We recognise that hospitality operations can have a huge impact on the environment and we are committed to delivering services that are environmentally sustainable at the University of Reading.

We aim to promote healthy and sustainable initiatives in all areas of our business, from purchasing all the way through to delivering services to our students and other customers.

We are always looking for innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment and have held focus group meetings with University of Reading students and other customers to look at ethical foods and sustainability.

SUSTAIN IT reusable coffee mug

We have introduced a 20p tax on disposable coffee cups and launched a range of resusable mugs that can be purchased at our catering locations

SUSTAIN IT reusable bottle

We have introduced Coca Cola Freestyle machines that allows students and other customers to use their refillable bottle

PLASTIC straws

We have removed all plastic straws from our operations


All bars, cafes, and food outlets on our Reading campuses are now cashless, which helps reduce the mileage involved in handling cash around campus





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JOIN the effort to help make our campuses more sustainable


Reusable mugs are on sale across all catering venues for £4.

Not only are you helping to reduce your impact on the environment but you will also avoid our 20p tax introduced on disposable hot drinks.

The profit from this charge is ring-fenced  and used to fund sustainable initiatives within catering services .


Sustain It reusable bottles are on sale at our catering venues.

These can be used with our FreeStyle coca-cola machines, helping to reduce the amount of plastic sold on campus.


We have identified water points on Whiteknights and London Road campuses where you can fill up your bottle for free.

Click here to view the Hydration Map


We have introduced a Sustain It reusable bottle to help reduce the amount of plastic sold on our campuses.

How does it work?

The Sustain It bottle contains a RFID chip that allows you to pre-pay for drinks, choosing from different payment options as outlined below. The bottle is designed to pair up with a new range of Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, offering well over 100 varieties and customisable mixes – the majority being zero and low calorie options. This is our largest selection of healthier drinks to date.

Making a customised drink is simple – when paired with the Freestyle App, you can design and save your desired mix and order at the machine using a QR code within the app. Filtered water will also be available for free at each Freestyle machine, allowing you to refill any container with water at no cost.

The Freestyle machines use a concentrated mixture as the base for a wide selection of flavours. The concentrates are packaged in cartridges that can be sent by courier instead of traditional delivery by lorry. By switching to this delivery method, the University will reduce traffic on campus and environmental effects by taking more delivery lorries off the roads.

How much does it cost?

The Sustain It bottle costs £9.95, which includes two free refills of soft drinks. You can then purchase additional refills in either multiples of 10 (£12) or unlimited refills for the whole term (£39.95).

If you would prefer not to purchase the bottle, you can pay £1.60 for a recyclable paper cup, which includes one drink. Alternatively, bottled drinks will still be available to purchase from non-participating catering outlets on campus.

Filtered water is available for free at all Freestyle machines, using any bottle.

Where can I buy or refill a bottle?

The bottle is available to purchase at Park Eat, Eat at the Square, The Dairy, Wantage Hall and Eat at Northcourt (St. Patrick’s Hall). These outlets have all been fitted with the Freestyle refill machines.




The University of Reading has pledged itself to a Fairtrade policy, as part of the many criteria we agreed to fulfil for the future of Fairtrade on our campus. For more information please visit the Sustainability website

Our kitchens are all Marine Stewardship Council Awarded so all fish products meet higher standards of fishing with a particular focus on marine conservation & sustainable fishing. You can find out more at

Our bars follow the code of practice set by the British Institute of Innkeeping, a trade group committed to driving up standards in pubs, bars and other outlets that sell alcohol. Find out more at

Our outlets currently are leading the way in recycling with rates. We currently recycle paper, card, tetra paks, oil, left-over food & trimmings, plastic bottles, cans and lots more smaller items. We have achieved Gold in the Universities & Colleges Green Impact Awards.

As far as possible we source produce from as locally as possible through our Greengrocer. Seasonal produce is used throughout our menus to help keep our prices are reasonable as possible. The University also safeguards the National Fruit Collection in Kent which contains thousands of species, you can find out more information at

We source our milk from a local supplier and in addition to this the University is a Dairy Farmer itself, with a large herd of cows.

Food waste from catering outlets on campus is collected by the University approved waste contractor from our 240lt wheelie bins.  The primary disposal process for the University’s food waste is anaerobic digestion. The collected food waste is used in anaerobic digesters to produce renewable energy. Approximately 100 tonnes of food waste recycled via Anaerobic Digestion on campus per year.

Cooking food is energy intensive whether at home or eating out. Our outlets use modern and efficient equipment reducing the amount of energy required. We use a variety of technologies to take this further such as heating Park Eat using outside air with Air Sourced Heat Pumps (basically collecting lots of small amounts of heat and squashing it to make it hot). We have been busy installing LED lighting across our outlets to reduce energy consumption by around 95%. Our bar areas are using state-of-the-art chilling equipment reducing energy use by up to 90% in some cases


Since achieving ISO 14001 certification back in 2010 for Environmental Management, Greenlands has gone on to implement numerous systems to continue to improve its sustainability; segregating waste for recycling has been common practice on the estate for many years.

In June 2012, Greenlands investing in two in-vessel composters. These Komposter units are able to process cooked and uncooked food waste and, instead of having the food waste collected and sent to an anaerobic digester many miles away, it is now composted on site.

