Students walking by SLC patio


  • 40% of Food Services food and beverage purchases are produced on-site, locally, or are third-party certified for sustainability by 2025 

  • Achieve and maintain and Fair Trade Campus designation by 2018

  • Deliver programming to grow student and employee awareness about healthy and sustainable food choices by 2025

Supporting SDGs

SDG 2 - zero hunger SDG 8 - decent work and economic growth SDG 12 - responsible consumption and productionSDG 13 - climate action SDG 14 - life below water SDG 15 - life on land

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UWaterloo Food Services has been a strong champion of implementing sustainability in their operations. Our food systems have a big impact on organizational sustainability, which is why the University has implemented the following programming:

Local food  |  Fair Trade  |  Vegetarian and vegan options  |  UW Farm Market  |  Community gardens  | Foodlink  |  Waste reduction

Local food purchases

Food Services purchases as much food locally as possible, supporting the regional economy and minimizing the environmental impact from transporting food long distances.

Fair Trade

Fair Trade Campus LogoLook for the Fair Trade logo across campus to support sustainable purchasing!

Fair trade certified products have been made with the social and ecological principles of fair price and labour conditions, democracy and transparency, community development, and sustainability in mind.

Waterloo is proud to be a designated Fair Trade Campus, which meets the following criteria for all University and student-run coffee food outlets on campus:

  • 100% of all coffee served is Fairtrade Certified
  • At least 3 Fairtrade Certified teas are available, wherever teas are sold
  • At least 1 Fairtrade Certified chocolate bar is available, wherever chocolate bars are sold
  • Signage and marketing promotes fair trade products
  • Waterloo hosts fair trade themed events and celebrations each year
  • There is a university steering committee responsible for the designation and promotion of fair trade

You can find Fairtrade coffee, tea, and chocolate at all of the following locations across campus:

  • All residence cafeterias
  • All Food-Services run coffee shops (not franchises)
  • Feds International News
  • Feds Caffeine Dispensary
  • Graduate House
  • Arts Tuck Shop
  • Environment Student Coffee Shop
  • Engineering C&D (CPH and E7)
  • Science C&D
  • Math C&D
  • Catering Services Menu
  • University Club

Visit Fairtrade Canada to learn more about the campus designation and which other campuses are participating.

Vegetarian and vegan options

Food Services is committed to preparing options that are vegetarian and vegan. Try out the new FRSH vegan eatery in AHS!

UW Farm Market

Farm Market logoWant to buy great local food?  Check out the Farm Market during June and July for a delicious selection of seasonal fresh produce, baked goods, honeys, and more.

    Community gardens

    The Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG) maintains a community garden next to the greenhouse in north campus, where students and volunteers grow local organic produce.  It's a great learning opportunity and fun way to grow your veggies!  Visit WPIRG to join.

    In 2014, St. Paul's also launched a community garden next to its residence building.  St. Paul's food service provider has agreed to purchase the produce at market value, which provides a source of local food in the cafeteria and also helps sustain the gardens financially.

    Food Services maintains a garden next to the University Club, where they grow spices and herbs on-site!


    Buy local - buy fresh! If you're interested in local food in Waterloo Region then check out Foodlink. This is a non-profit organization that supports and connects local farmers, educates the general public, and engages local decision makers on food issues. If you need more info, stop by the Sustainability Office for a map of where to shop local in the Region!

    Waste reduction

    • Lug-a-Mug: Most paper cups on campus can be put in the appropriate blue bin, but reducing is always more effective than recycling! By bringing your own reusable coffee mug, save 20 cents at Food Services outlets and 10 cents at all franchise outlets on hot beverage purchases. 
    • Eco-container: Purchase a reusable container for $5 and receive a 20 cent discount each time you use it. Exchange your used container for a token to get a clean container next time, and let Food Services to do the dishes! This program is currently offered in CMH, REV and V1, and is coming to the new SLC expansion. For more information, visit the Food Services website
    • Recyclable packaging: Food Services has switched all take-out packaging to compostable containers or PET recyclable containers. They also purchase cafeteria trays made from recycled material, and have switched to bulk condiments at most eateries.