Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 80.17
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date May 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Victoria
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Megan Chan
Sustainability Intern
Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability
"---" 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 UVic Campus Community Garden hosts a free pop-up farmers’ market, on a semi-regular monthly basis. Campus community members are invited to stop by the booth to chat and fill their paper or reusable bags with fresh, free produce. The aim of the free farmer’s market is to address food insecurity through sustainable gardening while promoting food literacy and awareness. The market is more consistent during warmer times of the year when food is more abundant, as all of the food given away has been grown in the Community Garden.


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:

All UVic Food Services outlets are sustainability-themed and stocked with ethically sourced products such as teas, coffee, chocolate (e.g. Fairtrade), Oceanwise certified seafood, vegetarian and vegan options, and locally made pizzas and baked goods. In particular, Mystic Market's facility aims to be zero waste and has no trash bins, as cafeteria waste is all separated by staff into the appropriate recycling or composting streams

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:

UVic supports several businesses in various ways. In the world of retail, UVic supports SME businesses by selling their products in locations on campus. Companies that have products featured on campus include:

•Deebee’s: This is a local SME that makes organic, natural freezies and fruit pops which can be found in retail locations across the UVic campus. Deebee’s is a woman-owned certified B-Corp, and is committed to authentic, family-friendly and natural ingredients. A portion of proceeds from Deebee’s Organics support a variety of causes related to children’s health, as well as advocacy work with the LGBTQ community.

•Rumble SuperShake: This company is a local SME that produces nourishing drinks for retail. Their product is non-GMO, organic, all natural and Fair Trade certified, and can be found for sale on the UVic campus.

•Zimt Chocolates: Zimt is a local SME company that is proudly woman-owned and is dedicated to making and selling chocolates that are certified organic and vegan, sold in biodegradable packaging. One percent of their sales go towards charities that help those in need from animals to people. Their products are available for sale on the UVic campus.

•Denman Island Chocolate: This company is a local SME whose chocolate is made available for sale on the UVic campus. All of their products are certified organic and Fair Trade, and they aim to take the environment into account for every business decision they make. This includes energy saving tactics such as wrapping their chocolate melter in a cocoa cozy, as well as using recycled and recyclable packaging. Additionally, one percent of their gross sales each year is donated to local groups that support environmental conservation.

Degrees Catering, the official catering unit of UVic Food Services, utilises several local small company’s products when providing food and drinks to UVic functions. This includes goods provided by:

•Salt Spring Coffee: This specialty coffee company is a local SME that provides UVic with organic, Fair Trade coffee for many functions. Their business is a Certified B Corp since 2010 and is committed to sustainable growth through a “quadruple bottom line; people, planet, profit and purpose”. They have made the Certified B Corporation “Best for the World” Honoree list for three consecutive years and donate a portion of their proceeds to sustainable and inclusive projects that directly support coffee farmers and their communities.

•Salt Spring Island Cheese: This local family-owned SME provides cheese for many functions on the UVic campus and is always delicious. All Salt Spring Island Cheese is made by hand using only traditional methods and natural ingredients.

•Natural Pastures Cheese: This local SME’s cheese is featured by Degrees Catering at campus functions. Based out of the Courtenay, BC on their heritage family farm, Natural Pastures Cheese has grown into an award-winning producer of fine cheeses made from cow and water buffalo milk.

•Paradise Island Foods: This local company is a family owned and operated SME that serves UVic delicious cheese products at many functions on campus. This enterprise prides themselves on making cheese from natural and organic Canadian milk with no modified milk ingredients, antibiotics, growth hormones, artificial preservative fillers, or gluten or animal rennet. They have also replaced their trucks with a low emissions fleet to deliver their cheese as sustainably as they can.

In the kitchens across campus, many goods made on site utilise ingredient that come from:

•Portofino Bakery: This local SME provides delicious bread made from natural ingredients across the UVic campus. Their bakery has been designed to reflect the need for improved efficiencies, environmentally friendly production processes, and improved working conditions. They have also recently added two new loaves of bread to their line of products that sources the wheat used in the bread from farms on Vancouver Island.