In the summer of 2013, Greenlands went full circle by establishing raised beds, with its own compost, to grow herbs for the kitchen. Greenlands ethos of a ‘plate to plate’ service started here. It tells a story whereby the guest first receives their food, through to the end where herbs are produced back into the kitchen.

In early 2014, it was identified that the complimentary toiletries which included small bottles of shampoo and shower gel provided for guests were creating a great deal of waste that was not recyclable.

The housekeeping staff began working with CleanConscience, to redirect their waste toiletries from landfill and incinerators. CleanConscience are a local organisation who identified that whilst every day, millions of bars of soap are discarded worldwide, at the same time, millions of people are dying each year from disease and infection, many of whom could be saved by the provision of soap.

Waste hand-soaps are now collected and re-purposed by CleanConscience into new bars for distribution by health organisations, to reduce disease in areas of the world where hygiene is extremely poor. Part-used bottled toiletries are also collected. Any remaining product is removed and re-purposed, allowing the empty plastic bottles to be diverted from landfill and recycled.

In 2015, the Henley Business School needed assistance with the emptying and sorting out of a very large furniture storage unit that was previously their finance building.

CleanConscience were able to redistribute everything that had been stored in the finance building, without the need to send anything to landfill or to be incinerated, and in turn Henley Business School saved the equivalent of 45.5 tonnes of CO2 and 10 tonnes of waste which would’ve cost £6,500 in waste costs. An equivalent of £90,000 worth of redundant, or end-of-service, office furniture and decommissioned equipment was donated to charity or gifted to start-up entrepreneurs.

Greenlands have Solar Photovoltaics (PV) in the new accommodation block.

We are currently exploring the potential for an innovative water source heat pump at our Greenlands campus. This would transfer heat from the river Thames into the buildings, reducing the need for oil fired boilers. It’s an exciting project but complicated due to many planning, heritage and environmental considerations.

With our many acres of gardens and wetlands, following the initiative at Whiteknights, Greenlands introduced a Bee Hotel which has been installed on the wall behind Berry Brook House as you walk towards the West Car Park.  

Of the 250 species of bee found in the British countryside there is a specialist group which nest in small cavities, such as cracks in walls, hollow plant stems and beetle holes in dead wood. However, changes in land management and agriculture mean these cavity nesting bees often struggle to find places to nest. Man-made bee hotels can provide them with a suitable alternative, providing them with nesting sites to start the next generation of bees. Cavity nesting bees are particularly good at pollinating many of our crops such as apples, pears and cherries, and also many of the beautiful wild flowers we find in the spring time.  Solitary bees are particularly docile, as they don’t make honey, and so have nothing to defend.

The bee hotel has been built by Robin Dean, a visiting Research Fellow at the University, and a commercial supplier of bees.

The wild garden was once part of a large apple orchard which stretched from Paddock House to Ferry Cottage beyond the fence.

A single apple tree still stands in the garden and hosts some of our next box visitors. Watch for activity during the spring nesting season!

Some wildflower planting has been done in the garden in the past but nature has now taken over and a variety of species can now be seen.

The aim of the design of our conference and meeting rooms is to provide comfortable and well equipped work areas, whilst at the same time moving towards fully sustainable operations. We also use maximum levels of recycled and recyclable materials for non-mechanicals in each room – some of the steps taken to date are:

Eco stationary is used in all meeting and conference rooms and recycled paper is used in all copiers and printers.

In 2018 we removed the majority of paper cups in our conference rooms and replaced with glasses. We enhanced our provision with bottled water that is produced and replenished from in-house water dispensers.

Virtual servers are replacing existing hardware, consolidating maintenance andpower requirements to one central server.

Upgraded energy efficient air conditioning in the server room.

Power out software automatically puts unused PC’s, peripherals, copier and printersinto standby and turning off outside working hours.

All new computers are either EPEAT gold or silver star items. This means that theyreach high standards of environmental performance.

For the end of life recycling we use an approved supplier which has a zero landfill policy.

Heating/Cooling for our Conference Rooms are centrally controlled via a BMS system

Desk Top printers have been removed across the site and replaced with centralised MFD’s which are controlled via the Canon Uniflow management system.

The ethos of high quality, highly sustainable operating carries across into all areas of the business at Henley, encompassing the household management processes, dining and refreshments and day-to-day running of the business school.

Airblade hand dryers are used in restrooms replacing hand towels and less efficient dryers.

Towels are reused as requested by our clients. Low energy lights and fittings, movement sensors where appropriate and replacing halogen with LED lighting to reduce energy usage.

Thermostatic radiator valves replace static valves enabling more efficient local control.

All heating boilers across site are fuelled by Kerosene instead of Gas Oil – a cleaner, more efficient & cheaper fuel.

Dedicated Hot Water boiler for summer use – cheaper and more efficient than running all boilers.

Cooking equipment has power down facility.

We are committed to using local seasonal produce wherever possible for our kitchens and our menus celebrate seasonality, fresh and sustainably farmed local produce.

Ongoing Supply Chain review in place to establish suppliers environmental credentials.

We only use Fair-trade coffee and beverages.