Sustainability is at the very heart of what we do here at Rothamsted Enterprises. As part of the world-renowned scientific research institute Rothamsted Research, we are passionate about affecting climate change and feeding the world’s growing population in a sustainable way. Both Rothamsted Restaurant and Conference Centre take a holistic approach to sustainability which can be seen in a variety of things that we do.
In the restaurant, we have removed all plastic takeaway containers used for serving our salads and have replaced these with biodegradable, compostable and re-usable bowls, made from sugar beet.
For our events, we serve our water in glass jugs rather than single use plastic bottles, as well as providing free water machines in the restaurant. We can also provide glasses or compostable cups. Biscuits can be served without plastic wrappers and our food is served on china crockery. We use unbleached recycled napkins in the restaurant and in the conference centre, we provide our event delegates with pens and notepads made from recycled paper.
When it comes to the food we serve in our restaurant, we use as much ungraded vegetables as possible (that’s wonky veg!). This means a reduced amount of pesticides are being used. We have all heard that eating less meat is key in the fight against climate change and we are playing our part in this too. The menus have changed at Rothamsted Restaurant and we now serve one meat dish, one fish dish, one vegan dish and one vegetarian dish EVERY lunchtime.
We are also proud that all of our meat and vegetables are sourced locally, and we’ve cut the number of suppliers we use by half, significantly reducing our carbon footprint, as well as providing great products and flavour for our customers. We continue to give away our coffee grounds for restaurant visitors to use on their gardens at home.
The building, Rothamsted Conference Centre, has achieved BREEAM accreditation and is rated as ‘Excellent’. BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method, for planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It recognises and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle, from new construction to in-use and refurbishment. Only the top 10% of UK new non-domestic buildings have achieved an ‘Excellent’ rating.
And we won’t stop here. We are also considering a ‘Waste to Energy system’ which uses our food waste to make compost and the gas in turn creates energy. In the future we hope to have a wormery and a communal garden, for foraging, and to encourage local schools to get involved with planting, growing and cooking their own fresh food.