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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.67
Liaison Trina Innes
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Dolores March
General Manager
Hospitality Services, Ancillary Services
"---" 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:

ARAMARK SUSTAINABILITY COMMITMENT
http://www.liveitgood.ca/sustainability/Our-Commitment.html

The institution's primary dining contractor, Aramark, has committed to sourcing and serving more responsible and sustainable foods. This includes purchasing more local, ecological and humane foods, sustainable seafood and Fair Trade and Rain Forest Alliance certified products.

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS SUSTAINABLE FOOD POLICY
https://www.ualberta.ca/augustana/about-us/departments-offices-and-units/lab/sustainability/campus-initiatives/food.

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.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
No

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?:
Yes

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:

FARMERS' MARKET
http://su.ualberta.ca/services/sustainsu/projects/farmersmarket/

Hosted by the Students' Union, the University of Alberta Farmers' Market is open to the public and runs weekly from September to April. The market gives the university community easy access to local businesses, products, and food. Customers can directly engage with the people who raise, grow or make their food or create or design goods and crafts.

Simultaneously, the market sheds light on issues of food security, sustainable business practices and food production. Sustain SU's educational efforts included hosting other sustainability-related organizations at the market and encouraging market attendees to engage with the vendors, to ask questions and learn about what they do.

COMMUNITY GARDENS
The university's south campus is home to several community gardens, whose members include both university and non-university affiliated volunteers.

PRAIRIE URBAN FARM
http://www.prairieurbanfarm.ca/

The Prairie Urban Farm (PUF) is a one-acre, mixed crop, community food system. PUF believes the lack of resilience of current agri-food systems is a serious concern. PUF aims to demonstrate and provide skill-building opportunities in alternative, regenerative ways of growing food in an urban context. By giving community members access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food, PUF is strengthening Edmonton's food security.

GREEN AND GOLD GARDEN
http://www.greengoldgarden.com/

The Green & Gold Community Garden is a community garden with a difference - a garden with both local and global benefits. The garden is run by volunteers and their produce is grown using organic gardening practices, with no pesticides or herbicides. The garden is open to the public during twice-weekly markets, when freshly picked produce is available for a donation based on fair market prices. All of the proceeds go towards supporting the Tubahumurize Association in Rwanda.

EDMONTON ORGANIC GROWERS GUILD
http://eogg.org/

The Edmonton Organic Growers Guild (EOGG) is an organic community farm where members work year-round to sow, nurture, harvest, donate (and enjoy!) produce straight from the garden. EOGG use a variety of growing techniques, including raised beds and a hoop house for more controlled environments. Composting bins are also on site. Produce goes to members and various local non-profit organizations to help feed those in need.


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:

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS DINING SERVICES

In addition to vegan and vegetarian options, Augustana Campus Dining Services offers halal, paleo, low-fat, vegetarian, vegan, celiac-friendly and lactose-free diets, and can accomodate students with any other allergy. Students with specialty diets are consulted at the beginning of the school year and meals are planned to fit.

The dining hall offers three meals a day plus snacks. For each meal, specialty diet options are indicated on the menu. The salad bar offers a diversity of vegetables as well as vegetarian and vegan-friendly protein options, including beans, whole grains, cottage cheese and hard-boiled eggs.

ARAMARK

Aramark's Get the Good Stuff program is an easy wayfinding tool that helps customers quickly identify items with reduced sodium, fat and calories. This program was expanded to include signage and menu labels for vegetarian, vegan meals.


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:

ARAMARK

Aramark hosts an annual food-waste prevention week where educational materials are placed in the dining hall(s) promoting meatless meals, sustainability and seasonal vegetables.


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:

ARAMARK

Aramark holds monthly theme buffets in Lister Market. These events keep sustainability in mind, with a focus on fresh vegetables and other locally produced ingredients. Theme meals may include international food or build-your-own meals (e.g. rice bowls, tacos or pizza).

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS DINING SERVICES

Augustana Campus dining hall offers at least one "local lunch" per month, where all the food served is locally-sourced at no additional cost.


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:

FILISTIX
https://filistix.com/

FiliStix is an Edmonton-based company focused on local, fresh, sustainable ingredients, offering both meat-based and vegetarian options each day. There are two locations on North Campus, hosted via the university's primary dining contractor, Aramark.


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:

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS DINING SERVICES

A rotating display in Augustana Campus dining hall identifies examples of local ingredients. This display changes depending on the menu offerings, and is updated for the periodic "local lunch" theme meal. Signs for Fairtrade coffee, tea and chocolate are posted in the dining hall and cafe.

