Food Sustainability Policies at Concordia

Official University Policies
While the University has no official policies specifically addressing food sustainability, broad directives applicable to food can be found within its environmental policy, passed by the Board of Governors in October 2007. The Preamble reads:

Concordia University is committed to responsible environmental stewardship through all the University’s activities and functions. While recognizing that every member of the University community shares in this responsibility, the University shall provide leadership through its operations, teaching and research. The University shall strive to be at the forefront of environmental leadership and shall encourage University community members to begin initiatives in line with concepts outlined in this policy.

Article 3 reads:

The University shall seek to provide responsible and innovative leadership in environmental sustainability. This includes actively working to preserve and enhance the environment through such measures as wise material use, energy conservation and efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, water conservation, pollution prevention and other ecologically-sensitive choices, among others.

And Article 5 continues:

Wherever feasible in terms of financing, sourcing and availability, the University shall attempt to purchase goods that are ecologically benign, including items that are energy efficient, locally produced, made from post-consumer recycled and/or renewable materials, are recyclable, non-toxic and/or organic, should they meet or exceed the requirements as specified by the departmental end users. The University shall also work to consider life cycle costs and impacts when assessing products and equipment for procurement and, when possible, will tender to suppliers that are local and/or committed to environmental sustainability.

Whether or not these policies are being implemented by operations staff at the university is unclear. The complete policy can be found here.

Concordia Student Union Policies

Within the Concordia Student Union's official bylaws an Annex E was added in 2008 covering Ethics and Sustainability. Aspects of sustainable food are addressed in Article 1.

Article 1 - Certification
6. The CSU shall attempt to seek products carrying the eco-logo certification
7. The CSU shall attempt to purchase organic foods which carry organic certification from, including, but not limited to the following agencies: OCIA (with regulation number); Quebec Vrai; Demeter; or Garantie Bio.
8. The CSU shall seek products that are fair-trade certified, particularly coffee.

The complete policy can be found here. The following policy was added to the CSU Standing Regulations on February 10th this year.

b) Ethical Choice Policy
Annex change motion: Ethical Choice Policy (Dietary Choices)
Whereas the Concordia Student Union (CSU) represents the diverse needs of the Concordia University student population;
Whereas the Concordia Student Union (CSU) is involved with the serving of food to students;
Whereas offering greater plant-based food options to students, increases the amount of dietary choices available;
Whereas, the availability of vegetarian items appeals not only to vegetarian students but also to those who are concerned with health, lactose-intolerance, religious dietary practices etc;
Whereas increasing vegetarian and vegan options is beneficial to student’s health;
Whereas increased vegetarian and vegan options supports sustainable businesses while reducing environmental impacts;
Whereas students should have access to adequate vegetarian, and vegan food options;
BIRT in the interest of offering increased dietary choices to the student population that one-third (1/3) of food offered at any Concordia Student Union (CSU) related event must be vegetaria;
BIFRT at least one option be offered at any Concordia Student Union (CSU) related event must be vegan;
BIFRT the CSU will seek to encourage all businesses that work with the union to follow the above policy.