Healthful and Sustainable Food
Harvard is rethinking food systems
Harvard’s Sustainable Food Standards hold vendors accountable for making continuous progress across areas such as:
- Climate and ecosystems
- Consumer wellbeing
- Education and food literacy
- Food waste reduction
- Animal welfare
- Wellbeing of workers and communities along the value chain
Harvard was an inaugural signatory of the Coolfood Pledge in 2019. Harvard pledges to:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food by 25% by 2030
- Simultaneously enable and support sustainable food systems
- Reduce wasted food
- Continue to implement Harvard’s Sustainable and Healthful Food Standards
Scaling impact through leadership: “Re-examining our food systems is a pivotal step in helping New York City reach its climate goals. That’s why in 2021 the City became a signatory of the Coolfood Pledge. Harvard’s leadership as a founding signatory on the Pledge was a strong vote of confidence that inspired us to incorporate it into the City’s climate playbook.”ERIC ADAMS, MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY
Sustainable and Healthful Food Standards
First published in 2019, Harvard’s holistic Sustainable and Healthful Food Standards are designed to ensure the University is advancing sustainability and food-system education while providing food choices that are healthier for people and the planet.
These standards hold Harvard’s food-service vendors accountable for making continuous progress across areas such as climate and ecosystems, consumer wellbeing, education, and food literacy, food waste reduction, animal welfare, and the wellbeing of workers and communities along the value chain.
- 83% farmland: Animal agriculture provides only 18% of calories and 37% of protein globally, but uses 83% of farmland and contributes 58% of food-related greenhouse gas emissions.
- 25% GHG reduction by 2030: Harvard joined the Cool Food Pledge in 2019 with a goal to reduce GHG emissions from food by 25% by 2030.
- Plant-Based Meals by Default: When hosting events and meetings, the Harvard Office for Sustainability serves plant-based meals by default, giving diners the choice to opt-in for meals with animal products. The Greener by Default strategy is inclusive, reduces our carbon footprint, and increases the healthfulness of meals.
Sustainable and Healthful Food Resources and Partners:
- The Harvard Chan School of Public Health’s Nutrition Source website
- Healthy Eating Plate
- Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic
- Sustainability at Harvard Dining