University of Bristol

Highly Commended

Source – Ethical and sustainable food practices at the centre of campus life

Our sustainability policy is the cornerstone of our in-house catering brand ‘Source’, putting ethical and sustainable production practices and food sourcing at the centre of what we do. Source operates 12 commercial cafes and bars, alongside four catered halls of residences. Source serves over 500,000 meals and sells over 120,000 ‘grab & go’ items per year and is a mainstay of campus life. Our sustainable food action plan ensures that we carry out services in a way that enhance social, ethical, and environmental benefits and encourages healthy eating and act to reduce carbon emissions.

Over the last 12 months, our key actions to reduce our carbon footprint and environmental impact include eliminating single use plastic, incentivising re-use, reducing food waste, and recycling kitchen waste and encouraging plant- based food choices. Our menu cycle changes seasonally to use locally available produce, and in order to create as little waste as possible the Chef team use waste monitoring systems, food production modelling, seasonality and “at source” customer feedback.

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:
CO2t savings 2021/2022: 281.44kg of CO2e per student (Estimated). 
CO2t savings 2022/2023: 124.36kg of CO2e per student (Estimated).    

Savings are based on our long-term plan map carbon related to all food and drink offerings and reduce it by 25% by 2024 by promoting the low emissions dishes on menus to increase average take up rates. 

What the Judges Thought

A great reduction in single use plastics, good carbon mapping work and use of local and seasonal food with evidence of good collaboration and engagement with the student body. A good submission which explored a more holistic approach to sustainability.  

What it Means to Win

“It’s fantastic to have the Source team’s hard work recognised in this way. Bristol’s food and drink spaces are at the heart of our campus and we’re proud to be leading the way for sustainable campus catering.”

Professor Evelyn Welch Vice Chancellor and President

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Data and technology offer huge opportunities to measure and save carbon emissions.
  2. Use language to highlight the benefits of sustainable choices e.g. plant powered, save money. 
  3. Embed interesting, interactive, and relevant staff training to keep industry knowledge fresh.
3 - Good Health and Well-Being 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
University of Bristol image #1 University of Bristol image #1