Food and drink
Sustainably produced food reduces CO2 emissions during production and promotes the region’s economy. The University is working to increase the number of organic, fair trade, vegetarian and vegan products in its restaurants.
Leiden University’s restaurants offer sustainable products under the ‘Pure’ label. The basic premise of this the University’s own concept is that vegetarian and vegan food is sustainable and healthy and should therefore be the norm. Vegan and vegetarian products are priced lower than the non-vegetarian range, and are given attention, for example with daily specials. More than 80% of the University’s catering range already consists of sustainable, organic or fair trade products.
Own water dispensing system
The Faculty Club, the central meeting place for the University community, uses only 100% organic ingredients and has its own dispensing system that allows the brasserie and restaurant to serve still and carbonated water. This saves the University from transporting over 8 tonnes of full bottles and disposing of over 4 tonnes of glass from empty bottles every year. The water dispensing system is part of the Made Blue initiative.
Little or no meat
Due to the high environmental impact of beef, the University has gradually reduced the amount of beef it serves since 2019. Since 2021, the restaurant has no longer served beef at all. The cafés in the Kamerlingh Onnes, Lipsius, Pieter de la Court and University Library buildings have been completely meat-free since 2020. In that year, the University also participated for the first time in the National Meet-Free Week.
The University is continuously optimising the number of transports supplying its restaurants, without compromising on the products’ freshness. By continuously monitoring consumption, we can purchase food carefully, minimising food waste. To further reduce food waste, for example, old bread is used to make croutons and overripe fruit ends up in smoothies. The University’s average waste rate is 1%, significantly lower than the market average of around 10%.
Sustainable Development Goals
Our food and drink policy contributes to these United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: