THE UNIVERSITY of Reading has become the first university in Europe to join an eco-friendly catering group.
It has joined the Menus of Change Universities Research Collaborative (MCURC) to innovate and encourage people to choose healthier, more sustainable options.
The news comes as the University was also named winner of the Innovation in Catering category of the CUBO Awards 2020 last month, which rewards and showcases the very best in higher education commercial services.
Matt Tebbit, head of residential catering and bars at the University of Reading, said the move strengthened their commitment to sustainable eating.
“Focusing on quality not quantity, creating delicious, planet-forward meals, and harnessing renewable energy are all ways we can drive down the University’s carbon footprint as well as make our students and staff healthier,” he said.
“This all builds on the award-winning sustainability work we have already been doing on campus, which uses the expert knowledge of our own researchers to improve our menus, and has turned our dining rooms into live laboratories where we can study eating behaviours, teach sustainable practices, and come up with brand-new ideas.”
The Menus of Change movement is led by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
It is a collaboration of scholars, food service leaders, executive chefs, and administrators for colleges and universities.
Reading has been following the movement for around two years and is now one of 59 universities and colleges in the world to be members of the collaborative, with Google and the US Olympic Training Center also among its collaborating organisations.
With more than 20 eateries on campus, the University is reaffirming its pledge to reduce waste.
It hopes to soon display carbon footprint information on menus and source beef and lamb from the University’s own farms.