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Churchill College (University of Cambridge) have reduced carbon emissions from food by 55% in just 7 months

Churchill College (University of Cambridge), is known for their commitment to sustainability and carbon reduction. They have joined forces with Klimato to transform their approach to food offerings. Through the expertise of Klimato in calculating environmental impact and implementing carbon labelling on menus, the university’s catering department aims to enhance sustainability awareness among students and drive positive behavioural change.

Find out how Churchill College reduced carbon emissions from food by 55% in just 7 months! 


The key challenge faced by Churchill College was to create a sustainable food culture by informing and engaging staff and students with transparent information about the carbon emissions of the dishes on their menus. The university has identified food as being one of their main hotspots when trying to reach their ESG goals. 


To address this challenge, Klimato collaborated with the university on the following strategies:

- Carbon Emissions Calculation: Using Klimato's advanced software, the carbon emissions of all dishes produced by the university’s catering department were meticulously mapped. This comprehensive analysis provided crucial insights into the environmental impact of various food items, enabling the university to make ingredient swaps and prioritise sustainability in menu planning.

- Carbon Labelled Menus and Communication: Klimato collaborated with the university to introduce carbon impact information on menus. This information was displayed prominently and clearly, empowering students and staff to make conscious dining choices by selecting dishes with lower carbon emissions. 

- Monthly Reports: Klimato monthly reports allows the university to easily input their sales data and track the overall carbon emissions of the dishes they have served during that month. The reports also help catering teams identify which dishes are popular with students and thus identify the dishes that need adapting in order to reach the university’s sustainability goals. 


The collaboration between Churchill College and Klimato has yielded significant outcomes:

Between October 2022 and May 2023, Churchill College has reduced their emissions per meal by a staggering 55%! After using Klimato for just 3 months, the majority of dishes had a low or medium climate impact thanks to Churchill College experimenting with ingredient swaps in the tool. In addition, students have actively engaged with the carbon labels on the menus, with the majority choosing low impacting dishes. 

“The monthly reports are useful and show that students are taking carbon emissions into account when choosing what to eat. Small changes can make a difference, for instance a beef chilli meal contributes around 3.8 kg CO2e, while a spiced bean stew comes in at 0.1 kg CO2e.” - David Oakley, Head of Catering at Churchill College 


The partnership between Klimato and Churchill College, demonstrates a proactive approach from the catering team towards sustainable practices and the promotion of environmentally conscious food choices. Through carbon emissions calculations, carbon labelled menus and monthly reports, the university has successfully engaged students and empowered them to make informed choices. Churchill College is a pioneer in sustainability within the higher education sector. Together with Klimato, the university is proud to continue their journey towards reducing their food’s carbon impact and inspiring future generations to embrace sustainable food cultures.

Klimato also works with University of Bristol, University of Nottingham, University of Manchester, University of Reading, Falmouth University, University of Exeter and Glasgow Caledonian University.