Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.63
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Aug. 22, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

McGill University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Oliver De Volpi
Executive Chef
Food and Dining Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:

https://www.mcgill.ca/foodservices/sustainability/strategic-plan

Sustainable development is about more than building innovative infrastructure,
preserving the environment, or increasing food production. It’s about putting people at
the heart of planning and development – from start to finish. Food and farming issues
represent ways and means of bringing people together. Food Services under Student
Housing & Hospitality Services (SHHS) aims to connect customers to the food that
they’re eating and to the local community and environment in which it was grown and
produced. As part of the McGill community, McGill Food Services has a duty to
challenge itself in the area of sustainability, and this Strategic Plan outlines the
background of SHHS’s sustainable food commitments, as well as the evolution and the
future of these commitments.
McGill Food Services is part of SHHS, a reporting unit of the Office of the Deputy
Provost (Student Life and Learning), and manages food services at McGill University.
They manage a mixed model, comprised of self-operated locations, locations serviced by
Aramark, and contracted food providers across campus.
Leading Universities around the globe are adopting more sustainable food
purchasing practices and connecting with real farmers in order to adapt to a changing
political and physical climate. Food Services has been working with its partners - the
Office of Student Life and Learning, Macdonald Horticultural Centre, main Food
Providers, the Office of Sustainability, and the McGill Food Systems Project to creatively
and meaningfully change how business is typically done, and integrate sustainability into
all areas within SHHS.
Environmental stewardship & activism are increasingly becoming a vital part of a
young person’s educational development and young adulthood. Additionally, for many
students, University is an opportunity to develop a new independence in making their
own food choices. At this critical time, McGill Food Services strives to promote the
development of healthy relationships with food and farming, with a focus on nutrition.
SHHS recognizes that sustainable practices and connections with food and farmers are
important to our clients and also essential to safeguard our ecological, financial and
social developments. Uniquely among sustainable approaches to institutional food,
SHHS simultaneously seeks to nurture in students an appetite for learning about and
connecting with the food they eat. Additionally, SHHS has supported and will continue
to support Student Applied Research that focuses on various aspects of their sustainable
impacts.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
Yes

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:

McGill University has a unique opportunity in McGill’s Agricultural and
Nutritional Science Campus - the Macdonald Campus, located about 30 minutes from
downtown. The farm there has been used for research and education for years, and
now grows a substantial amount of Food Service’s fresh produce. Since 2009, the
number of pounds of produce purchased at Macdonald Farm number has grown
exponentially, and the purchasing list now regularly includes other products such as
beef and eggs.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, and/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:

McGill has partnered with Santropol Roulant, a local NGO, to build rooftop gardens on campus. During the fall, farmers markets also take place on campus, selling local products and produce from the Macdonald campus.


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:

Across McGill, at breakfast, lunch & dinner, customers can choose from a vegetarian/vegan selection that includes soup, sandwiches, sushi, salads (both vegetable and grain), chef made entrees, made to order pasta or stir fry, pizza, veggie burgers, soy beverages, and snack items in all dining halls, but not all retail locations due to the variety of food offered at each location. Vegetarian selections are often, but not always, vegan. There is an emphasis on complete-protein options.

Meatless Mondays has been a successful monthly event in all residence cafeterias, raising awareness of the benefits of eating vegetarian/vegan options. New vendors on campus are explicity asked about their plan for including a variety of daily vegetarian & vegan options into their menus.

Most upper year students are not on meal plan; all students have the option to eat off-campus.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events:

Every first Monday of the month, students in each of the 5 residential cafs are encouraged to become aware of the benefits of a meatless diet. “Meatless Mondays” arose-and was endorsed by 20 public health schools- in 2003 as an effort by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to reduce risk of preventable disease and improve individuals’ carbon footprints. See the Meatless Mondays Canada website for more information.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:

Once a month each residence dining hall has a Local Food Day. On Local Food Days, produce, meat, dairy, eggs, and grain products which are in season are purchased locally by McGill Food and Dining Services. Local is defined as preference to under 200km to a maximum of 500 km. Local Food Day will feature one main event each month, organized by the McGill Food Systems Project and McGill Food and Dining Services.


