University gastronomy sees itself as responsible for health, social, ecological and thus sustainable aspects.

Thus products are
  • with organic certificate,
  • with MSC certificate,
  • fair trade,
  • with regional origin as well as
  • from species-appropriate animal farming are used.

In addition, we have also taken up the challenge of sustainability in technical matters and implemented various solutions.

More environmentally conscious eating in the Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe dining halls

From now on, an environmental score is given in the menus of the Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe. It is based on the Eaternity database (EDB) and uses a star rating to indicate how climate-friendly the food is per dish. This Eaternity score is the first award for a future with climate-friendly food worldwide and is calculated together with partners from the scientific community.

Environmental score legend

The score maps climate impact in four areas. First, an average score is calculated and displayed for each dish in the menus. This is calculated from the scores in the four areas of climate, water, animal welfare and rainforest, whose scores can be viewed in the detailed overview.

The detailed areas are rated with 0-3 stars. This information can be viewed on our menus per dish.

Depending on the level of CO₂ emissions in grams, stars are awarded. (Datei nicht mehr verfügbar zum Download!) If consumption is particularly low (3 stars), the "Klimateller" is also awarded.

Important: We rate the dishes/products independently of the portion size. This means that even if a portion is smaller, this does not automatically mean that the CO₂ emissions will be lower.

Depending on the consumption in litres, 0-3 stars are awarded. Particularly low consumption is marked with 3 stars.

Animal welfare:
3 stars: vegan/species-appropriate
2 stars: partially certified
1 star:    no certification

3 stars: protected
2 stars: partially protected
1 star:  not protected

You can view the detailed 3-star rating system here (Datei nicht mehr verfügbar zum Download!)

Note: For most of our dishes, the environmental score has already been calculated and is shown accordingly. However, this is constantly being updated and expanded.

Calculation average score
In calculating the environmental score, CO₂ emissions are taken into account as the crucial parameter in the food production system. Compared to the other metrics - water, animal welfare and rainforest - the reduction of greenhouse emissions has the greatest impact on improving the sustainability of a dish or increasing the careful use of our resources.

In order to include the scientifically measured planetary boundaries, the parameter CO₂ emissions is included in the calculation of the environmental score of our dishes with a weighting factor of 50%. The three other parameters - water, animal welfare and rainforest - share the remaining 50%.

Rounding up and down the average environmental score:
> 0.50 = round up
< 0.49 = round down

1.25 = round down to 1 star
1,50 = round up to 2 stars
1.75 = round up to 2 stars

What is the KlimaTeller?

The KlimaTeller is an initiative of the non-profit NAHhaft e.V.
A climate-friendly dish is awarded the KlimaTeller if it causes at least 50% less CO₂ emissions than a comparable dish (3 stars). Students, staff and guests are thus given the opportunity to choose their food according to the aspect of climate friendliness and to be educated about the connection between climate change and nutrition. The aim is to eat in a more climate-friendly way in the refectory and to transfer this to cooking at home.

Where does the data come from?

The Eaternity Database (EDB) contains CO₂equivalence values and unit processes for all common foods based on seasonality, cultivation methods, transport, preservation and processing models. Here, a greenhouse model was developed to determine CO₂equivalence emissions associated with greenhouse heating in both organic and traditional agriculture. The individual CO₂equivalence values are the result of a collaboration with scientists from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and Quantis World Food Database, University of Zurich (UZH), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ), Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), ecoinvent v3.6, Agribalyse, Agrifootprint, peer-reviewed literature, reports (grey literature), extrapolated; or based on Eaternity's own research, subsequently adjusted to ensure comparability. 6, Agribalyse, Agrifootprint, peer-reviewed literature, reports (grey literature), extrapolated; or based on Eaternity's own research, subsequently adjusted to ensure comparability. The EDB is currently the largest and most comprehensive database performing CO₂equivalence calculations for food products worldwide. It includes nutritional values, water scarcity footprint and our Health Score to assess the health risk factors of your food consumption.

More information on the Eaternity CO₂ footprint also at:
  • Du verlässt nun die Webseite des Studierendenwerks Karlsruhe (

    Bitte beachte, dass du auf die externe Webseite weitergeleitet wirst, auf der deine personenbezogenen Daten anders verarbeitet werden als bei uns.

    Ehe du mit „Ja, weiter“ dieser Verarbeitung zustimmst, solltest du hier nachlesen, was bei der externen Webseite zum Datenschutz zu beachten ist.

  • Du verlässt nun die Webseite des Studierendenwerks Karlsruhe (

    Bitte beachte, dass du auf die externe Webseite weitergeleitet wirst, auf der deine personenbezogenen Daten anders verarbeitet werden als bei uns.

    Ehe du mit „Ja, weiter“ dieser Verarbeitung zustimmst, solltest du hier nachlesen, was bei der externen Webseite zum Datenschutz zu beachten ist.

Sustainable packaging? It's possible!

