In all our buildings, in which we have the tendering sovereignty, we use 100% green electricity from European hydropower plants of the Greifswald public utility company. This includes our administrative headquarters and most of the dormitories. The dormitories in Neubrandenburg as well as the refectories run on the electricity supply of the universities.
Since the end of 2018, we have been a partner in the RECUP deposit system to counteract the excessive consumption of disposable coffee cups. In Germany alone, around 320,000 coffee-to-go cups are consumed every hour, which is almost three billion per year. It is not only the single use that is a cause for concern, but also the polyethylene coating on the inside of the cups. An enormous number of disposable coffee cups were also sold in our cafeterias, so we saw a need for action and were happy to be part of the Greifswald initiative to introduce the municipal deposit cup system. With the introduction of the RECUP deposit system, we raised the cost of a disposable deposit cup to 0.20 €. Anyone who uses a deposit cup should receive a noticeable price advantage. The RECUP system is being implemented at all our locations, in Greifswald, Neubrandenburg and Stralsund.
At the start of the 2019 winter semester, we will start a test phase of a Weck-Glas-Pfand-System in the cafeterias. In the cafeteria on Campus Loefflerstraße, to-go food such as muesli, fruit salad, salads and desserts will no longer be portioned into disposable plastic dishes but into wake-up jars. The deposit of 2 € per glass ensures that the glasses are returned and that the cycle works as it should.
Since 2005, the cafeterias of the Studierendenwerk have been using only fair trade coffee beans and fair trade drinking chocolate from organic farming. Furthermore, many sustainable products such as Lemonaid, Charitea, Community Cola or Koawach cocoa are offered.
Planning the demand and quantity of food in the refectories is an important part of sustainable university catering. The kitchen processes are so flexible that hardly any food has to be thrown away. In the kitchens, the amount of food cooked for the students at all three locations is usually exactly the same as the amount of food that is purchased.
Waste cannot be avoided, but it can be optimised through active waste management. Waste separation and recycling, as well as the economical use of packaging materials, are already part of the standard. We also use modern technology in our facilities: The wet waste disposal in the canteen at Berthold-Beitz-Platz, for example, is considered particularly hygienic, economical and environmentally friendly. The waste is pressed to reduce its volume and then fed into biogas plants, where it is used to generate electricity or gas.