Our approach to sustainability is simple: we’re committed to looking after each other, so that together, we can look after the planet.
Here’s how we plan to reach our second goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions:
Climate Awareness Campaigns
Once per semester, we team up with the Concordia Sustainability to run the Climate Awareness campaign in a bid to educate the Concordia community about how a plant-based diet—made up primarily of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and other vegetarian sources of proteins, and meat only occasionally—can significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions:
During the campaign, our dining halls and retail locations featured new dishes and promotional materials, such as menu signage that include a Reduced Carbon Emission logo—created by students in Concordia Professor Jordan Lebel’s winter 2021 Marketing of Food course—to identify dishes that have lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions, thereby prompting community members to choose an environmentally friendly option.
Our purchasing decisions can have significant impact on the Earth and our climate. That’s why we aim to keep sourcing sustainably by increasing our support of suppliers whose methods of production strive to achieve concrete and sustainable development with our natural resources and ecosystems.
We focus on animal welfare, wild-caught and farmed seafood produced using sustainable methods, products that promote fair and equitable global trade, and even minimizing climate change by avoiding products that contribute to deforestation.
Offer Fairtrade certified menu items
In support of the university’s Fairtrade campus certification, we offer and highlight the benefits of choosing Fairtrade products, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas and sugar, across residence and retail dining and catering. We also take part in Concordia’s Fairtrade Campus Week during which we feature promotions and hold engagement activities in our retail locations and residence dining halls.
Serve MSC certified products
We offer Marine Steward Council (MSC)-certified products, which contribute to maintaining the health of our oceans and protecting seafood supplies for future generations. In fact, most of our recipes contain seafood drawn from sustainable sources that are certified by third-party organizations, such as MSC or Ocean Wise.
Buy local produce and products
During the fall, we visit local growers, such as the one at McGill University’s Macdonald Campus Farm, to add freshly picked fruits, vegetables and herbs to add to our menus. We also collaborate closely with local suppliers to make available their products and meals to Concordia community members.
Minimize food waste
Our strategy to combat food waste, which begins well before waste is generated, includes menu planning and portion forecasting. For the unavoidable waste that is generated in our back-of-house operations, we rely on the latest technology to help us track trends and set targets for improvement.
We’ve witnessed first-hand how unnecessary packaging contributes to waste volumes, and we’ve significantly reduced single-use plastics by removing items such as straws and stirrers from our operations. We will continue to eliminate or reduce additional categories of plastics, as well as introduce compostable and recyclable alternatives according to allowable waste streams.
Re-usable cup program with Montreal-based Cano Company
In collaboration with Montreal-based Cano Company, we run a re-usable cup program at our retail locations. How does the program work?
1) Download the Cano app: Go to canocompany.com/download or scan the QR code appearing on the signage at the Cano cup station
2) Borrow a cup for free: scan the QR code at the bottom of the mug
3) Return the cup: to a Cano bin
4) Click on the app’s impact tab: learn more about your waste-reduction activities
5) Earn points: redeem them toward rewards