Sustainable Food Policy
Hospitality Essex recognises its responsibility to provide
choice of food options, including healthy and sustainable
food to our students, staff and visitors, and to contribute to
thriving local economies and sustainable resources. We are
committed to providing a quality service that ensures a safe
and healthy workplace for our staff and customers and
minimises our potential impact on the environment. We will
strive to operate in compliance with all relevant
environmental legislation and endeavour to use
environmental best practices in all we do. We will:
• Wherever possible incorporate environmental and social considerations into the
products and services we provide.
• Encourage our suppliers and contractors to minimise negative environmental and
social effects associated with the products and services they provide.
• Consider all environmental concerns and impacts when forming the decision
making process of all our activities.
• Promote environmental awareness among
our employees and customers and
encourage them to work in an
environmentally responsible manner.
• Train, educate and inform our employees
about environmental issues that may affect
their work, or the community as a whole.
• Promote healthy and sustainable practices
in all aspects of our food sourcing,
production and service.
• Endeavour to adopt the recognised principles of sustainable food; use local and
seasonal; use certified farming methods; limit foods of animal origin; exclude 'at
risk' fish; use certified Fairtrade products; promote health and wellbeing by careful
choice of ingredients.
• Encourage water drinking for health reasons but discourage use of water that is
bottled off-site. We will provide free drinking water in all catering facilities; we will
provide on-site filtered water in reusable glass containers for hospitality events.
• Take environmental impact and energy saving features into consideration when
purchasing new equipment. We will regularly service equipment to ensure it
operates efficiently and safely. We will dispose of obsolete equipment in an
environmentally friendly way.
• Reduce waste through re-use and recycling and by purchasing recycled,
recyclable or re-furbished products and materials where these alternatives are
available, economical and suitable.
• Promote efficient use of materials and resources throughout our facility including
water, electricity, raw materials and other resources, particularly those that are
• Avoid unnecessary use of hazardous materials and products, seek substitutions
when feasible, and take all reasonable steps to protect human health and the
environment when such materials must be used, stored and disposed of. We will
endeavour to use products, equipment and methods that have minimum
environmental impact while ensuring a safe, clean environment.
• Actively encourage and provide facilities for recycling plastic, cans, cardboard,
glass, paper, print cartridges and food, and we will reuse printed paper, envelopes
and packaging when practical. We will have our waste cooking oil collected for use
as bio fuel.
• Communicate our environmental commitment to clients, customers and the public
through our website and impact report and encourage them to support it.
• Strive to continually improve our environmental performance and minimise the
social impact and damage of activities by annually reviewing our environmental
policy in light of our current and planned future activities.
Our Initiatives to Reduce the University’s
University of Essex Thermal Mugs - October 2012 sees
the launch of a brand new, modern reusable mug to
replace the stainless steel mugs which we introduced in
2007. Our new insulated “takeaway”
style cup in University colours is made
from durable plastic and features a rubber grip and screw on lid.
They are available to purchase in all our outlets for just £3.00 which
includes the cost of your first drink. You then save 10p off the price
of any hot drink or 12 oz soda every time you use the mug. This
eliminates wastage of takeaway cups and also makes a great
souvenir of your time at Essex! Stainless steel mugs and any other
suitable mugs from home are also welcome and also save you 10p
Biodegradable Packaging - our trendy new cardboard and paper packaging for
items such as sandwiches and salads has eliminated all plastic bags, cutlery and
Herb Garden introduced in 2009 and situated in the
northern amphitheatre below Food on 3, our fantastic
new garden now supplies all our outlets with fresh
herbs thus reducing food costs and delivery fuel
costs and creating tastier dishes! Due to the success
of the fresh herbs, we are now working on plans to
start growing our own vegetables and salad produce.
Purified Drinking Water Bottling System - installed in 2009, our new system has
replaced pre-bottled mineral water on our hospitality menu, providing customers with
high quality purified water from the most local source, in re-usable glass bottles
bearing the University logo, thus eliminating the need for costly and polluting
transportation and packaging. The water is purer than most spring and mineral waters
and tastes every bit as good and even costs less than mineral water.
Recycling Old Cooking Oil - waste oil from our catering outlets is taken to a local
farm for use in the production of bio-diesel.
Soil Association Award - We are working towards
accreditation from the Soil Association whose ethos is "healthy
soil, healthy people, healthy planet" by introducing a variety of
organic products to our menus. For more information please
Preservation of World Fish Stocks - We are working
to reduce the effect of overfishing, the greatest threat
to marine wildlife, by only selling fish that do not appear
on the Marine Conservation Society "at risk" lists. All
fish on our menus are in good supply, thus maintaining
stocks and ensuring sustainable levels. If you would like to know which fish you
should avoid buying, please follow this link.
Free Range Eggs - Hospitality Essex gained accreditation from
Compassion in World farming with their good egg award,
recognising the use solely, of free range eggs and free range egg
Red Tractor Assured Meat - all meat bought within the
department is Red Tractor assured. Red
Tractor Assured food is world class. It is
produced on farms that are managed by
highly professional, well-qualified and
caring farmers and marketed, transported
and processed by skilled and expert
businesses throughout the food industry.
For more information please see here.
Organic Milk - is available in all of our catering outlets, and is an option for any
internal hospitality customers to order.
2012 Review of Sustainable Food Policy:
• Introduction of recycling bins in all kitchen/wash up areas has been extended. All
Kitchens have now introduced recycling for aluminium, tin, plastic, cardboard and
glass. All offices now have recycling bins.
• Menus continue to be seasonal with locally sourced food where appropriate to
reduce the carbon foot print of Hospitality Essex. Many Local suppliers are used to
cut down on food miles.
• Increased use of pollock and river cobbler and the reduction of Cod and skate.
• Hospitality Essex are working with Estates Management and Wivenhoe House
Hotel for the provision of a composting facility for all food waste on site, negating
the need for landfill use.
• Waste oil continues to be disposed of in an approved manner, to an approved
supplier for the conversion into bio diesel.
• 2012 has seen an increase in the number of Hospitality thermal mugs being used.
This has contributed to a reduction of approx 45,000 paper cups from campus to
• Herb garden has been extended with two new hardy varieties now planted.
• All takeaway consumables from Zest have been sourced from biodegradable
• All takeaway noodle boxes, together with all chopsticks have been sourced as bio
degradable products within the newly opened Fusion Restaurant in Jan 2012.