We use recyclable or renewable materials for this purpose. We only use plastics where it is absolutely necessary for hygienic or other reasons.
All other packaging, straws and our disposable tableware, including cutlery, are made exclusively from so-called renewable raw materials. Specifically, we use polylactic acid (PLA), which is obtained from lactic acid and is biodegradable. Of course, we try to use packaging made of recycled paper wherever possible.

You want to do without disposable packaging for your lunch? That's possible too!

You can choose:
  1. 1. Mensa TO GO: All meals can be taken away in sustainable disposable packaging. An environmental fee of 1 euro is charged for this, which is added to the regular meal price. As we attach great importance to food hygiene and safety, we use high-priced materials that are safe and hygienic for single use in the heating process. The environmental contribution of 1 Euro for the to-go packaging only covers these costs proportionally, the rest is paid by the Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe.

  2. 2. Mensa TO PACK: Alternatively, you can pack the food "to pack" in containers you have brought yourself. All you have to do is inform the food counter. You will then receive the meal on reusable dishes and can transfer it at the packaging station. Partial to-go serving is not possible in this case.
With Artificial Intelligence against Overproduction in the Cafeteria!

In a joint project, five Studentenwerke / Studierendenwerke, including the Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe, together with the start-up company Delicious Data, have developed a forecasting tool for menu planning in dining halls. Using a deep-learning algorithm, overproduction and the use of resources such as electricity, water, etc. can be significantly reduced. The data generated helps the kitchen management with production planning and reduces residuals. The project was awarded the federal prize "Too good for the bin" in the category "Digitalisation".

Click here for the press release (in german).
We support the European Broiler Chicken Initiative!

Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe will implement the requirements of the European Broiler Chicken Initiative for 100% of the chicken meat sourced for Europe by 2026 at the latest. Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe publishes annual reports on the progress of the implementation and has independent controls ensure compliance with the standards.

The European Broiler Chicken Initiative originates from an association of around 30 animal welfare organisations with the main aim of improving the keeping of broiler chickens. Important animal welfare aspects such as a lower stocking density, the restriction of over-breeding as well as minimum standards for light and employment material are implemented.

More information on the broiler chicken initiative at:

The Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe received the award "Das goldene Ei" in 2009!

Since 2007, the award has been presented by Compassion in World Farming to companies that exclusively use eggs or egg products from hens from cage-free farming systems or commit to doing so (within five years). To date, more than 99 million laying hens benefit annually from the award winners' policies.
We operate the world's first liquid ice plant that uses the particularly environmentally friendly propane gas R290 to produce the refrigerant ice!.

90 cooling points - cold rooms, showcases and refrigerators and condensers of the CO2 TC systems - are supplied with the liquid ice via a network of pipes covering approximately three kilometres.

This cooling liquid consists of an ecologically and food-safe mixture of water and about 8% ethanol with an ice content of about 25%. Climate-damaging F-gases are thus completely dispensed with. This means that the plant already mets the legal guidelines that will apply from 2022 before they are implemented. According to the EU F-Gas Regulation, refrigerants with global warming potential will no longer receive approval from 2022.

At the heart of the plant are six ice generators, each with a cooling capacity of 14 kW, which produce ice during nighttime operation. By decoupling ice production and extraction, high-priced electricity peaks are also avoided and operation with renewable energies is facilitated. The ice slurry is stored in a 40 m³ tank until it is withdrawn during the day. The low outside air temperatures and the resulting lowered condensation temperatures enable an energy savings potential of 20%-30%.

  • Construction period: 2012 to 2013
  • Commissioning: 2013

  • Base: combination of liquid ice, propane and CO2
  • Liquid ice: 25% ice, 75% liquid (water with approx. 8% ethanol)
  • Production: 6 ice generators with 14 kW cooling capacity each
  • Distribution: 3km pipe network to 90 delivery points
  • Propane gas: natural refrigerant R290 for normal refrigeration
  • CO2: transforms the liquid ice temperature from -3.5°C to -25°C
  • Tank volume: total 40m³
  • Investment: approx. 1 million euros

  • Scientific support: Prof. Dr. Michael Kauffeld, University of Applied Sciences Karlsruhe
  • Planning: Günther Schmidt Engineering Office, Hochheim
  • Implementation: Hafner-Muschler, Balingen / IBV, Tiefenbach
  • Funding: Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts / Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg

In the dining hall oam Adenauerring, organic production waste and food leftovers are vacuum extracted at various feed stations and transported via a network of pipes to a central tank. The longest distance covered by the pumps is around 200 metres.

Two fully redundant suction tanks ensure that the plant remains functional if, for example, one of the suction tanks is taken out of service for maintenance work.

Wet waste disposal is part of the hygienic waste concept and sustainable subsequent processing. The biomass collected in the central tank is pumped out and given to a biogas plant for power generation.

  • Construction time: 6 weeks
  • Commissioning: 2011

Technical data:
  • Redundant wet waste disposal plant: System with one central tank and two independently operating disposal plants.

  • Planning: vtechnik, Gaggenau
  • Implementation: Meiko, Offenburg
  • Funding: Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts / Property and Construction Baden-Württemberg

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