News and features

Serving up sustainability

To mark World Environment Day we chatted to the Dining at Glyndebourne team to find out about their commitment to making our restaurants sustainable.

Today is World Environment Day 2021.

To mark the occasion, we chatted to the Dining at Glyndebourne team to find out about their commitment to making our restaurants and picnics more sustainable.

Gavin Goody caught up with Vikki Robertson (General Manager of Dining at Glyndebourne) and Steve Groves (Executive Chef of Dining at Glyndebourne).


Can you tell us about Dining at Glyndebourne’s commitments to working with local suppliers?

Where possible we only work with the finest local suppliers who are committed to sustainable practices. These include specialist businesses such as Brighton and Newhaven Fish who supply Glyndebourne with day caught local fish and shellfish; Burts Family Butchers who provide Red Tractor assured British meats, Munneries fresh produce who go to great lengths to minimise their carbon footprint; Real Patisserie in Sussex who supply us with delicious artisan bread and pastries plus award winning chocolates from Montezuma who only use eco-friendly packaging.

Above: Locally grown seasonal ingredients as used by the culinary team at Glyndebourne. Photos: Jodi Hinds

How do you manage and minimise food waste in the kitchens?

Dining at Glyndebourne operates in a unique manner with guests making menu choices in advance. This allows us to keep food waste to a minimum, as we only prepare what is to be consumed on the day. We also go through a process of meticulous menu planning focusing on seasonal ingredients which means the dishes taste great and are sourced locally. We monitor sales and the popularity of products closely to ensure we do not over produce and create unnecessary food waste. Finally, all waste is recycled where possible and our food waste is taken to anaerobic digestion to convert waste into biogas for energy applications.

Are you seeing an increase in the demand for more plant-based dishes?

Generally, we are seeing a move towards plant-based dishes and we are keen to develop our plant-forward options further. Plant-based and farm to fork dishes are at the heart of our new concept for Nether Wallop. Choice is everything but our balanced approach is always in favour of plant verses meat ratios.

Above: Heritage carrot, almond ricotta & lovage dressing, one of our popular plant-based dishes. Photo: Steven Groves

How are you minimising the impact of packaging across Glyndebourne’s picnic offers?

Glyndebourne’s Traditional picnics are now packaged in jars and recyclable paper materials which means we have removed all plastic, both single and multiple use. For everything else we use recyclable and biodegradable packaging.

Above: The Traditional Picnic is now served in jars and recyclable and biodegradable packaging.

Can you tell us about your pledge to have Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030?

We have recently appointed a new Director of Net Zero who is helping us realise our ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030. We have already began making great strides to minimise our carbon footprint through local sourcing, developing plant forward menus, selecting green energy, using recyclable packaging and by working with sustainable suppliers. Shortly we will also begin offsetting our remaining carbon output.

What policies do you have in place to ensure a sustainable supply chain?

We are committed to ensuring a responsible and safe supply chain full of integrity, which is why we invest in quality sourcing with over 90% coming from the UK. Our fruit and vegetables come from farms holding Global GAP certificates, our milk is Red Tractor Farm Assured whilst our fish and shellfish are responsibly sourced in accordance with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) Good Fish Guide certified between 1-3. We have also signed the Buy Social Corporate Challenge and work with several social enterprise businesses such as Toast Ale.

Above: Our fish pie with lobster, scallops salmon and smoked haddock. All of the fish comes from local British and Atlantic waters and is provided by local fishmongers Munneries. Photo: Steve Groves

What does World Environment Day mean to you?

World Environment Day is an important occasion to raise awareness of this critical matter, but it’s not just about one day. Sustainability and the environment are at the core of everything we do. Wherever we operate and deliver great hospitality, we are asking ourselves, is this the most sustainable way we can deliver great food and drink and how can we make improvements that have a positive environmental impact. Arriving on site each day seeing the wind turbine, drinking Glyndebourne’s spring water directly from our taps and walking past our recycling compound, knowing we are taking steps in the right direction to reduce our overall environmental footprint, keeps sustainability and the environment in the forefront of our minds.


Explore all of the delicious menus we’ll be serving up this summer at diningatglyndebourne.com

You might also like

See photos from our brand new production of Verdi's tragedy.
Our popular Open Gardens days return this September.
News and features
It is with great pleasure that we can announce next year’s F…
Glyndebourne is facing a devastating impact due to the loss …
Read our step-by-step guide to the autumn experience and fin…
Glyndebourne Shop
Our online shop offers a great selection of exclusive and locally sourced products. Every purchase supports our work.
Become a Member
Enjoy priority booking for the Festival. Find out how you can join as an Associate Member
Donate to the Annual Fund
To stay at the forefront of theatre technology, we need your help. Set the spotlight back on our stage by supporting this vital upgrade.