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LSE Catering Environmental, Sustainable and Healthy Food Commitments and Targets Statement


Energy and carbon

We will review the methods we use in our preparation, cooking and storage to ensure they are the most efficient and effective means to reduce energy whilst maintaining quality and freshness.

We will turn off equipment, heating, lighting and water when not needed and use auto-timers where possible.

We will use natural ventilation where feasible.

We will take environmental impact and energy saving features into consideration when purchasing new equipment.

We will regularly service equipment to increase the energy efficiency of appliances.

We will reuse equipment where practical to do so and dispose of obsolete equipment in the most environmentally friendly way possible.


We will minimise waste by carefully planning our ordering and production systems and will use a "first in first out" (FIFO) stock rotation system to try and eliminate waste from spoilage.

We will actively look at ways to reduce the amount of waste material we generate by engaging with our suppliers regarding packaging.

We will provide facilities for recycling and ensure that dry waste (e.g. cardboard, paper, metal) is kept separate from wet waste (e.g. food).

We will have food waste collections on a daily basis and send to a local unit for turning into usable compost.  Since November 2012 we have a procedure to record our daily kitchen food waste and the reasons for the waste on a wastage record sheet in all catering units.  We will monitor and review this monthly to see if there are any patterns to help us to reduce our waste and report via the Catering Environmental Management Working Group (EMWG).

We will encourage use of refillable water bottles.

We will encourage use of smart mugs where safe to do so by stocking them in the outlets and giving the first drink free with the initial sale of the mug in order to reduce the amount of disposable cup waste and will report the amount of smart mugs sold per month to the EMWG.

We will re-home used plastic food containers by giving them away free to staff and students for future use as storage containers, etc.


We will actively support students and staff drinking tap water and positively encourages the use of drinking fountains.

We will ensure that all new catering facilities will provide drinking water fountains.

We will work with the school to encourage an increase in the number of drinking fountains on campus to help reduce bottled water sales.

We have offered tap water in jugs, or purified still and sparkling tap water bottled on site using re-usable glass bottles in all our serviced hospitality since 2010.

We charge a levy of 10p on all bottles of water purchased to be put towards LSE environmental improvement projects.  To date this initiative has raised over £33,000 (July 2013).  The LSE's Envoronmental Management Review Group assesses environmental projects to benefit from this money.

Since December 2013 a working group have been looking at the most sustainable reusable water vessel to encourage customers to use water fountains.  By December 2014 we will have selected and implemented a suitable vessel.


We are active members of TUCO (The Universities Caterers Organisation) and use TUCO Purchasing Framework Agreements.  Through this suppliers are nominated and regulated and environmental and sustainability issues are embedded into tendering specifications. www.tuco.org/buy/sustainability|

We will liaise with our suppliers to gain information regarding provenance, nutrition and welfare of their products to assist us in making more informed choice and make our supply chain aware of our increasing desire to source ethically and sustainable products.

Fruit and vegetables

We provide menus in our restaurants that are changed on a daily basis so that we can offer seasonable produce where possible.

We ensure hospitality dinner menus have seasonable produce as a matter of course.

We will encourage healthy eating in all LSE Catering restaurants by providing salad bars with daily freshly prepared ingredients.

We will provide a selection of fresh fruit in all Catering units. Seasonal fruit will be stocked in preference to out of season fruit.

We engage with suppliers to ensure that where seasonal produce is available from the local area, that is our preferred choice.  Our main fruit and vegetable supplier is based in New Spittalfield Market and their aim when possible is to buy locally grown and UK produce.

We have ensured since December 2012, our fruit and vegetable supplier has marked area of origin on all fruit and vegetable delivery notes to ensure that we can make informed choice on where our products are coming from and allow us to increase the amount of seasonal and local produce when it is available, we currently monitor this.  Since December 2013 we have achieved at a minimum 40% English seasonal fruit and vegetables, we will continue to monitor and will report the percentage via the EMWG.

We offer vegetarian alternatives in all of our catering outlets and actively promote the value in both sustainability and health of a vegetarian diet.  We actively support Vegetarian Week.

We hold regular Feel Good Food Days where 70% of the menu is suitable for vegetarians and reduce the meat in the other dishes that are served, replacing where necessary with pulses, beans and other sources of protein that are not of animal origin.  We will strive to increase healthy and vegetarian options year on year.

Meat, poultry and dairy

We are committed to ensuring we will increase higher welfare meat and dairy, where possible using Red Tractor Assured produce.  Where we can't reduce consumption of livestock produce we will endeavour to improve sustainable rearing practices i.e. a 'Less but better' quality approach.

We have from 2011 only provided 100% free range chickens on all hospitality dinners.

Since July 2013 at a minimum all our milk is certified Red Tractor Assured or equivalent.

We will hold and promote Feel Good Food Days, during term time we commit to holding one per month.


