Sustainable Food Initiatives

As a large institution with significant purchasing power, UBC is committed to sustainable food procurement. We make it a priority to acquire local and seasonal food, buy Fair Trade products, source sustainable seafood, and purchase goods from the UBC Farm. Through collaborative research efforts, we’re aiming to improve the sustainability of UBC’s food system and reduce food waste.


Local Food

  • Our main campus food providers are dedicated to sourcing as many local food ingredients as possible, and integrating them into campus menus. In 2010/11, approximately 48 per cent of UBC Food Services and AMS Food and Beverage Department expenditures were on food that was locally grown, raised, or processed within 150 miles of campus or certified organic.
  • Check out annual campus events featuring local and seasonal food, including the Blueberry Festival, Meet Your Maker, FarmAde, Apple Fest, and UBC Farm’s Joy of Feeding.

Farm to Campus

  • Both main food service providers also participate in a UBC farm-to-campus program, to purchase as much UBC Farm produce as possible. In 2012, UBC received the Golden Carrot Award from Farm to Cafeteria Canada, which recognizes efforts to implement farm-to-university purchasing programs. Read more about the award and initiatives at Place Vanier’s here!

Fair Trade

  • In 2011, UBC was designated the first Fair Trade Campus in Canada, thanks to a collaboration between UBC Food Services, AMS Food and Beverage Department, UBC Engineers Without Borders, UBC faculty members and the SEEDS Program. 
  • All coffee and tea offered by UBC Food Services and AMS Food and Beverage Department outlets are certified Fair Trade, in addition to a variety of other products. Read more about UBC's Fair Trade commitment here.

Sustainable Seafood

  • All fresh seafood procured by UBC Food Services and AMS Food and Beverage Department meets Ocean Wise standards, which consists of non-endangered species caught using sustainable fishing practices and is marked on our menus for ease of identification.

Where to Find Sustainable Food Options on Campus

For a list of UBC vendors that provide locally sourced, Fair Trade and sustainable food options, visit our Campus Food Options page. Look for the new campus food labels coming soon, which will identify sustainable food items.

Food Waste Initiatives

And as over half of UBC's operational waste is comprised of compostables, we have many programs to help reduce campus food waste.


  • Pre- and post-consumer campus food waste is composted at UBC’s in-vessel composting  facility. In 2010/11, we composted 388 tonnes of organic material! Compost your food waste in the green bins located across campus.

Bring Your Own Mug

Container Exchange Program

  • Participate in the Eco - To Go program, which makes it easy to use reusable containers when eating on campus!

Sustainable Campus Food Guide

Download the Sustainable Food Guide.