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LSE Halls Catering's Journey to Greener Dining

By ResLifeComms 10 May 2024

LSE Halls Catering team is committed to sustainability, recognising the significant environmental impact of food production and consumption. With approximately one-third of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions linked to food, the need for change is evident. The team has embarked on a journey to reduce our carbon footprint while providing nutritious, high-quality meals to our community.

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Our Grow Up Farms collaborators

For our Green Impact Platinum project this year, we have collaborated with our vegetable and fruit supplier Foodari and their partnership with Grow Up Farms, an innovative farming group based in Kent. Grow Up Farms is at the forefront of vertical farming technology, revolutionising the way we grow salad greens. By harnessing 100% renewable energy and minimising water usage, they have created an eco-friendly solution that eliminates the need for pesticides.

During winter term in halls, much of our salad greens were sourced from abroad, resulting in extensive food miles and environmental impact. Grow Up Farms' groundbreaking approach allows us to source locally, drastically reducing transportation emissions. Additionally, their indoor farming method ensures consistently fresh produce year-round, supporting our commitment to sustainability and healthy dining options.

a person sitting at a table with a bowl of salad

During a visit to Grow Up Farms' headquarters in Kent, we saw firsthand the innovative techniques used to cultivate salad greens in a controlled environment. Grow Up Farms showcases dedication to sustainability through their eco-friendly operations, spanning from energy usage to waste reduction.

The numbers speak for themselves for Grow Up Farms:

  • uses 18 times less water
  • emits 15 times less CO2
  • travels 4 times fewer food miles compared to conventional farming methods.

By sourcing our salad greens locally, we are not only reducing our environmental footprint but also supporting UK farmers and promoting self-sufficiency.

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As part of our project, we have compared the impact of sourcing salad greens from Grow Up Farms to sourcing them from abroad. The results are clear: by choosing local, we're able to significantly reduce our carbon emissions and offer fresher, higher-quality produce to our community.

We're dedicated to sharing our journey with our residents and staff, spreading awareness about the importance of sustainable food choices.

While we'll transition to local outdoor produce for the summer term, our collaboration with Grow Up Farms will continue during the winter term. This ensures that our residents have access to high-quality products year-round, reinforcing our commitment to sustainability and innovation in dining.