The University of Cambridge has said removing beef and lamb from its menus has cut food-related carbon emissions by a third.

The university’s catering service replaced the meat with plant-based products for its 14 outlets and 1,500 annual events from October 2016.

The catering service’s chefs were given vegan cookery classes and cafe managers were given training in sustainability. Vegetarian options were also increased and unsustainable fish was removed. The university also listed the vegetarian and vegan options before the meat items and changed how food was labelled on their menus.

Prof Andrew Balmford, from the university, said it had “dramatically reduced their environmental footprint”.

The university measured its carbon footprint in a three-month period in 2015, before the changes, and the same period in 2018. It said that overall carbon emissions across the catering service were reduced by 10.5%. There was a 33% reduction in carbon emissions per kilogram of food purchased, and a 28% reduction in land use per kilogram of food purchased.

Nick White, head of the catering service, said: “This has involved making sacrifices, but is has been absolutely the right thing to do.

“It’s about making the right choice easy.”

Original source: www.bbc.com