UTServicesCFMSustainabilityNewsProject to make UT restaurants more sustainable bears fruit

Project to make UT restaurants more sustainable bears fruit CO2-emissions of top-5 meals cut by 50%

The climate- and environmental impact of the top-5 dishes in restaurant Waaier on the UT campus has gone down significantly over the past year, while guest satisfaction has increased. This is the result of the cooperation between caterer Appèl, sustainable food expert Greendish and UT over the past year. UT aims to reduce carbon emissions of food on campus by 15% by 2023 and 50% by 2030. Land and water use and the amount of waste must also be reduced. The results of this project represent a big step towards all of these goals.

Over the past year, Appél employees worked with Greendish to look into the composition of its meals, with a special focus on the five best-selling dishes. After analysing the environmental impact of these dishes changes were made, with an emphasis on how healthy and tasty the dish is. Erwin Wonink, manager of Appèl at UT: "For example, we replaced some of the meat in our spaghetti bolognese with lentils, which was well received. We have also greatly expanded the range of vegetarian and vegan products over the past year."

Actions taken

Besides focusing on the composition of dishes, Appèl also focuses on reducing food waste and reducing transport movements by buying locally as much as possible. Wonink: "My colleagues and I have taken various training courses and actions to achieve this. Think of smart planning so products can be used in different dishes at the same time or using leftovers to make soup." Appèl is also focusing on this on a national level.

Both at the beginning and at the end of the project a survey was conducted among guests of the restaurant in the Waaier - the largest restaurant on campus - asking about satisfaction with the dishes, the range of food on offer and the restaurant in general. On all three points, the restaurant scored higher in the second measurement than in the first. The food is considered tastier, healthier and more sustainable than a year earlier. Despite no change in prices, guests do consider the offer less affordable than a year earlier.

Further steps

Although the partnership with Greendish will end after a year, the caterer and UT will continue to work together to make the restaurants more sustainable. Wonink: "Good steps have been taken, but we are not yet satisfied. There is definitely still room for improvement. It is clear that our guests would like even more fresh, healthy and plant-based products. So we will continue to work on that, while maintaining freedom of choice for everyone."

What can you do to eat more sustainably?
  • Choose to try a vegetarian or vegan dish at the restaurant.
  • Bring your own tray and cutlery for your meal.
  • Choose food or drinks from the sustainable fridge in the restaurant at the Waaier.
  • Ordering a group lunch or drinks? Make sure you don't order too much to avoid wasting food. Have some leftovers? Don't throw them away, but hand it out.
  • Can't make it to a group lunch or drinks where you are expected? Then cancel with the organization in time so that not too much food is ordered.


Do you have any questions about this article or food sustainability in general? If so, please contact Anouk van der Wal, contract manager.

A.R. van der Wal (Anouk)
Projectleader/Contractmanager CFM, Facility Services