St John’s College

St John’s College has demonstrated its commitment to more sustainable catering by introducing food waste reduction software Chef’s Eye in its kitchens – and the catering team are already seeing fantastic results!

As announced in our Business Newsletter in November 2018, St John’s College has recently become the first of the Cambridge colleges to use Chef’s Eye, a software tool that aims to help food businesses and caterers take control of their food waste and be more cost-effective and sustainable.

As an initial step, the software allows kitchen staff to measure the types and quantities of food that are being wasted in order to understand how and why food is being thrown away in the first place. As a result of tracking the daily food waste from spoilage, preparation and serving using Chef’s Eye, the team at St John’s College have been able to create a more sustainable catering operation. They now have the means to identify which meal options result in higher levels of food being thrown away and to tailor menus accordingly. This, together with a transition to more batch cooking, has enabled the college to reduce food waste from kitchen preparations to less than five percent! Any unavoidable waste is composted via Cambridge City Council.

The college, which has been awarded a Gold Cambridge Sustainable Food Award, has also improved its sustainability in other areas, for instance by sourcing ingredients predominantly from local growers and suppliers, using more seasonal produce, banning plastic straws and switching entirely to plant-based disposable cutlery and cleaning products. With the help of its robust environmental and food waste policy, St John’s College is set to continue as a leader in better, more sustainable university catering practices.

For more details on Chef’s Eye go to