ARAMARK

Displays in Lister Market highlight information on local food purchases, sustainable options such as cage-free eggs, and MSC-certified seafood. Signage indicates which dishes and ingredients are local and sustainable. Aramark's Get the Good Stuff program is an easy wayfinding tool that helps customers quickly identify items with reduced sodium, fat and calories. This program was expanded to include signage and menu labels for localvegetarian, vegan, halal, and sustainable seafood.


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:

SUSTAINABLE FOOD WORKING GROUP
http://sustainability.ualberta.ca/OurApproach/InstitutionWideApproach/Working%20Groups.aspx

Established in 2015, the Sustainable Food Working Group consists of members from across the university and its dining services operations. Part of the working group's mandate is to educate about the benefits of participating in a sustainable food system.

In fall 2016, the working group organized two events: a workshop explaining sustainable food attributes combined with a cooking class where students learned to use every part of a pumpkin; and a panel discussion (featuring academics and an industry representative) on the greenhouse gas emissions related to food choices.

FARM TO FRIDGE WORKSHOP
http://sustainability.ualberta.ca/workshops

The Office of Sustainability offers a workshop to university groups called "Farm to Fridge." The workshop explains the sustainable attributes of different foods and provides tips on how to reduce the social and environmental impacts of personal food choices. From May 2016 to June 2017, 94 students and staff attended the workshop.


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:

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS DINING SERVICES

Dietary Options: In addition to vegan and vegetarian meals, Augustana Campus Dining Services offers halal, paleo, low-fat, vegetarian, vegan, celiac-friendly and lactose-free diets, and can accomodate students with any other allergy. Students with specialty diets are consulted at the beginning of the school year and meals are planned to fit. The dining hall offers three meals a day plus snacks. For each meal, specialty diet options are indicated on the menu.

Healthy Options: The kitchens use trans fat-free oil in their deep fryers and offer low-fat options with all meals. The salad bar is available with all lunches and dinners and always includes options like cottage cheese, beans and fresh vegetables. Whole grain breads and pastas are on offer. Whole fruit and cereal (both high and low sugar cereals), skim and 2% milk, and pure fruit juice are available at all meals. For beverages, skim and 2% milk, as well as pure fruit juice are available.

ARAMARK

Aramark institutes several sustainability initiatives into their company-wide plans. Green Stakes™ are Aramark Higher Education’s national commitments to affect positive sustainable change. As part of their environmental stewardship program, Aramark develops unique solutions for their campus partners, and commits to elevating environmental commitments to all of their 500+ Higher Education accounts. Aramark purchases paper products with recycled content and aim to increase their sustainable food offerings by 5% each year.


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

Aramark has revamped its environmental sustainability platform, Green Thread, to include a new sustainable partnership with food waste monitoring company LeanPath. The University of Alberta was the first Aramark location in Western Canada to implement this new program. It applies to all Aramark-operated North Campus food service locations.

Through LeanPath's easy to use, automated system, Aramark is able to more accurately and consistently monitor food waste, and then identify and make operational changes to reduce waste. These efficiencies reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that would have resulted from the unnecessary production and disposal of wasted food. Consistent data will also allow benchmarking, target-setting, and progress tracking over time. While LeanPath helps to reduce food waste at the source, Aramark also participates in the university's organics collection program to divert residual food waste from landfill when it cannot be otherwise avoided.


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:

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS DINING SERVICES

Augustana Campus's cafeteria has been trayless for approximately 5 years. This program reduces the amount of chemical cleaning agents required, and saves half a gallon of water for every tray that does not have to be cleaned. Because students tend to take only what they can eat, instead of overloading their trays, the program also reduces food waste by approximately 30%.


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:

ECO MOVE OUT
http://sustainability.ualberta.ca/ecomove

Students moving out of residences are encouraged to recycle or donate whatever they no longer need through the Eco Move Out (EMO) program. Food is collected during EMO in two different ways:

(1) Residents drop off non-perishable food (e.g. canned goods, unopened packaged goods) at EMO donation stations in their residences. The food is collected and then distributed to the Campus Food Bank (http://campusfoodbank.com/).

(2) EMO staff and volunteers recover frozen, unopened packages of food from residence freezers and donate them to Youth Empowerment and Support Services (http://www.yess.org/).

EMO is a program of the Office of Sustainability, Residence Services, and Facilities and Operations.

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS LEFTOVERS

Instead of donating leftovers, Augustana Campus Dining Services uses leftovers in the buffet or as ingredients for soups and stews.

