The University of Edinburgh has become the first university in Scotland to be
recognised by the UK's leading sustainability accreditation and membership body for the hospitality and food service sector.
The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) has awarded the University of Edinburgh Two Stars - equating to an excellent level of sustainability. The rating is regarded as the Michelin stars of sustainability.
Ian Macaulay, Assistant Director (Catering), University of Edinburgh, said: "This is a great achievement for the whole catering team and, along with our other sustainability awards, further reinforces our ongoing commitment to the University's wider strategic sustainably commitment. We will be working hard with the SRA over the coming year to identify ways in which we can make the whole dining experience even more sustainable for students and staff."
The University of Edinburgh achieved Two Stars by completing the SRA's rigorous and wide-ranging assessment that covers the three pillars of sustainability - Sourcing, Society and Environment. The University scored particularly well in the Society and Environment sections. Strong support for numerous charities and a programme devised to teach school children about sustainability and cooking skills demonstrate its commitment to the community. The installation of energy efficient equipment and low energy lighting, complemented by a strong waste reduction policy, illustrated a team dedicated to reducing its impact on the environment.
The SRA's assessors found that there was plenty for the 33,000 students and 8,000 staff to appreciate on their plates too in all of the University's outlets, including the catered halls of residence and conferences facilities. All eggs are free-range, the seafood is from British waters, which is carefully selected to ensure its sustainability and the chocolate, tea and coffee are produced to a standard that incorporates fair trade criteria.
Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the SRA, said: "The University of Edinburgh is the latest UK university, and the first in Scotland, to not only put its sustainability credentials to the test, but to achieve an excellent rating, showing an understanding of its responsibility to serve its thousands of customers with a dining experience that isn't costing the earth."
The SRA launched its university and college programme in partnership with The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) in 2014 and since then 15 UK universities have joined, including University of Brighton, Plymouth University, Durham University and University of Glasgow.