Erasmus University wants to offer healthier food to its students and personnel, made of sustainable produced products. Together with our caterers and suppliers, we are constantly looking to reduce our environmental impact, to improve the variety of products we offer and stimulating a healthier and more varied diet. Furthermore, the university promotes the use of local products and is working hard to shrink its environmental footprint. As an example we promote the use of tap water instead of bottled water.  All these measures combined should result in a more sustainable (food) chain and a reduction of CO2 emissions.


The coffee machines on the campus are exploited by our partners Maas and Jacobs Douwe Egberts. How do they to sustain the (food) chain?

    • Our partners Maas and Jacobs Douwe Egberts solely use sustainable produced coffee from certified labels such as Rainforest Alliance, UTZ and others;
    • Coffee grounds are collected as a separate waste stream and converted  into green waste;
    • The milk jugs are of smaller size in order to minimalize the waste of milk at the end of each day;
    • Especially in periods when it’s less busy on campus, for example during the holiday season, coffee machines that are in close proximity to another coffee machine are shut down. In order to save on electricity costs and to reduce the waste of food, such as the waste of fresh milk;
    • The A+ and A++ certified coffee machines have a ‘standby-by’ modus that switches on automatically after a certain amount of time;
    • 90% of the coffee machine parts can be recycled at the end of their lifecycle;
    • Both Maas and Jabocs Douwe Egberts are ISO 14001 certified.
    Fruit in a bowl

    Vegetarian lunch as standard

    The Erasmus University faculties have all adopted an initiative of the University Council to make vegetarian products the standard option for lunch orders. While faculties can still ask for cold meats, they need to explicitly indicate this in their orders.

    Local and seasonal products

    The restaurants on campus try to use as many local, seasonal and biological products as they can. Using local products means ‘low food miles’ and seasonal products means harvesting what nature has to offer instead of, for example, producing strawberries during the winter. The ‘Erasmus Paviljoen’ has been doing this for a while now and even received the prestigious Falco Eleanora Award in 2014


    Altogether, visitors of the ‘Erasmus Sport Café’ consume 90.000+ biological eggs per year. Furthermore students can bring their own mug to the sports café and in return receive € 0,10 discount on warm beverages. Bringing your own mug and getting a discount on warm beverages is a great incentive to reduce waste such as paper and plastic cups.


    The “Erasmug” is an invention of the university and its catering partners. Together they designed and introduced the reusable coffee or tea mug and named it the ‘Erasmug’. Reusable cups are an important component of the overall waste reduction strategy.


    VITAM is the caterer of the Erasmus University. They purchase the food products and also exploit several coffee corners. The university supports VITAM in its mission to provide environment friendly catering. Which initiatives have been taken so far?

    • In recent years, the purchase of sustainable produced products that VITAM uses has increased from 30% to 40%. It is a shared mission of VITAM and the university to increase this number to 50% as soon as possible. Sustainable produced products are products with an independent certified label, seasonal and from an origin that is traceable and transparent and ensuring that the impact on the environment is as low as possible.
    • 20% of the cucumbers, 60% of the red bell peppers and 25% of the tomatoes that are purchased by VITAM and used to prepare food on the campus come from the “nobody’s perfect” section.
    • The share of healthy products sold in recent years has increased from less than 40% to 60% of all sales. VITAM is keen on purchasing seasonal fruits and vegetables from the Netherlands. They use as many local products as they can, in order to keep the food miles of products as low as possible. For example: they work with local cheese from a farmer in the area of Rotterdam.
    • VITAM exploits several coffee corners where they serve UTZ Certified coffee only.
    • On top of the standard rules that apply for employees in the Netherlands, VITAM compensates all kilometres that employees make in order to reach their work at the campus. Even when employees come by bike or foot.
    • VITAM uses disposables that are 100% sustainable and biodegradable.
    • The total share of single-packed products has dropped with 95% compared to 2013. A recent study shows that only 5% of the products purchased are single-packed. All other products come in multi-packed packages.