Edge Hill University is amongst the first in the country to be given a new environmental award recognising large reductions in energy, water and waste.

The Soil Association and Carbon Trust have given the University’s Waters Edge Restaurant the new Green Kitchen Award.

It follows a pilot scheme recognising a 36% reduction in electricity use in the restaurant over the last two years thanks to the installation of new LED lights, sensors, more energy efficient equipment and staff involvement.

Kevin Taylor, Edge Hill University Stores and Procurement Officer, said:

“We’ve got a number of catering awards and it was after gaining the Soil Association’s Silver Food for Life Award that we really saw how much students and staff want to know about where their food comes from.

“They want to eat healthily, get value for money and eat ethically sourced foods that we can trace back to a local producers.

“Our catering staff are very engaged with everything we’ve done to improve our food offering and are keen for us to do as much as possible to enhance our environmental credentials as well.

“So when the Soil Association approached us to be one of first pilot schemes for this new award we jumped at the chance.

“We’d already started a process to replace older, less energy efficient fridges and freezers, adapted cooking processes to ensure ovens weren’t left on unnecessarily and trained staff about how they can make a difference in their jobs.

“It’s something we’ve been doing, we’re still doing and will continue to do into the future.”

Pamela Brandwood, Edge Hill Energy Manager, said:

“The Award was a natural next step for our sustainability conscious catering team. The scheme, alongside the reduction in energy achieved through the installation of the new lighting, spurred the team on to even greater savings with a 9% reduction on the previous year’s electricity usage. I’m proud to have been part of the pilot scheme and hope to build on this great achievement.”

The first four successful pilots were at Edge Hill, Queen Alexander Hospital in Portsmouth, Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Clare McDermott, Business Development Director of Soil Association, said:

“This unique standard supports caterers to not just focus on the quality and sustainable sourcing of the food and ingredients, but also on providing those meals with less energy, less waste and less impact on the environment.

“Edge Hill University has displayed their dedication to sustainable catering through their focus on great environmental management which has earned them the right to receive this new and exciting award”.