Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.45
Liaison Tori Grant
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Calgary
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Megan Wibberley
Manager, Operational Sustainability and Reporting
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

The University of Calgary aims to be a leader in sustainable and healthy
dining service practices. Our food services provider works to create practical solutions to help its employees and clients minimize environmental impacts of its operations and in its local communities. They have created an enterprise-wide environmental sustainability platform that focuses on responsible purchasing, efficient operations, waste minimization and fleet management. Additionally, the University of Calgary Institutional Sustainability Strategies confirms that the University of Calgary aims to be a leader in sustainable and healthy dining service practices.


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:

The Urban Cultivator is our indoor garden located in The Landing. We’ve teamed up with the UofC garden club to grow herbs and microgreens that we use in our dishes and in our meals-to-go. We also do an Urban Cultivator event on Wednesdays where our chefs create small samples which features herbs from the Urban Cultivator, in order to educate students while giving them fresh and healthy foods.

The Campus Community Garden produces food for use by the garden plot holders. During garden season weekly communal events share produce grown.


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:

The University Farmers Market aims to connect the campus community to local food products, in order to spark a dialogue about sustainable food options, food security, and food-focused foundations and exhibitors.


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:

Our food services provider supplies vegan meal options for each meal period including complete proteins in every outlet and catering.


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 Wednesday hor d'oeuvres are served to students using produce from our urban cultivator. Additionally, we celebrate Fair Trade week annually by hosting events on campus. Students are able to bring mugs to these events and fill them with fair trade coffee or tea.


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:

A student club named Campus Community Kitchen was formed to teach students sustainable life skills in a residential setting. Students collaborate to cook large group meals. Using the Crowsnest Hall residential space, the club conducted 6 events in the 2015/2016 academic year, teaching over 120 students how to cook. When appropriate, the club provided organic ingredients for cooking and composted all scraps. Low impact choices and dietary restrictions were also accounted for in vegetarian and halal options. In addition, some events were themed around certain cuisines, such as Asian or Middle Eastern, to introduce students to diversity through food.

The Value Meal is geared towards students who place a high importance on nutrition and value. The Value Meal comes from our Healthy Kitchen station, which follows Canada Food Guide portions and standards. Each Value Meal includes an entrée and a vegetable side and changes daily. Our goal was to create healthy meals that are full of flavour and are affordable for our students.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:

Teaja Organic provides 100% organic teas, herbal blends, and wellness tisanes, directly and ethically sourced for their superior quality and purity as well as offering a variety of organic sourced food options.


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:

As part of the signage at the main cafeteria, on-site catering and in several other areas, organic, vegan and locally sourced foods are clearly identified through signage. In addition, healthy choices such as fruit and vegetarian options have high visibility within the dining hall.


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:

To support the university’s mandate to be a learning lab, Aramark provides data and support to students on projects on an as-needed basis. Aramark also promotes it Live Plus mobile app twice per week to students via a booth. A sustainability booth is also a regular presence and focuses on promoting healthy samples, MSC and Fairtrade certified food.


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:

Our food services provider hosts regular international food events where menus follow a cultural theme called “Goods from other Hoods”. Launched in 2016, the event raises awareness about cultural diversity on campus and helps create a sense of community and taste of home comforts for international students. Additionally, the Students' Union Wellness Centre facilitates student consultations with a dietitian.


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 trains kitchen staff to maximize use of fruits and vegetables and to compost the scraps. All fryer oil from dining services is recycled. Pre-consumer waste is sorted and measured on an ongoing basis.


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 are no trays available in the dining centre. As well, smaller plates are available to encourage portion control in the new "All You Care To Eat" program.


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:

UCalgary has partnered with Leftovers, an organization that works as an in-between for charities and food providers, to ensure extra food doesn’t rot in our compost but nourishes bodies of those who need it. University of Calgary Food Services and Aramark donate extra food safely and efficiently to two local charities: Made by Momma and Antyx Community Arts.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
---

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:

Our Zero Waste program includes pre-consumer and post-consumer organics collection. The 40+ food vendor locations throughout campus have been set up with the appropriate bins and collection units. Organic material is brought to pick-up points on campus typically located at building loading docks alongside other waste streams. Our waste hauler collects the organics and brings them to a local processor for composting.


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:

Our Zero Waste program includes pre-consumer and post-consumer organics collection. The 40+ food vendor locations throughout campus have been set up with the appropriate bins and collection units. At our dining centre, there is only compost available to consumers. No packaging or take-away items are available.


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:

Dine-in cups, silverware, plates and bowls are provided.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:

The dining centre offers only an "eat-in" option now with the "All You Care to Eat" program. There are no take-away options or packaging offered.

Vendors in MacEwan Hall (under the Students’ Union operational control) are required to use compostable clamshells for take-out orders.


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:

The University has a number of vendors on campus that offer a discount for customers who use reusable mugs. A money back exchange is also operated with eco containers.


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:

All large institutional events are waste free. Menus are designed with waste elimination in mind. Additionally, our food services provider leads collections for the SU Foodbank twice per year.


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.