We look at ways to incorporate sustainability credentials within food provisions on the Cranfield campus and also within large-scale projects.

We now incorporate sustainability considerations within scoring criteria for tenders over £250,000 in value.

Fairtrade Fortnight

We host Fairtrade Fortnight on an annual basis. During this fortnight, we host a variety of talks and events including talks from Zaytoun, the Fairtrade Foundation and other speakers.

We also host Fairtrade bake sales, film nights and stalls from Fairtrade suppliers.

For further information please contact the Cranfield Green team.

Sustainable food on campus

When utilising meat, dairy and fish products, we aim to ensure that they are sustainably sourced, using organic produce over conventional produce wherever possible. For example, our fish supplier offers a good selection of MSC approved seafood, our poultry is Red Tractor approved and we serve Fairtrade products where practicable. Our highest value supplier is audited by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and provides traceability through a sustainable supply chain.

Read our Sustainable Food and Beverage Policy.

Healthy food options

We are committed to providing our students and staff with a diverse range of health-conscious and affordable food choices. Our aim is to foster a campus environment that supports overall wellbeing through nutritious options, better cooking practices, and mindful portion control.

At Cranfield we are dedicated to nurturing the wellbeing of our community by providing health-conscious and affordable food choices. By adhering to the principles mentioned below, we create an environment that supports healthy living and empowers our community to make informed decisions about their dietary preferences. We continuously strive to improve and innovate our offerings, making health and affordability accessible to all.


• Healthier oil for frying: We only use rapeseed and olive oils in our kitchens. These oils contain less saturated fat. Additionally, we ensure that excess oil is drained off sufficiently to reduce unnecessary fat content in our dishes.

• Lean mince and lean meat preparation: When preparing dishes with mince or meat, we use lean varieties or take the extra step to drain off excess fat. Our butcher and kitchen teams are trained to trim excess fat from meat and remove chicken skin whenever it will not have a negative impact on the final dish.

• Grilling and baking: We encourage grilling or baking over frying to offer healthier alternatives for dishes such as fish, bacon, and sausages. These cooking methods reduce the amount of added fat and allow us to drain off much of the intrinsic fats.

• Smart cheese usage: We use grated and mature cheeses in our dishes wherever possible. This allows us to use less overall cheese while still maintaining the desired flavours.

• Emphasis on semi-skimmed, oat, and soya milks: As a default, we offer semi-skimmed milk alongside oat and soya milk options. These alternatives provide lower fat content, making them suitable choices for those who prefer healthier milk options.

• Proper deep fat frying techniques: For occasions where deep fat frying is necessary, we ensure the oil is heated to the correct temperature (175–190°C for chips). This prevents the food from absorbing excessive fat.

• Responsible oil maintenance: We take the maintenance of frying oil seriously. Our team sieve the oil after use, filter it regularly, and change the oil before it foams or smokes. This attention to detail ensures that the oil used remains of high quality and reduces potential health risks associated with spoiled oil.

• vegetables as a meal component: We understand the importance of vegetables in a balanced diet. Therefore, we make it a point to include at least two portions of vegetables as part of every meal we offer alongside a plethora of exciting superfood salads.

• Encouraging healthy meal deals: To promote healthier eating habits, we offer meal deals and special offers that include options such as salads, pieces of fruit, or fruit salads as alternatives to less healthy snacks like crisps, chocolate, or chips.

• Incorporating more vegetables, lentils, and beans: We aim to maximize the nutritional value of our dishes while keeping costs reasonable. Thus, we add or increase the amount of vegetables, pulses, or beans in dishes like soups, stews, and rice. These ingredients are not only nutritious but also more economical compared to meat and fish.

• Promoting wholegrain carbohydrates: To encourage healthier carbohydrate choices, we offer and promote wholegrain options such as wholemeal bread, wholewheat pasta, and brown rice.

• Mindful portion control: We pay close attention to portion sizes. Our staff follow set guidelines diligently, using specific scoops or fixed numbers of slices to maintain portion consistency. This practice supports moderation and mindful eating.

• Responsible alcohol offerings: We have introduced a range of low/zero alcohol alternatives to our bars, alongside the existing range of juice, mineral based soft drinks, and sugar free alternatives.

• Healthier dessert choices: Where we offer desserts, we do so alongside a selection of fresh fruit and yoghurtsF.

• Expanding Meat-Free Offerings: Expanding our meat-free offerings comes with numerous health benefits. By embracing a more plant-centric approach, we promote heart health through lower saturated fats and cholesterol, aid in weight management with nutrient-dense options, and support better digestive health due to increased fibre content.

Cooking oil recycling

We recycle all used cooking oil into biodiesel which significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Biodiesel production is resource-efficient, aligning with our commitment to responsible waste and resource management. This initiative reduces waste, minimizes our environmental impact, and exemplifies a circular economy in action.

Reducing and recycling our food waste

We are consistently working towards reducing the volume of food that goes unused.

Too good to go: We are proud members of the ‘Too Good To Go’ food waste movement. Too Good To go is an app based revolution that allows unsold food from selected venues on campus a second chance at being consumed rather than going to waste. The Too Good To Go allows staff, student and the local community to purchase ‘surprise bags’ of food at low prices.

Leftover food waste: All residual waste food that is generated on campus is recorded and monitored. Campus Services have set an ambitious targets to further decrease this figure on a year by year basis. All food waste is sent away for anaerobic digestion rather than being sent to landfill, where It is converted into electricity, heat and fertilizer. Please also see our waste and recycling pages for further information.

Affordable food

Campus services offer a range of cost-effective dining choices throughout the campus. Our food offerings are priced reasonably, with additional discounts available for students. Despite the great value that we offer, we uphold rigorous quality standards, which are maintained by sourcing high-quality ingredients, prepared by our team of professional chefs.

Our menus are competitively priced, and we offer discounted meal deals. For example, when you order a main meal, your side is included at no extra cost.

Free drinking water

Free drinking water is available across all areas of campus. You will find this in drinking water fountains and from other sources everywhere – from lecture room locations to public spaces, catering outlets and hotel bedrooms. There are more than 150 drinking water fountains across campus, the vast majority of which are mains water fed, with even more being converted to mains feed this year.

Projects to further reduce bottled water use across the campus are ongoing, our CMDC hotel recently stopped providing small bottles of mineral water for guests – preventing the use of approximately 20,000 500ml bottles per year, with an estimated carbon footprint of some 16.5 tonnes of CO2.

Green Kitchen Standard

During March 2024 all Campus Services outlets, including Reggie’s (Mitchell Hall), Cranberries (B41), CMDC and the cafés in B41 and 52a, were certified to the Soil Association’s Green Kitchen Standard. The Green Kitchen Standard recognises caterers that are making positive steps to sustainably manage their energy, waste and water. Cranfield University scored an impressive 75% score with the Green Kitchen Standard methodology.

The catering teams demonstrated that they had strong procedures in place to reduce use of energy, water and waste, and schemes to distribute surplus food and recycle food waste. This was driven by a ‘Food Minimisation Plan’ and a food waste reduction strategy with time bound targets.

View the latest copy of the certificates