Local ingredients, more plant-based meals and less waste are our priorities for a more sustainable future. Learn what we do within the University, what initiatives there are in town, and how we work globally to make it easier for people in St Andrews to consume sustainably sourced food and use environmentally friendly products.

At the University

Across the University we work continuously on making our services in student catering, school cafeterias and at conferences more sustainable. Since 2019, we have seen:

  • a 60% increase in food bought from local food suppliers, such as Balgove Larder and Fisher & Donaldson
  • a 50% increase in plant-based food choices by having the same or more plant-based options on the menu as meat
  • 1056 fewer food supply vehicles on the roads by changing providers and delivery options
  • a 100% reduction in the number of single-use plastic bottles disposed of by using refillable glass bottles instead
  • more than 23,000 hot drinks going into reusable cups rather than disposable cups by providing a discount to students and staff bringing their reusable cup.

In St Andrews

Buying local products is good for the environment and for our small community, and helps us understand the growth and impact of food. Contribute to a more sustainable future, support local farmers, and educate yourself by getting involved.

Our town offers:

  • Edible Garden sessions: this initiative allows you to grow, harvest and eat your own food. The 16 gardens in St Andrews are open to everyone. Get involved by emailing
  • The Tree: a local student cooperative, The Tree connects local producers with consumers so that you can buy fresh vegetables and products from Fife. Get involved by emailing
  • The Eco Hub: St Andrews Environmental Network run a refill shop on Kinnessburn Road selling sustainable food and household products.
  • The Fife Farmer's Market is held on the first Saturday of every month on South Street.

Scotland and beyond 

Through food, we make choices about climate, social justice, equality and much more. We work with the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and Fairtrade to buy better food while educating and prompting the market to make a change.

To date, we have:

  • achieved the highest University Fairtrade status
  • been awarded the 2021 Scottish Fair Trade Forum’s Fairtrade and Sustainability Award, the only higher education institution to have been recognised for this award in Scotland

    Scottish Fair Trade Forum’s Fairtrade and Sustainability Award

  • held several events increasing awareness of food and its relation to social justice, equality and the environment
  • collaborated with student representatives, societies and community groups, such as the feminist society, the St Andrews Fair Trade Community Campaign Group, the Students' Association's Environment Subcommittee, and the Sustainable Development Society during Fairtrade Fortnight
  • purchased 30,000 face coverings for students and staff made in Scotland by Fairtrade cotton.

Students and staff can get involved by emailing