top of page

Goldsmiths University London bans beef sales on campus from September, to tackle 'climate emergency'

Beef products will be banned from sale at all campus food outlets from September, as London university advances plans to become carbon neutral by 2025

Goldsmiths University in London has announced plans to ban the sale of all beef at its campus canteens from the start of the upcoming school year, as part of a "major drive" to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2025.

The university also said it will impose a 10p levy on bottled water and single-use plastic cups at the university, install more solar panels across the campus, and switch to a 100 per cent clean energy supplier "as soon as practicable".

In addition it plans to make modules on climate and ecology mandatory for first-year students and launch a programme to rewild unused land on campus. Goldsmiths also confirmed that from December 1 its £2.5m endowment fund will no longer hold investments in companies which derive more than 10 per cent of their revenues from the extraction of fossil fuels.

The changes have been backed by new College warden Professor Frances Corner, who succeeded Patrick Loughrey at the end of May and is the first woman to hold the role.

She said the call for all organisations to address the threat of climate change was becoming "impossible to ignore", and that Goldsmiths' student population wanted to do see the institution do more to curb its environmental impacts.

"Declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words," she said. "I truly believe we face a defining moment in global history and Goldsmiths now stands shoulder to shoulder with other organisations willing to call the alarm and take urgent action to cut carbon use."

Many of the measures announced this week were proposed by students and staff under a 'Green New Deal' for the College, which was prompted by the landmark IPCC report released last year warning the world has just 12 years to radically cut emissions if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to be met.

Goldsmiths anthropology lecturer Jason Hickel said the changes were the result of months of organising by students and staff.

"There's no reason you can't win similar changes at your own institution - be it a university, school, hospital, church, company, or whatever," he said. "People are ready to mobilize around rapid change. Now is the time."

Goldsmiths is the latest in a number of institutions that have taken action to curb their environmental impact via the food they serve.


bottom of page