Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.05
Liaison Beverley Ayeni
Submission Date Dec. 11, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Toronto Mississauga
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ahmed Azhari
Director, Utilities & Sustainability
Facilities Management & Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, 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 University of Toronto Mississauga is proud to support the efforts of the Student Union and student volunteers, which organize the ‘Zero Waste Farmers’ Market’. UTM’s Hospitality & Retail Services, (aka H&RS,) department also self-operates urban agriculture projects: an on-site apiary, (ie. bee yard,) and farm walls.

UTM Zero Waste Farmers’ Market - Multiple local stores participate in the annual ‘Zero Waste Farmers’ Market’ event to promote products that are organic, safe to use, and to promote a healthy lifestyle and waste reduction. Zero Waste UTM believes in living in harmony with the environment, and reducing personal waste, and “wants students to know about the carbon footprint they are generating, and making sure people know about the alternative, green products people have to offer.” Later in the day, a panel discussion is held with some of the vendors to discuss the importance of sustainability and using environment-friendly products. The Hospitality and Retail Services department also collaborates with UTM Dining’s Culinary Director, Chef Donna Tobias, to prepare Fair Trade Granola for the farmers’ market, made with UTM’s own honey, produced from the self-operated, on-site, apiary.
UTM Bees - We are committed to protecting the environment and having sustainable food service practices, and are always looking for new and improved ways to contribute to the existing sustainable and environmental programs, and new creative ways to grow. We saw an opportunity with honeybees. Our apiary helps to combat Bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and helps the local environment by introducing the bees to pollinate gardens in the area. This program helps decrease waste and provides an engaging educational opportunity for students and staff alike. Don Forster, our beekeeper, has offered small teaching sessions about tending bees and our UTM Community Kitchen has hosted workshops with recipes in which to use our harvested honey. https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/hospitality/utm-bees

UTM Farm Walls - UTM grows its own herbs and leafy greens. Nestled right in our very own Colman Commons we have seven vertical structures with eight vertical towers in each (56 towers total), and have grown over 298.6 kilos of produce since its inception. We have trained staff who maintain the farm walls and harvest the greens when they are ready for our campus kitchens. All non-branded kitchens on campus have access to our UTM-grown leafy greens and herbs.

Not only are we saving on purchasing, but we are also decreasing the carbon footprint that goes along with mass farming, packaging, and delivery. This method of growing can use up to 99% less water, has no environmental runoff from fertilizers, grows approximately two weeks faster than outdoor agriculture, and uses little to no pesticides and herbicides. It offers a plan to handle future food demands, allows all crops to grow year-round as they are not affected by weather, and it is almost organic-level farming.

We have already grown over 60 types of produce, including kale, lettuce, thyme, arugula, cilantro, peppermint, basil, and parsley and are producing an average of 12.8 kilos of leafy greens and herbs each month. At full capacity, the farm can grow 560 plants (56 towers x 10 plants per tower); of course that will depend on what is growing. Each plant has a lifespan of about 5-7 harvests, which is usually a couple of months. https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/hospitality/all-about-utm-farm-walls

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 Fair Trade Corner in the newly built Davis Building Food Court and the Fair Trade Café in the Maanjiwe Nendamowinan Building Grand Hall have been installed to operate as sustainability-themed outlets.

The Fair Trade Corner and Fair Trade Café are specifically themed to offer sustainable and Canadian Fairtrade certified products. Additionally, all campus food outlets provide sustainable food choices: The Northside Bistro and Oscar Peterson Hall Residence Dining also serve only fair trade certified coffees, teas, cinnamon, sugar and chocolate.

The Fair Trade Cafe, located in the grand hall of the Maajiwe Nendamowinan building, is an outlet that serves to highlight and encourage the purchase of fair trade options. The Fair Trade cafe carries Fair Trade coffee, bagged tea, loose leaf tea, 3 different options of Fair Trade chocolate bars, and Fair trade sugar. The Fair Trade Cafe also carries baked goods, sandwiches, and soups.

The integrity and credibility of UTM’s food service sustainability efforts were recognized this year as the first Fairtrade ‘Silver’ certified campus in Canada and additionally honoured with the ‘Fairtrade Trailblazer’ award.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor support disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through its food and beverage purchasing?:

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:

Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:

. ‘Meatless Mondays’ are promoted weekly through the school year. We also proudly collaborate with the Sustainability Week Organizing Team to participate in the annually held, ‘Sustainability Week’. The Conference and Event coordinators regularly arrange dining functions with an emphasis on plant-forward menus. H&RS has partnered with Forward Food to broaden the availability of plant-based choices. H&RS also hosted the Plant-Based Food Summit, Fall 2020.

