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Responsible practices

Ethical purchasing and sustainable food

BU acknowledges that what it purchases can have a significant impact on the environment, society and economy. To reduce those impacts the university is committed to taking a sustainable approach to its purchasing activities.

The University has a Sustainable Procurement Policy (pdf 415kb) which outlines how we aim to embed sustainability into all our purchasing. An extension of this policy is the Sustainable Food Policy (pdf 191kb) which considers the sustainability of food on campus, focusing on supply chains, procurement, production, preparation and disposal of food. To monitor and track the implementation of the Sustainable Food Policy the University has set out its objectives in the Action Plan (pdf 96kb).

Sustainable Procurement

To implement the sustainable procurement policy BU’s procurement team work hard to ensure all our suppliers meet strict criteria regarding the environment and the treatment of their workers by using a questionnaire as part of the tender process.

BU has affiliated with Electronics Watch and the Worker's Rights Consortium to help check the ethical status of our electronic equipment and clothing suppliers, respectively. In addition, BU has published a statement to show how it and its main suppliers are meeting the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 regarding transparency of how people are treated in our supply chain.

Sustainable Food

BU's catering partners Chartwells have achieved the Soil Association's Food for Life Silver Catering Award. This means that the food served on campus is traceable, freshly prepared and locally sourced where possible.

The catering team at Chartwells have been working consistently to improve their offer of freshly prepared dishes and healthy eating options by engaging with local suppliers and increasing our ethical food sourcing on Fairtrade products. Chartwells have also recently introduced Honest Bean triple-certified coffee (Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and organic).

How to get involved

You can check out the range of food available across our campuses.

How does this help BU?

BU is committed to ensuring our supply chains and catering is as sustainable and ethical as possible. Chartwells implement the following sustainable food practices as part of their contract with BU:

  • Work towards Food for Life certification with the Soil Association for their operations at BU
  • Ensure that all whole (shell and hard-boiled), liquid and dried eggs (if applicable) purchased are from a free-range production system
  • Ensure that no fish is served that appears on the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) 'red list' and seek to serve MSC-certified fish, maximising the use of fish from the MCS 'fish to eat' list
  • Ensure that menus change with the availability of seasonal produce with at least two major items per dish served in the season in which they are naturally abundant
  • Use only 100% Red Tractor Assured meat and dairy products and follow Feel Good Food Days guidance on meat and dairy portions
  • Purchase 100% organic milk
  • Use locally sourced produce, such as bread from Long Critchel bakery and cheese, such as Blue Vinny.
  • Water dispensers are available throughout our campuses for staff, students and visitors.

BU staff and students support community based food partnerships such as the Slades Farm community project and were a founding member of the Bournemouth & Poole Sustainable Food City network. With the support of the university, groups of students and staff have also found creative ways of working within the confines of the University’s city based sites to create small food growing spaces including herb gardens and fruit tree areas. BU's research, such as a 2016 study into the value of fresh food  also helps to create a better understanding of nutritional wellbeing.

Hear from our supplier

The Chartwells team are immensely proud to have been awarded the silver standard food for life catering mark by the Soil Association on the Street outlet in the Fusion building. We are excited to be embarking on the journey to gold standard in the next academic year where we will be showcasing great food and beverage offerings for our BU customers."

Ricky King, Chartwells General Manager at BU