We have ensured since 2010 that all whole/liquid/dried eggs purchased in all our LSE Catering units are 100% from a free-range production system and any products purchased containing egg state that the eggs are from a free-range production system.

We achieved a Good Egg Award and Good Food on the Public Plate Award for ensuring that we only use free-range eggs in November 2010.


We have from 2010 eliminated any fish on our menus which are on the Marine Conservation Society's (MCS) red list; we will continue to monitor the list and act promptly to remove any fish that are added to the list due to a change in the sustainability of the item.

We will promote sustainable fish and seafood to customers, ensuring we endorse fish that is on the Marine Conservation Society's 'fish to eat' list.  During 2014/2015 we will run campaigns to raise awareness of alternative sustainable species to our customers by providing clear information at the point of sale.

We are signatories to support Sustain's Sustainable Fish City (SFC) - a campaign working to transform the way our oceans are fished by buying sustainable fish. www.sustainweb.org/sustainablefishcity/london|

We will monitor our suppliers to ensure they are certified Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) approved and where possible we will use MSC certified fish.

We will not use tinned tuna where the tuna has been caught using purse seine nets with Fish Aggregation Devices (FADS).  From 2010 our preference for tinned tuna has been pole and line caught or MSC certified.


We will ensure that 100% of the oil used in LSE Catering is vegetable, rapeseed oil or olive oil.  No trans fats will be used.

We will continue to ensure that all used cooking oil be collected by a company who turn it into bio-diesel, this is then used in their delivery vans and by local companies, and report the amount recycled via the EMWG.


Since October 2004 LSE had been a Fairtrade university and was the first London university and second UK university to achieve Fairtrade status.  We commit to continuing Fairtrade accreditation.  We will continue to support London's status as a Fairtrade City.

From 2004 all our catering outlets serve tea, coffee and sugar that is ethically traded, Fairtrade refreshments are served at all conferences, meetings and events.  Since June 2014 the bananas on sale in all catering outlets are 100% Fairtrade.

We will endeavour to increase our ethically traded offer, adding at least one more ethically traded product per year, where available.

We will promote Fairtrade products and actively support Fairtrade Fortnight in all catering units and provide year round information which supports Fairtrade initiatives.

We will monitor the percentage of sales that are Fairtrade and report figures via the EMWG, at a minimum we ensure 10% are Fairtrade.  Since December 2013 we have ensured that a minimum are 11% Fairtrade.  As part of our on-going commitment by December 2014 we will ensure at a minimum 12% Fairtrade.

We will serve triple accredited (Fairtrade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance) coffee in the Garrick, 4th Floor Cafe Bar, Bean Counter, Cafe 54 and Mezzanine Cafes.  (The Rainforest alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainability livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behaviour).


We will endeavour to use products, equipment and methods that have minimum environmental impact whilst ensuring a safe, clean environment.

We will not use cleaning products that are tested on animals.

We will not use bleach products.


We will discourage take-away by providing comfortable seating in all our facilities and provide crockery wherever dishwashing facilities are available.

We will not use polystyrene and will use recycled, recyclable or biodegradable products where practical where disposables are unavoidable.


We will use local suppliers whenever feasible to reduce our carbon footprint.  Where non local suppliers are used we will keep deliveries as infrequent as practical and encourage suppliers to use modern fuel efficient vehicles.

We will manually transport goods and services within our site.

We will require staff to use public transport when on business travel.

Education and communication

We will communicate our environmental and food policy and specific information regarding sustainability initiatives of our food to our service users, visitors and staff via the staff and student newsletters, flyers, notice-boards, website and street stalls and formally communicate our progress via the Catering Services User Group (CSUG) and EMWG.

We will raise awareness of sustainable foods by promotions and events including Feel Good Food Days, supporting the Student Union Green Week, Fairtrade Fortnight, Vegetarian Week and actively support student, environment and sustainability office and HR/Wellbeings healthy and sustainable initiatives at a minimum 15 days per year.

We will enhance staff, customer and supplier awareness of relevant environmental and social effects of a sustainable diet via promotional guidance, product information and awareness campaigns.

We will work with the LSE Environmental team to follow best practice and ensure that our local aims are aligned to the university strategic aims.

We will display notices at point of sale of bottled water stating "As part of our Environmental Policy, LSE wishes to discourage bottled water sales and encourage use of tap-water fountains and refillable water bottles.  A levy of 10p per bottle purchased will be put towards an LSE environmental improvement project".

We will include environmental sustainability issues on all team meeting agenda.

We will recognise our responsibility as an employer by educating catering staff in food sustainability.  Staff will be aware of the various certification systems and their relevance for food production and food products that we use.

We will seek appropriate training for all levels of staff to encourage awareness of sustainable and healthy eating issues.

Liz Thomas
Head of Catering
June 2014