Sustainable Consumption

Fairtrade products have been introduced as we work towards accreditation.  Where possible and appropriate, food is sourced from suppliers recognised by suitable accredited bodies (i.e. the Soil Association, the Marine Conservation Society, Red Tractor), plant based packaging is used in all outlets, and plant-based food options are always available in every food outlet.

The catering team introduced the external scheme, Too Good To Go, across different the outlets for distributing surplus food to staff, students and the community.  Starting on the Stoke campus on 10th January 2023, and at Stafford at a week later, and also at Staffordshire University London, 693 meals were saved within the fours months of operation, equating to 1,733 kg of CO2e.

The catering team has made a number of significant changes, including introducing cardboard takeaway boxes and compostable cutlery.  The selling of plastic bottles of water has stopped, as mains fed filtered water supplies are now available all across the campus.  Reusable bottles of water (made from sugar cane waste) are now available.  Re-usable coffee cups are also available from all University catering outlets.  The cups are made from more sustainable materials and one tree is planted for each cup sold, and they are BPA Free.

This plan is lead by:

  • Helen Rutherford, Head of Sustainable Campus Operations

This plan is enabled by:

Food being sourced appropriately, including:

  • All food served in outlets comes from accredited sources (Fairtrade, Soil Association and the Marine Conservation Society)
  • ‘Food miles’ are minimised
  • Food waste is managed and excess food is shared within the community
  • Plant-based packaging is used for all food and drinks
  • Plant-based food options are always available



Targets and progress


The University is aiming to become ‘Fairtrade’ accredited by 2024


Progress status: GREEN

Achieving ‘Fairtrade’ accreditation is on track for 2024.

Operational priorities for 2023/24

  • Working with the catering team to secure reliable suppliers who carry the appropriate accreditations and making switches for key products without reducing the customer experience

  • Working with catering to minimise food waste and ensuring that the Too Good To Go scheme continues to be used when food is left over within the outlets

  • Work with the catering team at Staffordshire University London to ensure that their practices are in line with the University’s policy

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021