•Six Mile Bakery: This locally owned and operated Saanich-based company provides fresh bread to multiple UVic campus kitchens.

•Eugene’s: This Victoria-based SME produces authentic traditional Greek food and provides UVic kitchens with their highly sought-after homous that is incorporated into meals or served as a stand-alone dip! To this day Eugene’s is still proudly a family owned and operated enterprise.

•Cakes etc.: Cakes etc. is a local SME that continues to provide UVic with delicious desserts made from dairy sourced from Vancouver Island farms along with fresh fruit grown in neighboring fields.

More information on the SMEs UVic supports can be found on their home websites:
• Deebee’s: https://www.deebeesorganics.com/
• Rumble SuperShake: https://www.drinkrumble.com/
• Zimt Chocolates: https://shopca.zimtchocolates.com/?redirected
• Denman Island Chocolate: https://www.denmanislandchocolate.com/
• Salt Spring Island Coffee: https://www.saltspringcoffee.com/
• Salt Spring Island Cheese: https://saltspringcheese.com/
• Natural Pastures Cheese: http://www.naturalpastures.com/
• Paradise Island Foods: https://paradise-foods.com/
• Portofino Bakery: https://www.portofinobakery.ca/
• Six Mile Bakery: http://www.6milebakery.com/
• Eugene’s: http://www.eugenes.ca/
• Cakes etc.: http://www.cakesetc.ca/

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:

UVic University Food services (UFS), including Degrees Catering, have significantly reduced the amount of waste that is generated during dining events in an effort to lower their negative impact on the environment. They do this by:

•Providing reusable cups, mugs, dishes, cutlery, etc. at nearly all catering events
•Sourcing several food options from small local businesses
•Promoting the use of only recyclable or compostable to-go food containers

The University of Victoria additionally promotes low-impact dining in the following ways:

•Implementation of a reusable “Mug Library” pilot program by the UVic Student Society (UVSS) in the Student Union Building to reduce waste associated with single-use coffee cups
•Providing vegetarian and vegan options at all food outlets across campus as well as listing them first on menus to encourage purchase.
•Providing loyalty cards for the salad bar s, located in Village Greens and at Treks, which offer plant-based protein options to promote consumption of vegetarian and vegan foods

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:

Village Greens is UVic’s dedicated vegan and vegetarian residence dining location that is open to the campus community and provides several different complete-protein meal options. Vegetarian options with complete protein are additionally available at food outlets across campus, with vegan options available at some locations.

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:

All UVic food outlets and cafeterias contain signage and labelling designed to draw consumers’ attention to Fairtrade, organic, and Oceanwise certified products. Label types range from stickers on the food packages themselves to mural-sized decals strategically placed on walls that fall naturally in customer’s line of sight. During catered events, Fairtrade labelling is displayed on all coffee urns and teabag holders. Sustainable food choices for catered events are labelled both on the physical menu as well as the online menu. At multiple coffee vendor locations across campus there are signs promoting the use of reusable mugs by providing discounts to customers who bring their own.

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:

UVic has participated in the “RecycleMania: Campus Race to Zero Waste” competition in which colleges and universities in North America track and report on the amount of recycling and trash collected each week over an 8 week period. This competition includes the tracking of food waste, and schools that generate the least amount of waste are ranked accordingly.

UVic also uses a waste sheet log to monitor the food waste. University Food Services use this log to ensure that they are continuously keeping food waste to a minimum and undergo efforts, such as creating food from leftovers to be served the next day as a new dish while adhering stringently to food safe regulations.

