Starting Tuesday 4 October this year – World Animal Day - work lunches ordered at UT caterer Appèl will be vegetarian by default. This impacts lunches ordered on location from Appèl: the selection available in the canteens on campus will not change. If someone still prefers meat with their lunch, they can indicate this when placing an order. UT is introducing this so-called 'reverse standard’ because vegetarian dishes have a lower carbon footprint than dishes with meat. The land and water use of vegetarian food is also lower.
A standard working lunch will from now on consist of sandwiches with a variety of vegetarian toppings. Croquettes, for instance, will also be vegetarian as standard from now on. If someone still orders meat, the toppings will consist of 50% meat and 50% vegetarian, just like the current standard lunch. In this way, freedom of choice is preserved.
The introduction of the standard vegetarian working lunch follows from the Sustainability, Energy & Environment (SEE)-programme of the UT. The change contributes to the goal of minimising the impact of food and drink on campus. Specifically, UT aims to reduce the carbon footprint of food by 15% by 2023 and 50% by 2030. The exact impact of this change on our carbon footprint will be monitored by the SEE programme in the coming period.
With this change, UT follows several other Dutch universities and (semi)-government organisations. In turn, UT hopes to inspire others to do the same.