Sustainability in Mensas and Cafeterias
To us, sustainability is a resource-conserving, socially responsible, and economically viable way of working and doing business complying with ethical, health and ecological requirements.
When selecting our food we prefer to resort to regional suppliers. For instance, we obtain our choice of fresh fruits and vegetables, our fresh meat and our cold cuts as well as dairy products and beverages preferably from local retailers.
We are particularly proud of the fact that:
Vegan & Vegetarian Food
Vegan or vegetarian dishes are more climate-friendly and ecologically sensitive than dishes containing meat or fish. Our extensive vegan and vegetarian menu is aimed at also taking into account this aspect thus catering to the wishes of many of our customers.
You will find further information on our page "What We Offer" under the keywords vegan and vegetarian.
Leipzig is Fairtrade city, Leipzig University is an official "Fairtrade University" since November 2015. One criterion for being awarded this title: Fairtrade products must be available on campus at the restaurants and cafeterias. This is where Studentenwerk Leipzig comes into play as an official partner of the Fairtrade University:
Fair Working Environment
Almost two thirds of the altogether approximately 300 Studentenwerk Leipzig employees are employed at our Mensas and Cafeterias. We are paying each one of them according to the tariff applicable for the Länder. Furthermore, we offer attractive work hours with no night shifts and only occasional public holiday and weekend work. Overtime work is being registered and remunerated either via compensatory time-off or extra pay. Extensive protection against dismissal serves to ensure a secure job.
As a result we hope to create a pleasant working environment for our employees, an environment where they feel comfortable, passing that feeling on to our customers as well.
Fish is an important source of food and income worldwide and at the same time derives from a very sensitive ecosystem. Thus, 33% of the world's fish stocks are considered to be overfished, while 60% are considered to be exploited to the maximum (source WWF, July 2018).
Nevertheless, for nutritional reasons, we do not want to forego the offer in our Mensas. We are committed to ensuring that our fish products are caught sustainably and fairly, and that their origin is traceable. We achieve this by using relevant seals and their contents. We see this as our contribution to counteracting overfishing and protecting the marine habitat. Species affected by overfishing are therefore not in our range.
We are opposed to the use of genetically modified food.
Therefore, as a matter of principle, we do not use any products that, according to the two EU Regulations on the labelling of genetically modified foods and feeds, either have been genetically modified or contain genetically modified ingredients and are thus subject to labelling.
For further information, please refer to the BUND website or use the following links
We take climate protection seriously: By expanding our vegan and vegetarian offerings and giving preference to the use of vegetable rather than animal fats in cooking, we are trying to improve the carbon footprint of our food offerings. Since rainforests are cut down for palm oil, we only use palm oil-free frying fat.
In the interest of climate protection, we only use green electricity. Since we prefer to work with regional merchants, we keep the transport routes as short as possible and thus save CO².
When selecting our cleaning agents, we make sure that they are as free of hazardous substances and environmentally friendly as possible. Some cleaning agents are already 100% plant-based and completely biodegradable.
We use 100 percent green electricity at all facilities where we ourselves are the contracting party of the relevant electricity provider.
The following facilities are currently supplied with green electricity: Mensa am Park, Mensa am Elsterbecken, Mensa Academica, Mensa An den Tierklinken, as well as Cafeteria Schönauer Straße and Cafeteria im Musikviertel.
Recycling & Waste Prevention
For the sake of the environment we refrain from using plastic tableware and cutlery as of 2019. Instead, we use f.ex. disposable wooden cutlery from sustainable forestry and replace plastic stirring sticks with wooden stirring sticks.
However, we have accommodated the requests of students for to-go cups for our smoothies and coffee and tea specialties. The to-go cups are manufactured according to the PEFC standard. PEFC stands for Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification and it guarantees that the used materials originate from sustainable forest management. The plastic lids of our to-go cups are made of sustainable, heat-resistant bio plastics and are fully biodegradable.We charge an extra fee of 30 cents for the hot drinks in disposable cups.
The smoothies in our Mensas and Cafeterias are available in environmentally friendly cups, made out of polylactides (PLA). The material is made from renewable resources, it is biodegradable and food safe.
Reusable replaces disposable
In the Mensa and Cafeteria am Park as well as in the Mensa and Cafeteria am Medizincampus, we have introduced a reusable system with our partner Relevo. Relevo has developed a simple, ecological and affordable system that allows us and our guests to save on packaging waste.
For now, borrowing and returning the reusable no-deposit tableware will only be possible at the Mensa and Cafeteria am Park and the Mensa and Cafeteria am Medizincampus. With one exception, all dishes, salads, soups, bowls, desserts, and hot drinks can be taken away. Only smoothies will be served in disposable cups in the Mensa am Park for the time being.
This is how it works
- Registration: Download the Relevo app from Google Play or the App Store and register for free.
Registration is necessary as it is the only way the system recognizes that you are participating and which returnable containers you have borrowed. Only that personal data will be collected that is absolutely necessary for taking part in the reusable system. Further information on data protection is available on the Relevo website. Studentenwerk Leipzig itself does not collect any personal data. Neither do we have access to the data processed through the registration process in the app.
- Order: Open the app & have food or drinks served on site in Relevo’s reusable tableware
- Borrow: Scan the QR code on the dishes & show the scan confirmation on your smartphone
- Enjoy: Enjoy your food with a clear conscience wherever you like
- Return: Return dishes to any of Relevo’s partners* within 14 days. Return is confirmed by scanning the QR codes provided on the posters.
* Aktuelle sind die Mensa und Cafeteria am Park die einzigen Relevo-Anbieter in Leipzig. Auf der Webseite von Relevo können Sie die aktuellen Gastro-Partner in ganz Deutschland einsehen,
There are no costs for users of the reusable system as long as they return the dishes within 14 days. During these two weeks, they will be reminded of the return deadline several times in the app and by email. Afterwards, Relevo charges 10 Euro for a bowl and 5 Euro (climate change fee) for a cup not returned on time. If they are not returned, they are considered purchased. That is to enable a continuous cycle: After all, the bowls and cups should not pile up at home, as they are then missing again in the Mensa or Cafeteria.
Important information on registration
Our guests who wish to take advantage of the takeaway offer at participating facilities should download and register in the Relevo app in good time.
If our guests do not want to participate in the reuse system, they have the option of filling the food that has been served on their plates into their own reusable containers and taking it with them. Our employees filling containers brought along is subject to strict hygienic requirements, which we are unfortunately not able to fulfill.
In order to prevent the waste of food, we prepare our food in batch quantities, so that we have only smaller quantities of food fresh and at the ready for our customers, all just to the extent necessary. In order for us to only have to throw away the least food possible, we prepare smaller batches at the end of serving hours.
This might mean that you will not have the meal of your choice – we apologize for any inconvenience and hope you will find an alternative to your liking!
Unpacked goods that have already been offered for sale or have exceeded certain times of exposure must be discarded for hygienic reasons and may not be put in circulation anymore. It is also not allowed to pass on those goods to food banks such as the German organization “Tafel”.
Food waste that is incurred during production or left on plates in the form of leftovers is delivered to waste disposal companies either as used fat, organic waste or wet waste. Used fat is utilized for producing biodiesel. Organic waste is fermented in biogas plants and used for CO2 neutral heat and electricity generation in block-type thermal power stations. The digestate is turned into organic fertilizers. The wet waste is first processed by the disposal company and then turned into biogas.