retail catering outlets. This enables us to uphold university core values and improve sustainability of food and drink on campus. Our hospitality policy also helps to support this by requiring staff to use internal catering. This has reduced delivery miles, packaging and food waste.

Food Waste

To try to reduce food waste from our outlets we use the Too Good To Go app, with food being available exclusively for our staff and students.

We also make regular food donations to the Whitechapel Centre, a leading homeless and housing charity in the Liverpool City Region.

LJMU Cook Together

We created the LJMU cook together initiative to help you cook a delicious and nutritious meal with recipes that aren’t costly. We’ve provided seven different recipes from tacos to pad thai to spaghetti, and there are instructions, a video tutorial and allergen information available for each. The recipes are all for six portions to share easily between housemates or parents, or save leftovers for lunch the next day.

Growing Sites

Our Student’s Union has developed a growing site at Kensington Fields Community Centre. This is run every Wednesday afternoon by The Growing Project. We also have a staff growing site which is run weekly at Tithebarn Street, please email Liz Cousins for more details. Both of these sites allow the whole community to grow and enjoy fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Water Refill Stations

We have water refill stations available throughout the university and provide hot water taps in student Social Zones. This helps to save you money by giving you the option to refill reusable water bottles and coffee cups, whilst also helping to reduce waste and carbon emissions.