Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 24, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.40 / 6.00 Dolores March
General Manager
Hospitality Services, Ancillary Services
"---" 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 university's dining services contractor Aramark is committed to providing foods that are produced and procured in an ecologically and socially responsible manner. To that end, Aramark partners with many different growers, suppliers and distributors to increase the availability of such foods.

Some of the key points of Aramark's purchasing policy include:
- Chain of custody certification with the Marine Stewardship Council.
- Commitment to only purchase coffee and tea certified as either Organic & Fairtrade, or Rainforest Alliance.
- Commitment to only use cage-free eggs by 2025.
- Commitment to choose seasonal produce sold by local distributors supporting smaller, community-based growers.
- Promotion of local produce, dairy and proteins with ""locally grown"" identifiers.


Augustana Campus' self-operated dining services are guided by the following commitments:
- To provide safe, fresh and nutritious food;
- To contribute to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of our home region and the planet, through balanced and responsible procurement decisions; and
- To cultivate within our academic community both a critical awareness of food issues and a sense of celebration around food that is inclusive of the many cultural traditions represented among our students.

To the extent that it is practical, Augustana Campus Dining Services prefers to purchase food that is produced within approximately 200 km, before looking to provincial, national and global sources; and to purchase from farmers and processors who are taking steps towards sustainability. Augustana uses several local distributors in addition to two major broadline distributors to gain access to additional local produce (various vegetables and grains), meats (beef, pork, poulty) and eggs as often as possible.

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 inventory reports direct purchases made by the university's primary dining contractor, Aramark, and by the institutional unit, Augustana Campus Dining Services.


The inventory review process included all food purchases from Jan. 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2019. The uploaded inventory file includes purchases within that time frame that were deemed sustainable. Each item type is reported once, but represents all purchases made of that item.


(1) Data sources

Aramark Higher Education provided the data for Aramark's purchases. Augustana Campus Dining Services provided the data for Augustana's purchases. These raw data were analysed by the credit lead in charge of this credit in collaboration with the two primary data sources.

(2) Treatment of data for franchises

Aramark manages a number of franchises as part of their contract with the university. The majority of the purchases made for Aramark-managed franchises flow through Aramark. However, in most cases, franchises stipulate specific products that must be purchased, and these dollar amounts were excluded from this inventory.

(3) Determining if purchases met STARS Criteria

(a) Aramark maintains an ever-expanding database of source information for the food products they purchase. By collecting data directly from suppliers, they are able to ensure accuracy with respect to both the region the ingredients were grown or raised as well as the location of any further processing. Third-party certifications, such as organic, Fairtrade, MSC, etc. are also regularly tracked.

(b) Augustana Campus' Supervisor of Food Services receives information from their primary distributor's list of local products and combines this with information she collects about directly sourced products from smaller distributors, and for third-party certified products.

(c) Since many products in both inventories only had one or two criteria clearly identified, the credit lead worked with Aramark and Augustana Campus Dining Services to collect additional information about the ingredients and companies. This was done by both directly contacting suppliers and by researching companies online.

(4) Seasonal Variations in Produce

For most fresh produce, the primary distributor uses different suppliers depending on the time of year. To account for this, only 10% of these purchases were counted as local and community based. This is noted for these items in the inventory product list.

(5) Convenience Stores

One convenience store operated by the primary dining contractor was included. Convenience stores run by other entities were not included.

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) Yes No
Convenience stores Yes Yes
Vending services Yes No
Concessions Yes No

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

There were a few additional small, independent local companies whose production facilities are local, but whose ingredients didn't fully meet the STARS criteria (DaVinci Gelato, Get Sauced & Spiced, some products by VitalyTeas, and Wow! Factor Desserts).

Their names and products are listed at the bottom of the inventory with this note to clearly identify them.

Purchases from these companies were not included as either Third Party Verified or Local and Community Based unless otherwise noted (VitalyTeas has some products that are Third Party Verified, Certified Organic, that were included; the other companies were not included).

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:


ARAMARK and Dining Services Information:
Lorraine Huntley
Support Services Coordinator
Hospitality Services
Ancillary Services
Facilities & Operations

Shilpi Gupta, Ana Medrano-Chavez, Melisa Garcia and Michael Yarymowich
Aramark Higher Education

Augustana Campus Information:
Lilas Bielopotocky
Supervisor of Food Services
Augustana Campus Dining Services

Shannon Leblanc
Program Team Lead
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.