Catering Services

Environmental catering

What are we doing to help?

The University of Portsmouth’s Catering Services recognises its responsibility to carry out its procurement activities in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, whilst also encouraging healthy and sustainable food production and consumption. We strive to incorporate environmental and social consideration into our product and service selection processes.

We recognise that it is our responsibility to encourage our suppliers to minimise negative environmental and social effects associated with the products and services that they provide. We will also strive to ensure that local and smaller suppliers are not discriminated against and that they are actively encouraged to participate in tendering opportunities.

Coffee Grounds to grow!

This year, world production of coffee is estimated to reach 7,658,780 tons of beans. That's a lot of coffee - and a whole lot of waste coffee grounds.

Therefore, the Catering Department has teamed up with English Landscape to produce a waste coffee grounds scheme for the environment. This means that our coffee grounds will be collected each week and used as part of the compost programme. This will then see the mixed grounds returned to the University garden areas as compost.

Carbon footprint

As part of the Defra-funded Rural Pathfinder Project, the Public Sector Procurement of Local food Project aims to increase the number of local farmers and producers supplying the public sector and thereby encourage diversity and business growth locally to the University. The Catering department is also working with local suppliers to consolidate orders and to reduce transport and delivery frequentness which will reduce carbon emissions.

Support Fairtrade ‌

The University has been a Fairtrade University since 2005. Where possible, the University sells Fairtrade coffee, tea, sugar, chocolate, fruit, biscuits and snacks. Where it is not possible, there is a commitment to begin to use Fairtrade foods in these establishments as soon as it becomes feasible to do so. We are also constantly looking for new Fairtrade ideas and products to use.

One Water

One billion people in the world don’t have access to clean water. By stocking and selling One Water, the University hopes to be making a difference. All the profits from selling One Water go to building unique roundabout-powered playPumps™ in Africa meaning that, while kids play, clean water is pumped out of the ground into storage tanks for use by the community.

Recycle it

Where possible, all paper used in Catering Services and Campus Services is 100% recycled.

Mug for life Mug for life 200

Staff will receive a 15 pence reduction on the price of a cup of fair-trade tea, coffee or hot chocolate when they use their 'mug for life' or their own cup, at one of the University's catering outlets.

The scheme hopes to encourage staff to be recycle conscious and help to reduce the number of plastic and paper cups used by the University each year.


The University prides itself on delivering a sustainable and environmentally-friendly catering service and has been recognised on multiple occasions for its commitment to the cause. Our awards include:

  • Soil Association Food for Life Catering Mark (bronze) - The Catering Mark provides an independent endorsement that food providers are taking steps to improve the food they serve, using fresh ingredients which are free from trans fats, harmful additives and GM, and better for animal welfare. Caterers are audited to ensure they meet high standards of provenance and traceability, providing reassurance to customers that meals are freshly prepared using environmentally-sustainable and seasonal ingredients.
  • Sustainable Restaurant Association (2 stars) - An independently verified sustainability rating system that allows diners to choose a restaurant that matches their sustainability priorities. It recognises restaurants as one, two or three star sustainability champions depending on how they rate against a wide range of criteria.
  • Four Compassion in World Farming awards for the sole use of free range chickens and eggs, organic dairy products and pigs from higher welfare systems.