Food is the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions at EPFL, mainly due to meat consumption. EPFL’s Catering and Shops Unit (RESCO), together with the EPFL Sustainability Unit, have set an ambitious goal: serve 80% vegetarian or vegan dishes by 2030. In addition to this, we are also launching numerous student initiatives, and Bassenges Farm is now run by a collective of young farmers.
We rolled out a sustainable food-services strategy in 2019, in which we commit to providing healthy and sustainable meals that are nutritionally balanced and affordable for our community (especially students). Our on-campus restaurants favor fresh, local and seasonal products. They are required to have one vegetarian day per week and 50% of their daily menu items must be vegetarian.
FoodLab Native, which opened in 2022, offers exclusively vegetarian food (and 80% vegan) with a dish of the day, a student dish and a self-service buffet of hot and cold options.
All our campus food outlets use nutriMenu and ecoMenu. These are informative, educational applications that let you see the nutritional values and environmental impact of the dishes we serve.
Our food services are closely monitored by RESCO, with a particular focus on cutting carbon emissions and waste. We also work with EPFL’s Integrative Food and Nutrition Center and several other organizations: Beelong for analyzing food purchases, Quantis for measuring our carbon footprint, and Kitro for managing food waste.
For more information
On our food services website, you’ll find additional information on the various sustainability steps we’re taking, such as offering reusable tableware to take away or rent, and where to find vending machines that sell healthy, local products (in French).
The Unipoly student association is running many initiatives in favor of sustainable food:
- A market with local products, held every Monday at noon on the Esplanade on the Lausanne campus
- Campus Farmers Gardens, a collaborative gardening program
- Castor Freegan, a group that wants to raise awareness about food waste and serves free vegetarian meals made from unsold supermarket goods; it meets every Wednesday at 7:30pm at the Klee Restaurant in the Rolex Learning Center
- Epilibre, the first zero-waste grocery shop, run by students, that sells products in bulk on the EPFL campus
- Vegan and Animal-loving Students, a club that encourages a vegan lifestyle across the entire EPFL community
- Apiculture, an organization that produces honey on campus and sells it at Epilibre and Vorace
*all links in French
Since 2021, a collective of six young farmers has been running Bassenges Farm (in French) – a 9.5-hectare area of farmland owned by UNIL and EPFL, with the goal of growing organic produce. Around 8,000 m2 of land is used to grow vegetables and 15,000 m2 is dedicated to other crops such as cereals. Some pigs are raised on the farm, as well as sheep which the collective uses to produce cheese. The farm has two horses and a donkey to help with plowing and to reduce the need for technology. The farm’s products are available:
- on site, every day from 8am to 8pm
- by signing up to receive its food baskets (in French)