Sustainability

Eating on Campus

Farmers Market

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.

Technology: 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 goals.

Composting

  • 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.

    CompostingAt 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
    • Napkins
    • Wooden chopsticks
  • Fair Trade/Organic

  • 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 coffee roaster.

  • Keeping it Local

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    • 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 Dining locations.
    • 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 dumplings.
    • 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 Proposal) process.
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    Travel Mug Program

  • 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 beverage purchase.

    Bring a Travel Mug!

     

  • Water Preservation

  • 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%.