Goldsmiths, University of London, has banned all beef from campus as part of a new drive by the university to become carbon neutral by 2025.
Goldsmiths’ new Warden, Professor Frances Corner, said that “declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words” and has made the landmark decision to ban all beef dishes from the campus as part of its efforts to fight climate change.
From next month, the university has promised to remove all beef product from its campus shops and cafes as well as implementing a 10p levy on bottles of water and single-use plastic cups at the start of the academic year in a bid to discourage use of the products by students.
Beef production is responsible for 40-times the greenhouse gas emissions of legumes, and according to the government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the number of farmed sheep and cattle in the UK must be reduced dramatically in order to fight climate change as beef and lamb are the biggest contributors of farm greenhouse gases.
As well as banning beef, the university is also installing more solar panels to generate power and switching to a “clean” energy supplier. Students will also be given the opportunity to study climate change as part of their degree as the university looks to review its current academic courses.
Prof Corner said: “The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore.
“Though I have only just arrived at Goldsmiths, it is immediately obvious that our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and that they are determined to help deliver the step change we need to cut our carbon footprint drastically and as quickly as possible.”
In a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, Executive Director at Humane Society International UK, Claire Bass, said: “Serving fewer meaty meals helps universities reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and improve their animal welfare credentials, so we are delighted to see Goldsmiths taking such decisive action.
“HSI’s Forward Food programme trains university chefs across the country in vegan cuisine, inspiring them to reduce the amount of meat and dairy they serve, benefiting the planet, people’s health, and animals. We are certain that many more universities will follow Goldsmiths in recognising diet as critical to combat climate change.”