Eating on Campus
In 2007, Hospitality Services recognized the need to take
responsibility and action with regards to being more sustainable. They
quickly realized "Sustainability" encompasses so much.
They realized they had influence in Western's day-to-day
operations, personal lives, as well as in the London
community. Baby steps and small victories would be the stepping stones
to success. That decided, they broke down our approach into three
smaller definitions we could more easily categorize.
Ecology: Our commitment to the environment through composting and the introduction to organic/fair trade foods.
Culture: Our commitment to the community, to educate and increase awareness, and reduce, re-use and divert materials from land-fills.
Continuation and improvement of our recycling program, purchasing
energy-efficient equipment and implementing new green technologies as
they become available.
The best starting place for us was to determine what was already
being done that was proactive or positive for the environment. From
there, it was a little easier to recognize other initiatives and set
Residence Dining and Great Hall Catering have composted all suitable
pre-consumer and post-consumer food scraps including biodegradable paper
and coffee grounds for many years.
Some of the Campus Eateries offer a back-of-the house composting
program focusing mainly on Tim Hortons coffee grounds. This program is
gradually being expanded across campus based on building logistics.
At UCC Centre Spot, our customers are also able to compost items that are accepted by our service provider.
At Western, we have a service provider who collects the green bins a
couple times per week. Through their industrial process with very
specific conditions, our compost becomes rich soil in a matter of weeks.
As a customer, what can you compost at Centre Spot?
- All food scraps including cooked meats
- Uncoated paper serving plates/boxes
- Wooden chopsticks
Fair Trade & Organic coffee and some teas are available in all Rez Dining, Starbucks & Williams Coffee Pub locations.
In 2009, Great Hall Catering proudly introduced the delicious blends
provided by The Fire Roasted Coffee Company, a local London specialty
Local berries were sourced and purchased by Hospitality Services’
contracted produce supplier. Arrangements were made with local farmers
to provide seasonal strawberries and blueberries (a total of 1400 lbs).
In turn, our produce supplier cleaned, froze and packaged the berries
for us. They are stored and shipped to us as needed. Previously used
frozen berries were imported from Chili and Ecuador. Our local berries
are used for smoothies, parfaits and for the Waffle Bar in all Residence
- Hospitality Services has also requested that our produce supplier
provide us with anything seasonal in our region which includes apples,
mushrooms and tomatoes for most of the year. During peak growing
seasons, we use local Ontario fruits and vegetables such as asparagus,
broccoli, peppers, peaches, strawberries and squashes, to name only a
few. We incorporate these fresh items into our daily menu through fresh
fruit displays, stir fries, tosses and daily vegetables. Local potatoes
come to us directly from the farm, delivered by the farmer himself. We
also use a local beef supplier, whose beef is fed with local corn.
- The "100 Mile Market" is an innovative means of providing an
exceptional culinary experience to our guests while featuring fresh,
local foods from London and the surrounding area. The motivation for
this feature menu was to promote local, organic and seasonal product,
based on ingredients from within a 100 mile radius of the University;
items in season and plentiful. This is a great way to promote local
farmers, local and sustainable small businesses, and businesses and
farms that are environmentally conscientious. Products are
environmentally-friendly, energy efficient, biodegradable and where
feasible, fair-trade items are used. No bottled water permitted, only
our freshest tap water. This concept has been featured in both Residence
Dining and Great Hall Catering.
- Every October, Residence Dining hosts Apple Week. During that week,
bushels of fresh apples from a local orchard are brought in and
different varieties of apples are promoted. Pricing is also adjusted,
just for the week, to encourage participation from students. A different
apple dessert is also featured each day of the week. Many of the apple
desserts are served warm, which just adds to the whole experience by
filling the serveries with smells of freshly baked apple crisp and
- The soup supplier for Hospitality Services was changed to a local
company. To further enhance the soups offered, scratch soups are
featured in Residence Dining and Great Hall Catering. The home-made
soups are a fresh and tasty compliment to the wide selection of prepared
soups and chili available.
- More than 40% of Hospitality Services suppliers are local including
our main food distributor. In support of Hospitality Services efforts
to reduce our environmental footprint, we look for partners that share
this commitment to environmental improvements and increased
sustainability which given significant weight in the RFP (Request for
In an effort to reduce paper cup consumption on campus, we offer a
significant Travel Mug program. Tim Hortons, Williams and Hospitality
Services travel mugs are available for purchase in our operations. Any
time a reusable mug is used, our guest receives a discount for the hot
In conjunction with the City of London’s Wastewater Operations
Department, Hospitality Services has implemented new processes for
reducing the amount of Quats (Quaternary Ammonium Compounds) entering
the City’s wastewater drainage system.
While Quats are extremely effective at killing bacteria and
sanitizing in the food service industry, they are harmful to the
wastewater system. Hospitality Services now distributes the sanitizer
from spray bottles rather then the previous bucket method.
It is anticipated that this new process will reduce the amount of Quats entering the wastewater system by approximately 85%.