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 inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labeling and signage in dining halls?:
Yes

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

Labeling is present to indicate if a product is vegan or vegetarian, or may have been certified as humane/fair (ex. Marine Stewardship Council certified)


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:

https://www.mcgill.ca/mfsp/about-us/mission
The McGill Food Systems Project (MFSP)’s vision is to reconnect the campus community to a food system from which they can be proud to eat. One way to ensure a larger shift towards a sustainable food system is to engage and educate the students, faculty and staff on such issues. The MFSP uses creative media and events to promote education about our food system. Local Food Days, which occur in each of the resident cafeterias 9 times per year, are days where produce, meat, dairy, eggs, and grain products in season, are source locally by McGill Food and Dining. LFDs are forums for discussion and interaction, which celebrate regional food and culture. MFSP hires students for outreach and research as well, and many students on campus are engaged in Applied Student Research (ASR) projects revolving around issues of food security, waste, and availability on campus.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have other sustainability-related initiatives (e.g. health and wellness initiatives, making culturally diverse options available)?:
Yes

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:

Sushi workshops (http://publications.mcgill.ca/reporter/2013/11/nov-25-27-sushi-making-workshop/) , as well as several other healthy cooking workshops that take place on campus throughout the year.


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?:
No

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

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:

There is currently a trayless pilot program in one of our locations on campus, Carrefour Sherbrooke.


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:

Every year, during the Christmas & spring breaks, we clear out our fridges and storerooms, and prepare a food donation worth up to $2,000 for the Old Brewery Mission in Montreal. We also donate ingredients to ongoing programs throughout the school year at the Yellow Door in Montreal.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses (e.g. converting cooking oil to fuel, on-site anaerobic digestion)?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

Cooking oil left over from cooking in cafeterias is used as biofuel for equipment used in grounds maintenance on campus.


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:

Behind the scenes, we sort too!
In 2015-2016 our composting figures are: for MORE Housing: 9,967L, and for McGill Dining Halls: 196,179L
In 2014-2015 our composting figures are: for MORE Housing: 6,990L, and for McGill Dining Halls: 137,295L
From https://www.mcgill.ca/foodservices/sustainability/composting

McGill works with Compost Montreal, a compost collection company,(http://www.compostmontreal.com/) to compost diverted organic materials as.


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:

Sorting your trash with eco stations

Located in Carrefour Sherbrooke, New Residence, Bishop Mountain Hall, and Royal Victoria College dining halls, our Eco Stations make it simple and convenient for dining hall visitors to reduce unnecessary waste production by sorting compostable organics, paper, plastic, glass, aluminum and landfill.
From https://www.mcgill.ca/foodservices/sustainability/composting


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:

McGill offers china services in residence dining halls, and polystyrene cups have been phased out across campus.
SHHS also provides recycled content napkins in all self-operated locations on campus, Bishop Mountain Hall, Douglas Hall, Royal Victoria College, Med Cafe & Soupe Cafe.


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:

As of 2010, each student on the Mandatory Residential Meal Plan receives one Eco-Clamshell at the beginning of the academic year. The Eco-Clamshell is used by students and then returned to be sanitized in a high heat industrial dishwasher; at the end of the its lifetime, the container is retired to a recycling facility.

At the same time, McGill also offers china services in residence dining halls, polystyrene cups have been phased out across campus, and aluminum takeout containers have replaced polystyrene takeout containers when takeout containers are requested over the Eco-Clamshell option. Any takeout container besides the Eco-Clamshell is charged $0.40 at the cash.

McGill Food & Dining Services recently implemented the Ozzi System in residences and certain retail locations. Ozzi was designed to reduce disposable waste on campus simply by replacing the 'throw away' mindset with a reusable way of thinking. Food sold in cafeterias is placed in a Preserve 2 Go reusable container, and then the empty container is exchanged for a token at the Ozzi machines for the next use. McGill University is the first University anywhere in Canada to offer the revolutionary new system to students, faculty, and staff.

https://www.mcgill.ca/foodservices/sustainability/ozzi-system-reusable-containers


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

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

A $0.25 discount is provided as an incentive for all clients who bring their own mugs into residence dining halls.

Every student in residence receives an "eco-kit", which includes a reusable mug and water bottle as well.
From https://www.mcgill.ca/foodservices/sustainability


Has the institution or its primary dining services contractor implemented other materials management initiatives to minimize waste not covered above (e.g. working with vendors and other entities to reduce waste from food packaging)?:
No

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.