While the implications of nutrition on individual health are taken for granted, there is less awareness of the effect that food has on the environment. As the production and consumption of food is an essential contributor to the global carbon footprint, it also plays an important role in ETH Zurich’s sustainability approach. In close exchange with the catering companies on campus ETH Zurich is developing solutions for sustainable catering which are backed by its own education and research activities.
Sustainable Catering at ETH Zurich
The average of more than 8000 main meals served on a daily basis in all restaurants on campus make the university’s system catering a considerable contributor to the overall carbon footprint of ETH Zurich. Against this backdrop, ETH Zurich designed the internationally noted "Sustainable Catering" project that temporarily transformed major campus canteens into "living labs". This project involved multiple university stakeholders, from students to members of the Executive Board, and was coordinated by ETH Seed Sustainability together with the World Food System Center. The aim was to test solutions to minimize environmental impact while safeguarding sales and consumer health.