- 10 September 2019
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.
Prof Andrew Balmford, from the university, said it had “dramatically reduced their environmental footprint”.
But farmer Judith Jacobs said it was “short-sighted” and “denied choice”.
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.
‘The right choice’
Scientists have said beef and lamb produce most farm greenhouse gases and have argued the number of sheep and cattle in the UK should be reduced to help combat climate change.
Prof Balmford, professor of Conservation Science at the university, advised the catering service on the changes.
He said: “It is hard to imagine any other interventions that could yield such dramatic benefits in so short span of time.”