Sustainable food

Making sustainable choices when we eat is a great way to fight climate change, as the United Nations estimate that farming and food production cause around a third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

We are passionate about providing sustainable food on campus and helping everyone to make sustainable food choices every day. SussexFood (our University’s catering provider) are working hard on this and were awarded the highest-possible rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association in 2019.

You can also do your bit, by choosing sustainable food options, avoiding food waste, and disposing of your food waste properly.

University of Sussex Sustainable Food Policy and Strategy

Our Sustainable Food Action Plan

ActionCo-ownerTarget delivery date

8. Introduce four new sustainable food priorities that encourage:

a. sourcing fresh produce from local suppliers

b. better consumer information on food sustainability

c. an increase in net zero cafes

d. a reduction in meat consumption

Helen Power-Hosking (Head of Commercial Services)

August 2023

9. Active support for sustainable food production and distribution on campus including the continued redistribution of surplus food Ongoing
10. Conduct a strategic review of options to improve water sustainability and set water consumption targets Rachel Mills (Provost)

August 2024


Find out what our catering outlets are doing to provide sustainable food options on campus.

Food waste reduction, redistribution, and recycling

Reducing and redistributing food waste

Take action to reduce your food waste:

  • 1. Be clever with your cooking by making a meal plan and shopping list before you go shopping so you only buy what you need. Using your leftovers and learning store food to make sure it doesn’t go to waste also reduce waste.
  • 2. Use food sharing apps Olio and TooGoodToGo to pick up cheap, or even free, food to stop it going to waste. Our campus food outlets use both, so keep an eye out for their deals to both save money and help us reduce our food waste!

    On Olio you can browse food that people in your local area are giving away for free. Meanwhile, you can get food for very little money from many cafés and restaurants in Brighton using TooGoodToGo. Businesses list food that they have leftover at the end of the day so that it all gets eaten and doesn’t go to waste.

  • 3. Buy lunch from, or volunteer with, the Food Waste Cafe, a student society that holds regular cafés on campus. They work with local organisations to turn food that would otherwise have gone to waste into pay as you feel meals.

Recycling food waste

When you can’t avoid creating food waste, you can dispose of it properly to make sure that it goes to aerobic or anaerobic digestion, rather than landfill or energy recovery. There are two ways to do this on campus:

Aerobic digester – for non-residential food waste

In 2020, Sussex became the first university in the UK to install an aerobic digester. The initial trial reduced the food waste we produced by 70%.

If you eat on campus, make sure that you put your leftover food and plate scrapings into our compostable waste or food waste bins so that it goes here. The take away packaging that our campus outlets use can also go in here, so please put that it in the compostable waste bins too!

Residential Food Waste Scheme – for non-East Slope residents

Do you want to compost your kitchen food waste? Well, if you live on campus, you can! We are launching a residential food waste scheme for the 2021/22 academic year. Students living in any accommodation except East Slope can sign up to take part, to find out more contact us at

Residential Food Waste – for East Slope Residents

If you live in East Slope then there should be a food waste bin available in your kitchen, which should be emptied into the food waste bins in the recycling compounds. To find your closest recycling compound check the East Slope Map or to find out more information about the scheme, contact East Slope Reception on 01273 67 8866.