St John’s College catering service have been awarded a gold standard business award for their commitment to sustainability. The dining room serves a full lunch and dinner menu every day during term time. There is an emphasis on good vegetarian options, with the vegetarian meal listed first on the menu. It is also the first option at the servery.
The college has pledged to follow the Sustainable Fish Cities campaign and promises to remove endangered species from its menu, promote sustainable fish choices and help suppliers to source sustainable fish by explaining their choices. The college is also MSC accredited. The meat, milk and vegetables served are predominantly farmed or sourced locally and the menu is changed weekly to reflect the growing season of many vegetables. The majority of meat, eggs and dairy served are organic and free-range, and the meat is RSPCA Assured and Red Tractor labelled. Additionally, much of the wine purchased is from a sustainable source.
They have improved the sustainability of other areas in the canteen: plastic straws have been banned, keep cups introduced and they use only plant-based disposable cutlery and cleaning chemicals. Furthermore, Bill Brogan, Catering and Conference Manager, is on The University Caterers Organisation Sustainability group.
A new piece of technology, Chefs Eye, has been employed in the kitchen to track food waste and inform changes to behaviour and the food waste policy.
“Sustainability is very important to us at St John’s College, and that includes students, staff and fellows. We all visited the waste recycling facilities out in Waterbeach and we are looking at ways that we can help the environment. We believe that we are cutting edge in this area and we will continue along this path.”