Charity & Campaigns

Lancaster University Students’ Union Votes for Fully Plant-Based Catering With Huge 95% Majority

The Students’ Union at Lancaster University in the north of England has passed a motion to transition to 100% plant-based catering across campus.

In a vote, the motion was supported by a huge 95% of the members present, after being backed by student campaigners and academics. It proposes a gradual transition, with a target of 50% plant-based catering by 2025 and 100% by 2027.

Lancaster is the twelfth UK Students’ Union to vote for plant-based catering, along with others at the University of Kent, the University of Stirling, the University of Cambridge, and more. All have made the commitment as part of Plant-Based Universities, a campaign by animal and climate justice movement Animal Rising that is now active at over 80 universities worldwide.

“We are really excited that the students’ union is endorsing a shift towards plant-based catering here at Lancaster,” said Plant-Based Universities Campaigner Faye Rennie. “This is a massive step in the right direction and fully aligns with Lancaster’s other sustainability commitments and initiatives. We look forward to working with our Students’ Union and University to make the results of this vote a reality, making the most sustainable choice the most convenient one.”

University of Cambridge plant-based
© Plant-Based Universities Cambridge

“We have been made aware of a vote that took place at Lancaster University Students’ Union Assembly on 15 May relating to a campaign by student group, Plant-Based Universities,” said a university spokesperson. “As a result of this vote, where 18 out of the 19 members present at the meeting voted in favour, our Students’ Union will now look at the suggested proposal for moving to a plant-based catering model in much closer detail. Lancaster University will work closely with the Students’ Union to keep food choices for our students under consideration. We currently offer a wide range of food outlets, aiming to have vegetarian and plant-based options on every menu. We also have a dedicated vegetarian and vegan café on campus for all students, staff and visitors to enjoy.

“We understand that our environmental impact as a University is complex and we are taking major steps towards a low-carbon future. Yesterday saw us take a significant step closer to achieving our Net Zero Carbon targets by holding a groundbreaking event at the site of the new solar farm, marking the official start of one project which will strengthen Lancaster’s position as a global leader in sustainability.”

Students drive social change

Last month, the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) passed an amendment to “campaign for university catering to transition towards 100% plant-based”, and for NUS Services Limited catering to “provide fully plant-based catering provision for universities who want to transition”. The motion aims to improve the affordability, accessibility, and quality of food, while also providing healthy and sustainable meal options for students UK-wide.

“It’s wonderful to see the National Union of Students is leading the way once again,” said Imogen Clemett, NUS Birmingham Delegate and Plant-Based Universities Birmingham Coordinator. “This motion not only tackles climate, but is a real step towards addressing the cost-of-living crisis that is destroying the student experience for many. Students have historically driven social change, and I’m proud that we can be part of that once more – creating a better university system and society.”

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