|Submission Date||March 29, 2018|
University of Ottawa
OP-8: Sustainable Dining
|2.00 / 2.00||
Dietitian and Food Liaison Officer
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
The University of Ottawa's primary Food Service provider, Chartwells, does not have a specific dining sustainability policy but they do have several food service policies that relate directly to sustainability (Food chain supply policies) and they do have an environmental policy that each staff member must sign every year.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
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?:
A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
"The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa organizes farmers markets on campus.
Health Promotions and Food Services work together to offer a local, organic CSA on campus during the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons."
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?:
A brief description of the vegan dining program:
The Dining Hall offers vegan and vegetarian entrees throughout the dining hall, such as veggie burgers at the Grill, tofu options in the Made-to-order pasta station and soy and almond milk consistently available. Furthermore, there are contractual obligations for minimum numbers of vegan soups, stews and vegan proteins.
Otherwise, a wide variety of vegetarian/vegan items are available in most locations on campus. Most food items are identified with logos or complete ingredient information to let consumers know if they contain no meat, fish, poultry or shellfish. Satellite locations do their own signage/promotion differently, but all are required to do so to some degree.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
A brief description of the low impact dining events:
Food Services hosts a variety of events to bring awareness to food issues and to deal specifically with food waste and alternatives.
Environment Week - Food Services hosted a low impact dining event each semester, offering alternatives to beef and meat substitutes in the dining hall to raise awareness about the impacts of our food choices.
Love Food Not Waste - Food Services hosted week long events each semester encouraging dinners to waste less food by trying samples and taking smaller portions in a greater frequency. Individuals were rewarded by their peers for their good behaviour with stickers. The equivalent of the value of diverted food waste was donated to a local charity to reinforce the message that reducing waste helps everyone.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:
Aside from the two low carbon menus per year and the post-consumer waste reduction campaign described above, we held these events:
Food Services also does vegetable food skill demos once a month where they showcase local and seasonal vegetables around a theme. The most recent themes were squashes, and heirloom vegetables from a local producer.
We also invite local restauranteurs in to partner with local food producers for a “Local Talent” event; the chefs build their entrée around locally produced ingredients.
We also invited in a local traditional ice cream maker into the dining hall for Valentine’s day.
As part of Fair Trade campus week, we served FT ice cream from Ben and Jerry's
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
The University of Ottawa's Student Federation operats the Café Alt, which provides students with healthy food options, fair trade and organic products,
as well as foods that meet the needs of different diets such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:
Fair Trade labelling of coffees, teas and chocolates on products and signage to explain what Fair Trade is and how it impacts workers and the environment.
MSC signage in the dining hall to remind people to chose MSC fish.
Signage to indicate vegan and vegetarian options.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:
Food Services works with various food related groups on campus to promote and support research and dialogue.
uOttawa FoodLab - group dedicated to working on food insecurity issues on campus and broadly.
uOttawa Community Garden - group working on growing food on campus for use by the local community.
uOttawa Food policy group - group dedicated to created a food policy on campus that addresses sustainability and insecurity issues.
Student Volunteer placements engage students in the waste reduction campaigns and Fair Trade initiatives.
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)?:
A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:
Health and Wellness - Food Services work with campus partners to promote healthier food options. There are information kiosks available in the dining hall and online to help guide choices about healthy options. A Dietitian and Food Liaison Officer has also been hired on staff to work specifically on health and sustainability issues.
Culturally diverse options – All whole chicken, beef and lamb served in the dining hall is Halal. We opened the first Quesada restaurant in Canada serving Halal chicken and beef. Our dining hall has a station permanently dedicated to international cuisine; while this may be tacos or butter chicken, it also includes bisteeya, tagines, and traditional staples like mesir wat, an Ethiopian red lentil stew.
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?:
A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
Food Services has programs that address the front and back of house waste management operations.
Food preparation is closely monitored to ensure that items are used well before their best before date. A program also exists to donate some foods to a local soup kitchen (St-Joe's supper table).
Food Services also organizes a program to help reduce food wasted by the consumer (Love Food Not Waste). Food that is not consumed near the end of the day is also donated to charities.
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?:
A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:
At the University of Ottawa, Food Services strives to reduce the impact of food waste on the environment. By eliminating trays, we not only contribute to reduced food waste but also encourage students to take the time to savour each bite, which can also help them develop healthier eating habits. Over time, trayless dining will also reduce the use of water, electricity and dish soap, helping to contribute to an overall more eco-friendly environment.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
A brief description of the food donation program:
Food that is nearing its 'best before date' is collected by our food service provider and donated to local charities. This program currently applies to food offered through our food service provider and food in our vending machines.
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)?:
A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
Cooking oil from the kitchen and satellite locations is recycled into biofuel. All food waste (pre and post-consumer) is composted. Compost bins are located throughout the kitchen and dining hall, and all food waste is collected by Tomlinson Environmental Services for composting off campus.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:
Staff in the kitchen areas are trained and equipped with bins to compost the cast-aways from the food preparation process.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:
Compost bins are are installed in the dining hall and food service areas for consumers to compost any materials they may have.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:
A brief description of the reusable service ware program:
The main dining hall is equipped with reusable cutlery, glassware, and dining ware. No disposable service ware is available in the dining hall.
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)?:
A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
All to-go meal containers are compostable.
Our contract specifies that all locations on campus use cups and covers should be made of recycled and recyclable materials, and single use items will be recyclable or compostable, including napkins, plates, forks, knives, clear dome containers, and hot hinged food take away containers. Specifically, napkins, forks, knives, spoons, paper plates, and paper cups are compostable.
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?:
A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
All food service locations on campus offer a discount on coffee if you bring a reusable mug. Discounts are not offered for other reusable 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)?:
A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
With the introduction of the new dining hall, Food Services opted to create a completely Waste Free Dining Hall. Food Services worked with our food service provider to eliminate all packaging and single use materials from the dining hall and so only organic materials are left as a form of waste.
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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