Sustainable Food and Catering

Studenten aan tafel

Erasmus University Rotterdam wants to offer its students and staff healthy and sustainable food options. Together with our caterers and suppliers, EUR continuously works to improve and stimulate varied and healthy food choices, the use of local and seasonal products and the prevention of food waste. These measures should result in a sustainable (food) chain and a lower environmental footprint.

Plates with vegan food on a table

Vegetarian catering

A diet without meat is much less harmful to the environment. Therefore, since 1 July 2023, EUR has a modified catering policy for employees. Since then, catering orders at Vitam can only contain vegetarian products. It is also impossible to order milk or buttermilk. This vegetarian catering policy applies to all orders and arrangements paid for by the EUR, from lunches to receptions and from breakfasts to events. The aim is to reduce EUR's environmental impact.

New policy for catering orders

The catering policy is adjusted as of 1 July 2023. Discover the new, more sustainable rules..

Vegan meal at EUR

Special offer on plant-based meals in Vitam restaurants

The coming period, EUR students, employees and visitors will receive a substantial discount on plant-based meals. The 50% discount is valid at Vitam restaurants Etude and The Company on campus Woudestein. This means a plant-based hot meal will only cost €2,62 (instead of €5,25). The promotion is valid from 4 September until 3 December 2023 and only applies to plant-based, hot meals and not to other vegan options.

Choosing for plant-based food helps reducing our carbon footprint, is good for your health and is in line with our ambition to move towards a plant-based campus in 2030. Besides that, this promotion also means a financial boost for our students and employees in this time of inflation.

More info on MyEUR

Tap water

We encourage drinking tap water by providing water taps, where you can easily fill your own bottle. Such water taps can be found in the following buildings:

  • Polak Building;
  • University Library;
  • Sanders Building;
  • Langeveld Building.

Outside on the campus grounds there are 4 water taps as well. There is a Join the Pipe water tap in front of SPAR University and there are 3 KRNWTR+ water taps:

  • at the intersection of Institutes Avenue with Collegelaan (near the tennis courts);
  • in front of the Erasmus Building (near the pond)
  • at the entrance to the campus garden, near the bee hives.

Erasmus Pavilion

The Erasmus PavilionOpen external uses local, organic and seasonal products as much as possible. In addition, there is a changing weekly menu to prevent food waste. Furthermore, all disposables such as coffee cups, napkins and to-go trays are biodegradable and the Pavilion no longer sells and uses plastic bottles and straws.

Erasmus Sport Cafe

Erasmus Sport Café

Sustainability is also an important theme in the Erasmus Sport Café. There are several vegetarian and vegan products on the menu and a lot of organic products are used (all coffee, tea and eggs for example and also all the meat at our BBQs). The vegetarian "bitterballen" are becoming increasingly popular among our guests, every Monday the lunch tip is vegetarian (Meatless Monday) and on request we also arrange fully vegetarian lunches or dinners for larger groups.

Vitam sustainability initiatives

Vitam,EUR's campus caterer, is committed to helping people choose a responsible and vital lifestyle. Vitam likes to prepare fresh foods using seasonal vegetables and fruit from the Netherlands and regional products such as Rotterdam cheese, because of the low food milage. Furthermore, Vitam takes the following initiatives for sustainable catering:

  • Sustainable procurement has increased in recent years from about 30% to about 40% of total catering procurement. EUR's goal is to increase this to at least 50% in the coming years. Sustainable meaning: products with an independent label, sourced seasonally with transparent origins, with as little food miles and environmental impact as possible. 
  • At EUR, about 20% of the cucumbers purchased, about 60% of the red peppers purchased and about 25% of the round tomatoes purchased are class II, the "nobody's perfect" group.
  • The share of healthy products sold has increased in recent years from less than 40% to almost 60% of total sales.
  • In VITAM's coffee corners they serve VITAMUTZ certified coffee, with a CO2 neutral certificate.
  • For VITAM staff on the EUR, contrary to the standard contract catering collective agreement, all kilometers from home to work are reimbursed, even if they come on foot or by bicycle.

Sustainable coffee machines

The vending machines for coffee, tea and other hot drinks are operated by our partners Maas and Jacobs Douwe Egberts; both of them are ISO 14001 certified. Only sustainably sourced coffee is used, with the corresponding Rainforest Alliance seal of approval. The tea is FairTrade. Also good to know:

  • Used coffee beans are collected as a separate waste stream and processed as green waste.
  • During vacation periods, some of the coffee machines may be turned off. This prevents unnecessary power consumption and the loss of fresh milk.
  • The coffee machines are A+ or A++ certified and have an automatic standby mode.
  • The coffee machines are approximately 90% recyclable at the end of their useful life.
  • Maas is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and is affiliated with MADE BLUE, an organization that invests in water projects in developing countries. For every liter of water from a Maas coffee machine, one liter of clean drinking water is donated.

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