Every week of the school year on ‘Meatless Mondays’, students, staff and faculty are encouraged to make vegetarian selections which are clearly promoted at each station. During ‘Sustainability Week’, every food station and outlet highlights their respective Chef’s recommended plant-forward options. As a further incentive for customers to make a plant-forward choice on the Meatless Monday that falls within Sustainability Week, a discount of $1.00 is applied to meatless feature selections. More information can be found here about Meatless Mondays: https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/hospitality/hospitality-retail-services-social-responsibility

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:

Chartwells offers vegan and/or vegetarian meals at every meal period and grace periods across campus throughout all of the outlets - branded or non-branded. (Depending on the outlet and their particular vegan options, an accompanying complete protein may not always be present.)
Our Fusion 8 outlet was created especially to provide a customizable meal with a full range of vegan options while addressing the most common dietary restrictions and food allergies of our community.
Over the years, we at Hospitality & Retail Services have had more and more UTM community members come forward with dietary restrictions and vegan preferences. Through allergen training, safe-handling food practices, improved signage, food labelling, and increased availability of nutritional information in each food service outlet, Fusion 8 is equipped to deal with specific vegan needs and a variety of dietary restrictions. https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/hospitality/fusion-5-canadas-first-certified-gluten-free-university-food-service-outllet

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labelling and signage in dining halls?:

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

Educational signage, labelling and materials are located throughout all dining outlets to inform and support guests when making their meal choices.

The UTM H&RS’s department’s Marketing & Communications Strategist is dedicated to informing and reminding the community of our sustainability practices through a variety of tools - social media, print material and banners, countertop signage and floor decals, digital screens throughout the campus, sustainability talks with featured guests, and the website. Additionally, U of T’s corporate communications office assists in spreading the word of our sustainability initiatives through broader tri-university channels. Our dining services contractor, Chartwells, also employs a Marketing Manager on-site, who also promotes their sustainability efforts on campus through their channels -retail labelling, (see below,) signage, social media, website, etc.
We also notably collaborate with suppliers dedicated to the transformation of lives through their sustainable impact. An example: Doi Chaang, the primary supplier of our coffee product at all of the non-branded locations, works jointly with us to promote sustainability through a number of marketing initiatives such as our Fair Trade Market and merchandising materials emphasizing sustainability. The Fairtrade Canada logo is also prominently displayed at outlets such as the Fair Trade Corner and Fair Trade Café. We work closely with the Canadian Fair Trade Network to ensure we always have informative marketing assets available at all our dining outlets where Fair Trade products are available.

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:

Chartwells’ and UTM’s Commitment to Stop Food Waste
Stop Food Waste Day is part of our ongoing commitment to reduce 25 percent of current food waste by 2021. While Chartwells is well on its way to meeting that goal, during this year’s activities students were encouraged to take a pledge to stop wasting food. Chartwells also empowered the food service staff, H&RS, and students to be “food-waste warriors” by spreading the word and educating others about this important mission.

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:

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:

The dining services contractor has donated food and H&RS has also provided substantial support for the food bank operations.
A brief description of the food donation program:
UTM H&RS supports the student-operated food bank by donating space for them to operate outside of the Student Centre.and supplying fridges and storage equipment at no expense.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

The H&RS department is committed to decreasing our negative impact on the environment and continue to look for ways to sustainably dispose of, and reduce, our various kitchen’s waste.

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
Two initiatives currently in place are:
1. We sell our used cooking oil to a company who recycles it for bio-diesel, (a clean-burning fuel.)
2. We have a monthly grease trap service/collection reducing the amount of FOG (fats, oils, and grease) released into the municipal wastewater stream

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

We have installed a macerator in Colman Commons/OPH, (i.e. student’s residence dining,) and the Davis Building.

Our macerators chop and dewater the pre-consumer organic byproducts of food service such as fruit, vegetables, and meat trimmings (kitchen waste), and creates a slurry which can be used to create compost. The macerated organic waste is picked up by a company that uses the byproduct to turn it into renewable energy, compost, soil amendments or other natural products. Our organic food waste output has decreased by an estimated 50%.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

A Sustainability Waste Room has been installed in Colman Commons/Oscar Peterson Hall to separate post-consumer waste, i.e. waste, compost, paper, and liquid, specifically for the purpose of composting.

While ultimately we do not have any control over where students, staff, and faculty put their waste, we do our very best to help educate them so that they can dispose of their waste recyclables correctly.
In March, 2019, the waste room in Colman Commons/OPH, (i.e. student’s residence dining area,) was redesigned to provide physical examples of ‘what goes where’ in order to educate and avoid any areas of confusion. The actual food/beverage and packaging items available on campus, have been emptied, sanitized, and attached to the walls directly above as samples for the various waste streams where they are to be disposed. A sink has also been installed for liquid waste with a strainer to catch the solids in order to ensure proper disposal.

