BEEF and lamb have been taken off the menu at Cambridge University — dramatically slashing its food-related carbon emissions.
The university also claimed top marks because catering profits also rose.
Responding to student demand, its Sustainable Food Policy called for less meat, more plant-based options, no unsustainably sourced fish and a reduction in food waste.
Since the changes in 2016, the University Catering Service (UCS) has cut carbon emissions by 10.5 per cent — despite more food being purchased.
The service, which feeds 14 outlets and caters for more than 1,500 hospitality events a year, also saw a 33 per cent cut in carbon emissions and a 28 per cent cut in land use per kilo of food purchased.
Meanwhile, UCS gross profits grew by two per cent from 2014-15 to 2017-18, although food costs had increased.
The next step is to stop selling single-use plastic bottles — saving 30,000 bottles from landfills per year.
Nick White, head of the UCS, said they wanted to push ‘what was considered possible in a catering environment’. Chefs took vegan cookery classes and menus feature aubergine rogan josh and butternut squash lasagne.
Catering manager Paula White said: ‘If you go to most restaurants, they’ll put a V for vegetarian or label something as vegan. We just put what’s in it. If you look at something and think, “Wow, that looks good” — you’re not first of all thinking, “Is there beef in that?”’