Plant-Based Universities

Image of Plant-Based University Campaign Banner

The national Plant-Based Universities campaign began in late 2021, calling on universities to transition to 100% just and sustainable plant-based catering to tackle the climate and nature crises. Since its inception, unions at eight UK universities including UCL and Cambridge have passed votes to shift their menus to fully plant-based – we want Imperial to be next.

Plant-based agriculture requires far less water, land and resources whilst producing far fewer carbon emissions. Research published by Harvard University in 2019 suggested that the UK could be carbon negative if it combined the switch to plant-based production with rewilding the land freed up by this change.

The Grantham Institute, Imperial’s own climate research hub, publicly endorsed the Plant-Based Universities open letter that was released in September 2023; the open letter called for a transition to plant-based catering within university institutions and was signed by over 800 academics and notable figures at the time of release, including 42 of Imperial’s own academics. We believe that the food that the university buys and sells should align with the stance of Imperial’s own climate research group.


  • Vision

    For every single catering outlet on Imperial campuses to be selling solely plant-based food.

  • Aim

    To transition menus of every catering outlet on campus to 100% plant-based in order to reduce Imperial’s impact on the climate and ecological crises, starting with shifting the menus in all student union food outlets to 100% plant-based (where possible, ie not outsourced)

  • Objectives
    1. Make the vegan option the default option in every SU food outlet
    2.  Analyse groups that may object our aims - set up outreach conversations with these groups/societies and address their concerns
    3. Run a food taster session showcasing vegan food from various cultures
    4. Run fortnightly outreach and drop-in sessions on campus for students to ask questions and find out more
    5. Write a briefing document to propose our campaign to union members and catering teams