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Harper Adams University College, an agricultural college in Newport, Shropshire, has put sustainable development and environmental considerations at the heart of its catering services, making sure that food is sourced and disposed of in the most ethical manner possible.
As part of that, it makes sure that food is sourced from local providers, and earlier in 2012 installed a brand-new anaerobic digester on campus.
The digester is expected to reduce Harper Adams's CO2 emissions by around 14,000 tonnes per year, generating 75% of the college's overall energy requirement. And of course, 100% of the food waste from the college's catering outlets will be fed into the digester.
Meanwhile, 85% of the materials used - including paper cups, plastic wrapping, metal tins and cooking oil - are recycled. The campus's brand-new Faccenda Centre houses its "green" catering outlet, Graze Café, where particular efforts were made to select energy-efficient fridges, freezers and hotplates.
Both Graze and the Kaldi coffee shop stock Fairtrade produce, and the catering department holds an annual Fairtrade Fortnight, in which the Fairtrade ideology is emphasised to both staff and students. The judges were very impressed by Harper Adams's commitment to sustainability, and the way in which it ensures its catering department helps contribute to the overall environmental ambitions of the institution.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
"Harper Adams is a shining example of an organisation truly committed to sustainability: every aspect of their business is considered in their strategy, which is to be applauded. This approach should be mirrored by other organisations. Harper Adams clearly demonstrates what full integration into a business model means."
Mike Hanson, BaxterStorey
"This year's winner develops new projects to enhance its sustainable performance every year. With the help of technological innovation, a sustainable supply chain from production to disposal is now a reality, not just an aspiration. As well as managing its resources efficiently, this organisation engages with the local community and is actively involved in educating suppliers as well as the food producers of the future."
Jane Carlton Smith, Responsible Hospitality Partnership
â- Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire
â- London Marriott Marble Arch
The JudgesClaire Beard, sustainability manager, Red Hotels
Dominic Burbridge, sector manager - hospitality and leisure, Carbon Trust Advisory
Jane Carlton Smith, director, Responsible Hospitality Partnership
David Clarke, managing director, CDIS-KARM
Jonathan Doughty, group managing director, Coverpoint Catering Consultancy
John Dyson, food and technical affairs, British Hospitality Association
Mike Hanson, head of sustainability and environmental management, BaxterStorey
Mark Linehan, managing director, Sustainable Restaurant Association
Jonathan Proctor, technical director, Green Tourism
Vanessa Scott, director, Strattons hotel