Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.02
Liaison Rochelle Owen
Submission Date July 21, 2021

STARS v2.2

Dalhousie University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 KAREINA D'SOUZA
Sustainability Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or urban agriculture project, or support such a program in the local community?:
Yes

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:

The Dalhousie Student Union Farmers' Market runs twice a week out of the student union building during the Fall and Winter semesters. The market also offers a food box/CSA program in two box sizes. More information about the market can be found here: http://www.dsumarket.ca/

The Dalhousie Urban Garden is a student society that advocates for food security and encourages students to grow their own food. The group has a small urban plot on the Halifax campus. See their website here: https://www.facebook.com/DalUrbanGarden/


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a sustainability-themed food outlet on-site, either independently or in partnership with a contractor or retailer?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
---

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor support disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through its food and beverage purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:

Yes, purchasing data shows that $202,728.1 was spent via direct purchasing from small local businesses:

Certainly Cinnamon, $18,427.03

G.Abato Italian Bakery, $105,800.98

Bonnyman's Blueberries, $25,242.00

Stone Hearth Bakery, $24,070.00

Schoolhouse Gluten Free Bakery, $$6,960.70

JustUs Coffee and fairtrade products, $ $16353.8

Staff of Life, $5,873.25


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
0.05

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:

Aramark: Vegetarian and vegan items are showcased on Mondays in the spirit of Meatless Monday, though meat options are still available. Aramark also hosts local farmers and has themed food days for their produce, such as blueberries and carrots.

Chartwells: Holds Meatless Mondays, Flexitarian Fridays, and vegan theme stations.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a vegan dining program that makes diverse, complete-protein vegan options available to every member of the campus community at every meal?:
Yes

A brief description of the vegan dining program:

Aramark: Each of the four dining hall offers a complete hot vegan/vegetarian menu item at each meal. Samples of the Comfort Zone vegan/vegetarian options are: White Kidney Bean Curry, Lentil Stuffed Peppers, Eggplant Lentil Moussaka, Stir Fry Veg & Tofu Kung Pao, Middle Eastern Chickpeas Spinach, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili, and more. Signage is also available identifying No Gluten, Vegan, and Vegetarian.

Chartwells: Flexitarian dining options are available at all times. Regular dining promotions are done throughout the year based on seasonal locally produced items with the health benefits of eating a vegan diet and eating a proper vegan diet. Logos are printed on dinning menus.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labelling and signage in dining halls?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability labelling and signage in dining halls:

Aramark uses window clings to identify the following meal types: 100% local, local ingredients, no gluten, sustainable seafood, vegetarian, and vegan. See here: https://dal.campusdish.com/Sustainability/DINEDal.aspx
There is also signage for Fair Trade coffee, tea, and/or chocolate.

Chartwells prints logos for vegetarian and vegan options and has a special logo for the on-campus farm.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor participate in a competition or commitment program and/or use a food waste prevention system to track and improve its food management practices?:
Yes

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:

Aramark uses the LeanPath food waste prevention program. Staff weight and record pre-consumer food waste daily. This increases awareness about the amount of food waste and helps identify areas for improvement. See more here: http://www.leanpath.com/

Chartwells uses the Trim Trax program to track pre-consumer food waste, including production scraps and expired food.


Has the institution or its primary dining services contractor implemented trayless dining (in which trays are removed from or not available in dining halls) and/or modified menus/portions to reduce post-consumer food waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:

In 2008, all residence dining halls managed by Aramark removed the serving trays and went "trayless". This has eliminated the washing of 4,100 trays per day, or, 900,000 trays per year. Annually, it will save 870,655 litres of water and the associated energy needed to heat it, as well as reduce the use of washing chemicals.

Chartwells dining has been trayless for a number of years.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
Yes

A brief description of the food donation program:

In 2018 and 2019, 5% (approximately 575 lbs a year) of food produced in the Chef’s Garden on the Agricultural Campus was donated to the Colchester Food Bank. In 2020, the Chefs Garden produced 15,500 lbs of produce and donated 100% to the Colchester Food Bank.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

Cooking oil is collected at all food service locations in Halifax and Truro. The oil is in used in the production of soap and animal feed.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
Yes

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

Food Services are provided with green organics carts to collect loose pre-consumer food waste. The carts are picked up daily by grounds staff.

Material is trucked to Ragged Lake compost facility (HRM composting facility) 15 km from the university. On the AC, compost is trucked to the Colchester Composting Facility, roughly 20 km for campus.

http://www.dal.ca/dept/sustainability/programs/waste/composting.html


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
Yes

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

Composting is standard across campus, including in dining halls and food service areas. Organics from public bins are brought to the grounds warehouse, sorted to remove contaminants, and repacked into green carts.

Material is trucked to Ragged Lake compost facility (HRM composting facility) 15 km from the university. On the AC, compost is trucked to the Colchester Composting Facility, roughly 20 km for campus.

http://www.dal.ca/dept/sustainability/programs/waste/composting.html


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:
Yes

A brief description of the reusable service ware program:

Reusable dishware and cutlery is provided in residence dining halls.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor provide reusable and/or third party certified compostable containers and service ware for “to-go” meals (in conjunction with an on-site composting program)?:
Yes

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:

Fibre-based to go containers are provided in some food retail locations and are the recommended disposable to-go option. Aramark catering uses compostable plates, cups, and bowls (though compostable cups are not accepted in our local facility) as well as compostable birch forks and knives.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor offer discounts or other incentives to customers who use reusable containers instead of disposable or compostable containers in “to-go” food service operations?:
Yes

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:

There are 10-20 cent discounts for bringing your own mug at all food retail vendors on Dalhousie campuses. Aramark holds a Reusable Mug Day where customers can get a free cup of coffee/tea if they bring their own mug to a food retail location on campus.


A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:

Health and Wellness are a central part of programming. An onsite dietitian helps plan and review menus and is available to meet one-on-one with students to address their personal nutritional health plans. They also have a labeling system called 'Get the Good Stuff' so consumers can easily identify healthy food choices.

Chartwells has monthly superfood offerings with information, monthly nutrigrams (posted nutritional information), international menu features, world flavors monthly events, and World Harmony events. Dining services on the Agricultural Campus participate in a Chartwells program called Clean Plate, which aims to make residents aware of hunger and food waste. Participants estimate the amount of food they waste each week and set that amount as their benchmark for reducing waste. During the next four weeks, as participants reduce their food waste, that waste is translated into a dollar amount and turned into a monetary donation to a local shelter or campus food bank.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.