Accessibility statement


Commercial Services Catering and Hospitality plays a key role in the provision and support of more sustainable choices for our customers. We are constantly striving to incorporate environmental and social considerations when choosing our suppliers, during production and the delivery of our services. View the webpages for Sustainability at York. 

Download our Catering and hospitality sustainability policy (PDF , 417kb)


Buy a YORCUP and reduce single-use plastic on campus. Only £5 from any outlet with a drink included.

Shop, save and sustain

Get 50% off hot meals, sandwiches and selected items in participating outlets and help us tackle food waste!

Latte Levy

We charge 20p per single use coffee cup (just like the 5p plastic bag initiative) in all of our outlets!

What else are we doing?

Single-use cup bins
Using funds raised by the Latte Levy, York Commercial Services have purchased a number of recycling bins for single-use plastic cups. The bins will be placed around the University of York campus, and students will be able to dispose of single-use plastic lined cups, lids and leftover liquids. The bins will be emptied by Forge Recycling, and use the plastic cups to produce a range of items including notebooks, pens and other stationary items. Read more about the single-use cup bins.

Single-use cup trial
From Thursday 2 January to Monday 16 March 2020, four outlets on campus (Derwent Cafe, Glasshouse, Hub Cafe and Vedge) took part in a single-use cup trial, where they did not offer single-use takeaway cups. For takeaway drinks, customers needed to provide the barista with their own cup, or customers could join the #YORCUP scheme. We had an incredible responde from both staff and students on campus, and will be releasing figures from the scheme shortly. 

Find out more about the cup trial results.

Coffee cup lids

Commercial Services and The Biology Environmental Performance Group (EPG) worked together to cut waste for the University by removing black plastic coffee cup lids in campus vending machines. The group had noticed that the coffee vending machines in Biology produce black plastic lids and unfortunately black plastic can not be recycled. The EPG Group have worked with Jon Greenwood (Commercial Services) and Darren Carter from Upton Group Ltd (our vending machine provider) who have agreed to use a different white lid which can be recycled. To find out more information and the full article, please visit


Food Boxes

Catered accommodation previously offered single use takeaway boxes for students who do not wish to eat in the dining halls and in 2017 we gave away over 2,000 polystyrene boxes per week. We still offer this option of takeaway meals, however we ask that students who would like to take their food away bring their own box! We hope that this will hugely reduce our waste and also encourage students to refrain from using single use plastics.

This new initiative will save thousands of wasted single use boxes but still offer the takeaway food option. If you have any questions regarding this scheme please contact 

Wooden cutlery

We introduced wooden takeaway cutlery in our outlets to ensure we were not wasting single-use plastic cutlery. In most outlets we offer stainless steel cutlery for people choosing to eat in, however we are aware there are many customers who would prefer to take their food away with them. Therefore, we offer wooden cutlery to accommodate this.

Bring Your Own Mug

Bring your own cup or mug when purchasing a hot drink from any of our outlets and avoid the 20p latte levy!

Your mug should be suitable for hot drinks, and the catering staff have the right to refuse service to a customer if they deem the cup unsuitable for hot drinks.

Paper Straws

Commercial Services replaced single-use plastic straws with paper straws in 2018. This was part of our sustainable goal to eliminate the use of single-use plastic on campus. We are also strongly encouraging Starbucks and Costa to eliminate plastic straws in favour of paper straws, which they are now working towards. We offer plastic straws for customers who ask for them.


We have joined the #RefillRevolution

All of the University of York water fountains are now registered on the Refill App, including all of the catering outlets, where staff will happily fill your water bottle for you!

"In the UK, less than 30% of people refill their reusable water bottles even though we have some of the best quality tap water in the world. Refill not only makes refilling a reusable water bottle easy, but it saves you money too. Through the campaign we aim to stop millions of single-use plastic bottles at source each year, preventing plastic pollution from entering our rivers and seas. There’s simply no need to buy bottled water." 

Find out more about the Refill App

Download the Refill App

What you can do? 

  • Bringing your own mug whenever you're purchasing a hot drink! You can also buy a YORCUP from University catering outlets for just £5.
  • Use the Nisa refill stations for water, cereal and nuts in Nisa Market Square and Nisa Kimberlow.
  • Using the correct bins around campus - we have recycling bins in all of our outlets, so make sure you throw your waste into the appropriate section.