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Sustainable Food and Drink

Embedding good environmental practices into the way we source, prepare and process food has the potential to enhance our environmental performance and reduce the environment impacts of the food we serve across our campuses.

Plant-Based Options

All Queen Mary and Students’ Union outlets offer plant-based options for food and drink, with a minimum of two plant-based options at every lunch and dinner. Some of our plant-based food is supplied by Vegetarian Express. Discounts are available for plant-based food on meat-free Mondays. Find more information about the University’s food outlets.

Ethical Food

The Curve kitchen in Mile End uses local, seasonally available ingredients to minimise food transport and storage. Meat, dairy and egg products are ethically sourced, for instance, chilled food is supplied by Reynolds and fresh fish is supplied by Marrfish who own their own vessels.

The kitchen incorporates imperfect and out-of-shape produce from Angry Monk into their salad bar and daily meals, saving unwanted fruit and vegetables from being wasted. Find out more about our partnership with Angry Monk. The Mile End campus allotments also supply the kitchen with a small amount of fresh grown produce.

Ethical Coffee Beans

The Students’ Union Ground Café in Mile End ethically sources coffee beans from Rwanda, ensuring that the coffee is good for the environment and gives back to the community where it was created. Find out more information about the Ground Café.

The Grad Café and Department W Queen Mary Café get their coffee beans from Paddy & Scott’s Coffee Shop, who source their coffee direct from their own farm in Kenya as a world-first direct collaboration between a farm and a consumer. Profits from the farm have built a school for the estate workers and they have launched a project funding school meals in coffee-growing regions around the globe. Find more information about Paddy & Scott’s Coffee Shop.

Water Fountains

The Mile End campus has water fountains in several buildings to provide free access to drinking water. Find the nearest water fountain using the map below.

Water Fountain Map pdf [PDF 408KB]

Food Waste and Single-Use Packaging

You can read about waste management for food and drink in the page linked below. This includes our initiatives to reduce food waste using discounts, what happens to food waste, foodbanks on campus, and how the university is phasing out single-use coffee cups.

Waste Management on Campus


You can read our latest Sustainable Food and Catering Policy below:

Sustainable Food and Catering Policy 2023 [PDF 201KB]


Commitments: Sustainable Food and Catering 

  • We will continue to implement initiatives that reduce food waste from our catering outlets.
  • We will continue to exclude fish species classified as “at risk” by the Marine Conservation Society and only accept fish from sustainable sources.
  • We will continue to use food and services from responsible and ethical sources.
  • We will continue to increase the proportion of meals rich in fruit, vegetables, pulses, and nuts, while reducing foods of animal origin, because livestock farming is one of the significant contributors to climate change.
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