Our work on Goal 2

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

As one of the world’s leading research institutions and the UK’s first university to have social responsibility as a core goal, we’re tackling the SDGs in four inter-related ways: through our research, learning and students, public engagement activity and operations.

Here’s a selection of our work addressing Goal 2.


Innovative solutions to GM public food procurement

A researcher at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the Sustainable Consumption Institute has co-published a report entitled ‘Being Brave: Innovative Solutions to Public Food Procurement.’ The report highlights how to improve food systems and the resilience of food procurement while also reducing its impact on the climate. The report also finds that there is a pressing need to improve school food provision and that adopting a more sustainable approach to school meals could facilitate substantial benefits in children’s nutrition and health, as well as reduced carbon emissions.

Getting to the root of poor soil health and bringing it back to life

Researchers in our Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences have examined degraded soils of grasslands in Kenya and China to understand the role of soil biodiversity in creating and supporting healthy ecosystems.

We’ve scaled up novel approaches to harness ecological connections between native soil microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, algae) and native plants to accelerate recovery from degraded to healthy soil.

Tools have been developed to provide accessible and practical knowledge for local communities to repair soils and public and policy awareness has been raised of the vital importance of soil biodiversity on a global scale.


Learning and students

360 Degree Tour of University Botanical Gardens

The Firs, our botanical garden, is located on the University’s Fallowfield Campus where it is currently used to aid environmental research. The state of the art greenhouse facilities within the gardens are also used for issues relating to food security and climate change. The interactive 360 degree tour enables viewers to explore the greenhouse, select plants and learn interesting facts about them. The virtual tour is also an excellent online resource for both adults and children to learn about the various biomes located at The Firs. Additional information about habitats, photosynthesis and climate change are also available on the tour.

Manchester Central Foodbank

Since its inception in 2013, the UK’s first student-led and campus-based foodbank, Manchester Central Foodbank, has helped thousands of local citizens with food insecurity.

This included developing an online store and delivery system for vulnerable and isolated people, and providing 70,000 meals during the pandemic in 2020.


Public engagement

FutureDAMS Approach

As part of our world-leading FutureDAMS programme, we’ve produced a guide (PDF) to propose a series of steps and principles for conducting public, private and community stakeholder engagement in decision-making around water-energy-food-environment (WEFE) interventions.

This is underpinned by the principle that better decisions are generated when a broad range of stakeholders are included in a genuinely participatory manner.

Smallholder irrigation development

Millions of smallholder farmers worldwide lack access to reliable and cost-effective water supplies for irrigation.

We’re working with small-scale farmers in Africa and Asia, governments and development agencies to design and assess technological, economical and institutional solutions to improve water access, livelihoods, and resilience to climate change.



Community Fridge

Our student-run, campus zero waste shop, Want Not Waste, holds a community fridge.

This contains food from unsold meals offered by local business and surplus raw ingredients provided by our catering outlets.

Stocking these items combats local food waste while helping to tackle food insecurity within our own university community.

Kindling Trust

We support the Kindling Trust, a local organisation aiming to combat climate change, biodiversity loss, and economic inequity, by challenging and subverting the industrial food system. We buy vegetables through Kindling’s operatives and have taken shares in Kindling Farm – a new blueprint for fair, organic and ecological farming.