Food has an integral link to global greenhouse gas emissions and forms an important point for climate action.

While the estimated impact of food on the total emissions of the university remains relatively limited, it cannot be neglected. Moreover, changing the food policy on campus has the potential to change eating habits outside the university as well. To reduce its food-related emissions, the university can make its intention explicit by promoting food options that are locally produced, seasonal, and plant-based, while at the same time reducing food waste and packaging. The university can play a leading role by facilitating this transition in the best way possible.

Milestones reached​

  • Komida introduced an exchange system (the cambio system) to reduce the amount of single-use packaging. Furthermore, all disposable cups were banned completely and the cutlery for takeaway meals will all become recyclable.
  • Komida expanded the number of vegetarian and vegan options. Beef is almost completely banned from the menu. In order to generate less food waste and less energy and water use, Komida started with the central production of meals for online orders during off-peak periods. To avoid food waste Komida also collaborates with TooGoodToGo and Foodsavers.
  • At events, at least 50% of the food served is vegetarian (unless requested differently) and all the water that is being served is tap water.
  • ‘Mosquito in the Room’ did a menu scan to advise Agora on how to make their menu more sustainable. They gave advice on ingredients, communication, presentation of food, types of meals, etc. The same organisation will scan the menu of the University Club in the near future.
  • In tender dossiers, criteria are being included such as translating lower purchasing prices into lower selling prices (e.g. for meat substitutes).


  • Climate-proof food provision and consumption at the university by 2030;
  • By 2030, 80% of the meals served and consumed are vegetarian or vegan.


  • Measure the ecological impact of food and communicate this transparently. The climate impact and environmental impact of recipes and ingredients should be assessed through an impact test, paying attention to nutritious and healthy food. Recipes that do not stand the overall test require adaptations. The footprint of every meal can be communicated transparently by making use of labels.
  • Prioritise low-impact food at Agora Caffee and Komida: local, seasonal and organically supplied. The university stimulates the use of certified labels, collaborations with local farmers, and initiatives to grow your own vegetables.
  • Replace or reduce animal products as much as possible, both by increasing plant-based option and by stimulating the demand for these:

  • The number of vegetarian and vegan menu options can be further increased;
  • Vegetarian and vegan can be made the default option when ordering catering, while fish and meat remain available when asked for specifically;
  • The aim is to phase out the offer of red and processed meat, and to serve smaller portions of meat (poultry and pork) and fish (non-predatory) from labelled sustainable sources;
  • At the same time, informative and awareness-raising campaigns and actions (with financial and non-financial rewards) continue to promote plant-based meals and make sustainable choices more feasible, attractive and acceptable to students and staff.
  • Combat food waste and packaging through adequately measuring waste, serving smaller portions, using leftovers (e.g. TooGoodToGo app), composting, distributing reusable coffee cups and teacups, installing water fountains in all campus buildings, and starting awareness-raising campaigns. For more tips on non-food waste: see the chapter on ‘Waste’.


Table 5 provides an overview of the number of vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals that were served at Komida between January and October 2022. [1] In total, 55% of the meals served and consumed were either vegan or vegetarian.

Table 5: Proportion of vegetarian/vegan/non-vegetarian dishes sold at Komida


Vegan (in %)

Vegetarian (in %)

Non-vegetarian (in %)













CDE (+ shop and go)








  • Vegetarian meals served in %
  • Vegan meals served in %
  • Percentage of vegetarian students
  • Percentage of vegetarian staff
  • Percentage of vegan students
  • Percentage of vegan staff
  • Amount of avoided food waste


Komida and Agora identified several financial, regulatory, and competitive obstacles to becoming fully climate-friendly. Hence, top-down investments, working on the supply as well as on the demand side, along with gradual changes assisted by awareness-raising campaigns and good collaborations with other stakeholders will be key.

[1] Standard sandwiches are not yet included in this calculation.