THE UNIVERSITY of Brighton has become the first in the country to be awarded a "Michelin star" for sustainability.

The university was recognised for its “exceptional” efforts to endure sustainability.

The University Catering Rating scheme recognises the most sustainable restaurants in the world and allows diners to find places that match their values.

It was developed by The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) and is being run by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) to recognise outstanding achievements of university caterers across the country and help drive best practice.

The SRA recognised Brighton’s policy of ensuring all the seafood it serves is from sustainable sources, its commitment to selling Fairtrade products at catering sites across campus, and its marketing programme, which recently achieved a record-breaking 100% rating from independent assessors.

Ratings are built around sourcing, environment and society – all of which will be independently assessed against criteria developed alongside the University of Brighton, and takes into account the raft of dining occasions the site provides, and the unique nature of university catering. Julie Barker, TUCO chairwoman and director of accommodation and hospitality at the University (pictured), said: “The process has challenged us to find the areas we can do better in. I would urge that other universities and TUCO members give real consideration to take advantage of this accreditation that is highly relevant and beneficial.

“Using the University of Brighton as the pilot and making iterations through the process to ensure the model works regardless of the size of university or college - every TUCO member will now be able to benefit from this strategic new partnership as part of their journey into sustainable improvement.

“As the leading authority on sustainability across the hospitality and food service sector, the SRA also provides expert advice to restaurants, pubs, hotels, cafés and caterers.

“TUCO has developed a ratings model that is sector specific to our market - a model which recognises the bespoke challenges faced by those operating in the Higher Education sector while retaining its unique integrity through the way it is scored.”

Chloe Clarke, Brighton and Hove Food Partnership manager, said: “We have always been impressed by the university’s Sustainable Food Policy which they update annually, and hope other public and private sector businesses in the city will follow their lead.”