Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.48
Liaison Emmanuelle Jodoin
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Université de Sherbrooke
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.76 / 6.00 Judith Beaudoin
Sustainable Development Coordinator
Facilities Reliability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on products that are third party verified under one or more recognized food and beverage sustainability standards or Local & Community-Based:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (expenditures on conventional animal products)? (If data is not available, respond “No”):

Percentage of total dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional animal products (meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, and dairy products that do NOT qualify in either the Third Party Verified or Local & Community-Based category):

A brief description of the sustainable food and beverage purchasing program, including how the sustainability impacts of products in specific categories are addressed (e.g. meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, dairy, produce, tea/coffee):

The Université de Sherbrooke's main food concession, called "Café CAUS", favours the purchase of local products from the immediate Estrie region (Sherbrooke and surrounding areas). Indeed, Café CAUS has several partnerships with local food companies for its supply of bread, milk, meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and ready meals. Thus, prepared food offered to the university community is mainly made up of ingredients of Québec origin. As such, and as part of the recognition program of Aliments du Québec and Équiterre (two reputable Québec organizations valuing local food purchasing options), Café CAUS, in 2016, was awarded a certificate highlighting its initiatives to promote Québec food products. In doing so, Café CAUS, since its very beginnings, has contributed financially to the success of many producers in the Estrie region.

In addition, all coffee sold by Café CAUS is fair trade certified (by Fairtrade Canada). Also, wherever there is tea, herbal tea and chocolate offered, a certified fair trade option must be provided. Finally, available sugar and hot chocolate are about to be fair trade certified.

An inventory of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchases that includes for each product: the description/type; label, brand or producer; and the category in which it is being counted and/or a description of its sustainability attribute(s):
A brief description of the methodology used to conduct the inventory, including the timeframe and how representative samples accounted for seasonal variation (if applicable):

The data related to purchases for fiscal year 2018-2019 were provided by Café CAUS various food suppliers. Therefore, this does not relate to a seasonal sample, but rather to data from the most recent full year. Each data entry was compiled and reviewed individually in order to meet criteria set out in the STARS guidelines. Specifically, 4% of products part of the inventory is certified by a third party such as:
- Non GMO Project Verified;
- USDA Organic/NON GMO Project;
- EcoCert;
- Organic and Vegan certified by "Québec Vrai";
- Fairtrade Canada.

These products, although sometimes being local, were considered in this category particularly in order to avoid double counting.

Also, 24% of products part of the inventory has a local and community-based origin. This is the commitment sought by both Café CAUS and Université de Sherbrooke in order to promote short food chains, which explains the importance of the percentage associated with this criterion. Based on the institution's internal criteria, it is approximately 36% of products that come from the immediate region.

In order to comply with STARS approach and to validate purchases location, the following methodological steps were taken:

First, Café CAUS sent all its purchases for the selected year. This information contained the amounts paid per item and per supplier. Non-food purchases were removed from this list. Also, a major distributor used for a large part of the purchases provided the complete catalogue, through which work was carried out in order to identify products by region (local).

Then, each product was classified according to the categories proposed by STARS, i.e. baked goods, dairy products, fish/seafood, grocery/staple, meat, other beverages (non-dairy), poultry, produce.

The distance between each of the producers and suppliers was determined in order to exclude from the outset those who did not respect the distances prescribed by products.

Once the distance was confirmed, the "ownership" was validated using the Québec Enterprise Register (Registraire des entreprises du Québec) website when there was a doubt as to the business type.

Finally, the size of each enterprise was estimated on the basis of the number of paid employees since turnover figures were not always available (this was the case for private companies, for instance). Thus, all enterprises with fewer than 500 employees were considered to be enterprises with a turnover of less than $50 million. This scale was based on the Institut de la statistique du Québec’s definition of a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME):

The majority of the enterprises considered in the "Local & Community-Based" section have fifty or fewer employees. Only five companies have between fifty to a hundred employees. However, two companies stand out from this set: these are cooperatives, providing products that meet STARS specifications for this category.

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food A (0-100):

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food B (0-100):

Which of the following food service providers are present on campus and included in the total food and beverage expenditure figures?:
Present? Included?
Dining operations and catering services operated by the institution Yes Yes
Dining operations and catering services operated by a contractor Yes Yes
Student-run food/catering services No No
Franchises (e.g. national or global brands) No No
Convenience stores Yes No
Vending services Yes Yes
Concessions Yes No

A brief description of purchased food and beverage products that have other sustainability attributes not recognized above :

Additional percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional products with other sustainability attributes not recognized above (0-100) :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.