The university’s kitchens have also veered towards better sustainability. Sustainable food system coordinator Isabelle Mailhot-Leduc was hired in 2015 to coordinate Concordia’s food procurement, which feeds the 900 student residents, and team up with the other food venues and groups on campus. She works with the food services company Aramark and their distributors to track the amount of locally sourced food and ensure it conforms with agreed upon targets.
The targets shift with the seasons. For instance, in the summer 75 per cent of fruits and vegetables must be local while in deep winter only 25 per cent is. “It’s not necessarily more expensive to go local,”
Mailhot-Leduc says. “The key is to plan menus and select food products on a seasonal basis.” Mailhot-Leduc also successfully coordinated the efforts that led to Concordia being designated as a Fair Trade Campus.
The Concordia Greenhouse is not only an excellent hangout for students looking for a little green and warmth in winter — it also holds various workshops and sells plants.
Created in collaboration with the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, the greenhouse runs along a salvaged space in the Henry F. Hall Building. It boasts myriad hydroponically grown plants — all you need for a ratatouille.
The Greenhouse grows microgreens and sprouts to sell at the Concordia Farmer’s Market and The Frigo Vert, and to supply The Hive and Café X. “We’re looking into making the greenhouse as sustainable as possible,” says Marian Thomas, operations manager of HydroFlora Concordia. He finds the space helps students understand the food chain better.