FUTURE PLANS

The university's Sustainability Plan identifies a food donation program as one strategy to make progress towards a more sustainable food system. To that end, the Sustainable Food Working Group has identified the development of a food donation program as a project for 2017-18; this program is in the early research phase.


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

REDUX
http://www.reduxprogram.com/

Redux, a program of Northern Alberta Processors, collects used cooking oil from the University of Alberta. This oil is either converted into animal feed products or into biodiesel.


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:

NORTH CAMPUS

Organic waste is collected from all food preparation areas on North Campus (with the exception of a small handful of franchise locations). Organics are collected in the kitchens, amalgamated at the university's on-site recycle tranfer station, and then hauled to a local composting facility. The program accepts organic waste including: fruit and vegetable scraps, meat and dairy products, tea leaves, coffee grounds and filters, and paper towels and parchment paper.


AUGUSTANA CAMPUS

At Augustana Campus, organics are collected in rolling carts and picked up by the university's contracted waste hauler for composting at the local Camrose facility. This facility cannot accept meat or dairy products. Food service supervisors are actively engaged in monitoring what goes into the organics containers to ensure only appropriate food waste is collected.


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:

ZERO WASTE ORGANICS COLLECTION
http://sustainability.ualberta.ca/zerowaste

The University of Alberta has made several commitments to implement and increase post-consumer composting collection.

Starting in 2018, the university has committed to sending 1,500 metric tonnes (1.5 million kg) of organics per year to the City of Edmonton’s new anaerobic digestion facility where it will be used to produce energy and compost. In the Sustainability Plan (2016-2020), the university aims to divert 90% of the university’s waste from landfill by 2020 and to continue to reduce waste per weighted campus user.

Partly in order to implement post-consumer organics collection, the university has adopted a "zero waste" approach to reducing the amount of waste the university creates and sends to landfills. The zero waste approach includes deploying four-stream collection bins across the university (the bins collect mixed paper, recyclables, organics, and landfill waste).

In June 2017, eight buildings are fully using the zero waste bins. The first buildings to receive the new bins included food service outlets: Lister Hall, the Students' Union Building, and HUB Mall. With the next five buildings, several office and classroom facilities now have post-consumer organics collection.

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS

There are bins for collecting organic waste and recycling throughout Augustana Campus. In addition, the available take-out containers are compostable.


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:

LISTER HALL RESIDENCE

Lister Market uses reusable bamboo serviceware, which has greatly reduced waste and costs associated with disposable dishes.

REUSABLE DISH PROGRAM

Since 2003, the Students' Union has operated a reusable dish service open to all university affiliates. The service rents out more than 10,000 items annually for meetings and events.

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS

Only reusable glass dishware and metal utensils are available for dine-in meals in the Augustana Campus 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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:

ARAMARK

All Aramark-operated food service locations exclusively use compostable take-out containers, and compostable cutlery is available at many locations. In Lister Market, take-out containers are only available upon request and are compostable.

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS DINING SERVICES

The Café and any catered events at Augustana Campus use Earthware brand. Take-out meals from the dining hall are largely discouraged; it is only possible with a reusable take-out container that students must pay a $20 deposit to use. Approximately 30 of these containers are rented out each year.


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:

ARAMARK

Customers with a reusable mug receive a 10 cent discount at retail coffee operated by Aramark.

STUDENTS' UNION

The Students’ Union offers reusable plates in the Students' Union Building (SUB) food court. Anyone with a reusable mug or dishware can receive a 10 to 25 cent discount in the SUB food court.

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS
Customers with a reusable mug receive a 10 cent discount at the Augustana Campus Café. Only reusable containers are provided in the Augustana Campus dining hall.


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:

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS DINING SERVICES

In the Augustana Campus dining hall, students can pay a $20 deposit for a reusable to-go container. Generally, these containers are the only method accepted for taking food out of the dining hall. The only exception is in rare circumstances where a student needs to leave campus or cannot make a mealtime (for example, if a student is ill), in which case a request for bagged lunch can be submitted.

In addition, Augustana uses only bulk milk,cream and condiments in the cafeteria as an additional waste-reduction measure.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Additional Responsible Parties:

Lorraine Huntley
Support Services Coordinator
Hospitality Services

Troy Bender, Shilpi Gupta, and Michael Yarymowich
Aramark Higher Education

Destyni Deluca and Christopher Avelar
Students' Union and Sustain SU

Jessie Kwasny
Waste Diversion / Recycling Supervisor
Buildings and Grounds Services, Facilities and Operations

Lilas Bielopotocky
Supervisor of Food Services
Augustana Campus Dining Services

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.