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:

UTM Dining Services utilizes reusable service wares in student’s residence dining and catering. Also, H&RS distributes reusable service ware to community members free of charge, for use while “dining in” to encourage waste reduction.

In order to decrease the amount of waste from single-use plates, cups and cutlery, we use china, reusable hard plastic cups or glassware, and metal silverware exclusively in the residence dining services and catering functions on campus. We also have bins and buckets set up in the waste room for all like-style plates, bowls, cutlery, and cups for efficient dishwashing (- fewer cycles = less water and soap.)
Additionally we have a “BYOC” program, which stands for ‘Bring Your Own Cup/Container’. In an effort to support other departments in affecting change we have offered to provide any department with as many china mugs as they need, so that every member of the team has one. By using reusable china mugs, we are reducing the number of single-use coffee and teacups, and lids thrown away.
Staff and faculty are able to bring their reusable china mugs when they purchase beverages at any food service locations (and get a discount) and whenever they enjoy a beverage in their office.

As of the fall of 2013, UTM banned the sale of single use plastic water bottles. To ensure the community still has ample access to clean drinking water whenever they need it, UTM added new water bottle filling fountains across campus and upgraded existing water fountains. The design of the new water fountains is such that community members can conveniently and easily fill their reusable bottles without any spillage.

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 non-branded food service locations are equipped with compostable takeout containers. When disposed of correctly they are able to breakdown into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass in small pieces in about 90 days. As of 2018, UTM non-branded food service locations banned the use of plastic single-use straws. They have been replaced with paper straws, which are recyclable. Customers are encouraged to ‘go strawless’ by only providing the paper straws upon their request.

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

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

We are committed to reducing waste on campus. Part of how we are doing that is by encouraging the use of reusable beverage cups & food containers both on- and off-campus. To incentivize students, faculty, and staff to ‘BYOC’, (Bring Your Own Cup,) we are providing a discount at all food service locations:
• Fair Trade tea and coffee: 25 ¢ off (Available at the Davis Food Court, North Side Bistro, Fair Trade Café, and Colman Commons/OPH)
• Second Cup: 25 ¢ discount on tea and coffee
• Starbucks: 10 ¢ discount on tea and coffee
• Tim Hortons: 10 ¢ discount on tea and coffee

In order to drive awareness of the discounts and to encourage everyone to use reusable mugs, Hospitality & Retail Services has given away over 1,500 reusable mugs to the community. We have also given out 500 reusable cold beverage and 500 reusable warm beverage Starbucks cups.
In the 2019/2020 semester year we have given over 4,400 ‘BYOC’ discounts!


A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:

Our Food Service partner, Chartwells, orders products in small batches in order to decrease food waste and spoilage. They work closely with brands to understand best practices to ensure all ingredients are being treated in the best way to keep them fresh and edible.

Some of the sustainability commitments our dining services contractor is expected to meet at UTM are as follows:
 Become a Fair Trade-designated campus within 6 months of the commencement of the contract (- First Canadian campus to receive Fairtrade ‘Silver’ certification.)
 Recycle 100% of fryer oil
 Advocate recycling, composting, and waste management in all UTM locations
 Offer discounts to customers who use reusable beverage containers and will offer reusable beverage containers for sale
 Implement daily green cleaning programs in all UTM University locations
 Source paper napkins and paper towels made from 100% recycled content
 Source paper cup products from a minimum of 25% recycled content
 Train food service staff on waste management and reduction strategies
 Use bulk condiment dispensers where possible
 Continue to use environmentally preferable packaging in all units
 Adhere to the UTM’s bottled water policy at all times and in all units

Local & Ethical Food Sourcing
Buy Local Program - The Buy Local program offers quality-assured, fresh, locally-sourced and produced (within the province, or 50km of the province) food, from community-based, local vendors.

Eggs - Chartwells uses only Free Run eggs from local producer, Wholefarm, in our three largest food service outlets, the Colman Commons residence students’ dining room in Oscar Peterson Hall, the North Side Bistro in Deerfield Hall, and in the Davis Food Court in the William G. Davis building.

Energy Efficient Equipment
We source and purchase Energy Star Rated equipment for food services wherever possible on campus. This method of selection considers both energy and water usage. The type of equipment we are able to select based on these considerations are refrigerators, cooking equipment, & dishwashers.
Additionally, in food service locations, we source and install LED lighting, not simply for aesthetics, but particularly for energy efficiency within our kitchens and dining spaces.

UTM Green Cleaning
Chartwells uses environmentally friendly cleaning products to avoid harmful chemicals in food service locations.

Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs 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.