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 UVic, all portion sizes for meals are set by the campus Registered Dietitian and controlled by the food services staff in order to reduce post-consumer food waste and healthy portion sizes. To ensure that any post-consumer waste is properly disposed of, customers place all dishes, utensils, garbage, recycling, food waste, etc. on a portable shelving rack that is periodically removed by food services staff and sorted out into the appropriate waste bins. There are no available trash, recycling or composting bins for customer use on dining hall floors, requiring all waste to go through this system of staff-sorting. This has resulted in a high landfill diversion rate in our dining outlets. Trays are available for customer use if necessary, however they are not commonly used.

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:

UVic Food Services donates leftover food to the student run food bank located in the Student Union Building. They donate untouched food items which often consist of sandwiches, salads and soups.

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:

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

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

UVic Food Services staff compost all organic waste associated with food preparation as well as any prepped food that they are unable to sell or donate. These efforts are largely responsible for much of UVic’s already high and continuously growing waste diversion rate.

UVic is a leader in food waste composting with an estimated 80% of all food waste (including both pre- and post-consumer) on campus being composted, based on the 2018 waste audit. This high diversion rate is largely due to the efforts of food services staff who are mainly in charge of post-consumer waste sorting in food outlets. Additionally, “Sort-it-Out” stations have replaced traditional garbage bins on campus since 2016, making composting and recycling more accessible to campus community members. Use of these stations by campus community members have also been an important contribution to post-consumer food waste diversion rate.

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

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

UVic Food Services staff are responsible for sorting post-consumer waste in campus food outlets, which has been a major contributor to the 80% food waste diversion rate calculated from the 2018 waste audit. There are no available recycling, composting, or garbage bins available for customer use at Food Services outlets and the in the main dining hall in order to ensure as much of the waste as possible is properly sorted by trained Food Services staff.

For any member of the campus community that has chosen to take their food to go, there are also many “Sort-it-Out” stations across campus where customers themselves are able to sort their post consumer waste properly. Each station is equipped with example pictures of specific waste items to guide users and ensure a higher rate of correct waste stream sorting.

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:

All dine-in meals are served with reusable service ware (plates, bowls, cups, mugs, cutlery) at all UVic food outlets. In addition, the UVSS Student Union Building (SUB) as well as Boardwalk Café in Mystic Market have implemented mug-share programs to reduce the use of single use cups for hot beverages.

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:

Almost all containers and service ware provided for “to-go” meals (consisting mainly of soup cups and paper-based clam shells) are certified compostable by a third party, and can be composted in our campus composting program. The remaining to-go containers (consisting mainly of sushi, sandwich, and vegetable snack boxes) are recyclable. In conjunction to the implementation of more sustainable to-go containers, there have also been efforts to change consumer habits to reduce the amount of waste, compost and recycling produced by consumers. These efforts include initiatives such as the “Love-a-Mug” campaign (promoting the use of reusable cups for hot beverages), the “Break Up With Your Paper Cup” campaign (halting the sale of to-go coffee cups for 4 hour periods at the campus’ busiest café), and banning the sale of plastic straws.

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:

All UVic cafes and food service outlets offer discounts when customers bring their own reusable mugs for hot drink purchases. Discounts vary from $0.25 to 10% depending on the outlet. Additionally, two coffee outlets on campus offer a standard price of $1.75 or $2.00 to fill any size reusable mug with drip coffee or tea.

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

UVic promotes diverse food options by providing meal choices that come from a range of cultures across the world. For example, East Asian, Indian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, European, and Halal foods are available at select food outlets across campus. This variety of options reflects the culturally diverse student body and employees present on campus.

Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:



2019 Final Report Sustainability Action Plan: Campus Operations 2014-2019 https://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/assets/docs/reports/2019.11.29_sap-close-out-report-final.pdf

2018 Waste Audit file://netdrive.uvic.ca/budg/Shared/5.%20CAMPUS%20PLANNING/Sustainability/SAP/Waste%20Reduction/Waste%20audit%202018/University%20of%20Victoria%20-%20Waste%20Assessment%20Summary%202018%20(FINAL).pdf

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.