Food and Drink

The GHG (greenhouse gas) footprint left by food processed and consumed at UZH is even greater than the university’s consumption of heating energy and electricity. To get an idea of the impact, you only have to look at the meals served in the cafeterias every day. Added to this is the food people bring themselves and the numerous receptions with drinks held at UZH. The environmental impact of food stems primarily from its manufacture and transportation.

In 2018, 1,130,791 meals were sold at UZH, entailing around 2,040 tonnes of GHG emissions – which is 20 tonnes less than in 2017. The average vegan meal at UZH produces around 0.7 kilograms of GHG emissions, a vegetarian meal 0.9 kilograms, and a fish or meat-based meal 2.3 kilograms. The environmental impact can also be mitigated by reducing food waste.

Practical Recommendations

  • When you eat in the cafeteria, choose the vegetarian or vegan option more frequently.
  • Have the person at the cafeteria serve you only as much as you intend to eat.
  • When you eat at the UZH City or Irchel Campus cafeteria, choose the so-called Foifer menu, which is made from ingredients prepared but not eaten the previous day.
  • When you’re organizing a gathering with drinks, order quantities so that as little food as possible is leftover.
  • When shopping, avoid food that has been flown in or grown in heated glasshouses.

By Alice Werner, translated by Michael Craig