The University of Cambridge has removed beef and lamb from its menus and replaced them with plant-based products. The BBC reports that the university cut food-related carbon emissions by a third following the swap.
The university-affiliated catering service used plant-based products in place of beef and lamb for all 1,500 of its annual events and in all 14 of its outlets beginning in October 2016. In addition to beef and lamb, more vegetarian options were added and unsustainable fish sources were removed. The catering service also offered its chefs vegan cookery classes and trained its café managers in sustainability.
Researchers found that emissions were reduced by 10.5% overall since 2016, with a reduction of 33% in emissions per kilogram of food purchased. The swap also reduced land use by 28% per kilogram of food purchased.
The catering team met with university professors to explore the most environmentally sustainable changes in order to devise the best plan for the change. They were advised to reduce the use of beef and lamb because they produce a larger amount of greenhouse gases than other livestock.