Canadian Universities

The Plant-BasedU campaign supports students in an urgent call to action against the climate crisis: reduce food systems emissions by shifting to sustainable plant-based menus on campus now. For more information please contact

The Canadian University Initiative was launched in 2020 with universities in several provinces to increase plant-based meals in campus Food Services. For more information, email Eleanor Carrara. Here are some of the University achievements (from west to east):

University of Victoria:

The University of Victoria is setting strong carbon reduction targets, and in 2020 met its goal to reduce Scope 1 and 2 campus greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent (relative to the 2010 baseline). As UVic now turns its reduction goals to Scope 3 emissions, this report outlines the significant contribution of food to campus emissions, and recommends reduction strategies including prioritizing plant-based options across food outlets. Read more in our report “The Default Veg Initiative: Measuring and Reducing Food Emissions at the University of Victoria,” 2021 (PDF).

Congratulations to University Food Services for achieving the following to reduce our campus emissions in UVic’s ‘Race to Zero’ pledge (Net Zero by 2040). For more information, see UVic’s Sustainability Action Plan:

  • All chili served will be plant-based
  • In addition to plant-based burgers, all beef burgers will be 50% pea-protein
  • Whole wheat bread and plant-based cheeses are the default option at UNFS food stations. Customers choose to opt in for dairy cheese
  • Vegan mayo introduced as the default spread
  • Elimination of lamb from the menu
  • All menus will list plant-based options first

University of British Columbia (UBC):

David Speight, Executive Chef and Culinary Director, UBC Food Services

Executive Chef and Culinary Director David Speight leads the initiative with their plant-forward catering model. As of 2021, 50% of all entrees in residence dining were already plant-based, with targets for 55% in their September 2021 semester menus.

UBC Food Services operates more than 25 retail locations, including three residence dining locations, two full service restaurants, two full-service catering companies, food trucks, to a total of $47 million in annual revenue. They also manage the food program at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Find out more at 

“Follow @ubcfoodie on Instagram, TikTok or Facebook to find out what’s cooking on campus.

Introducing UBC’s Climate-Friendly Food Label

“As a publicly-funded university, UBC has the obligation to challenge the status quo and set the example for others to follow… We cater to students that are primarily 18-22 years of age which is a formative time in a person’s life to develop healthy eating habits and a relationship to food that can last a lifetime.

Executive Chef David Speight, “Menus of Change: How UBC is Advancing Plant Based Diets.”

“We encourage reduced meat consumption by making vegan and vegetarian options readily available, abundant, and affordable, to reduce our impact on our air, land, water, and climate.”

UBC, “Food Vision and Values,” 2019.

Find out more at UBC’s Food Revolution and CAP 2030 Targets and Actions: “By 2030, achieve a 50% GHG emission reduction of food systems.”

University of Toronto (Ontario)

Queen’s University (Ontario)

Hospitality Services  (Presentation Nov. 10, 2021, click to open)

Concordia University (Quebec)

“Concordia University’s Sustainability Action Plan has set a target of reducing its purchase of meat, dairy, eggs and seafood to 30% of its food budget by 2025.

To encourage a shift toward plant-based eating on campus, all our locations offer delicious vegan and vegetarian choices. Our vegan and vegetarian dishes in the dining halls are labelled as such to help you identify plant-based options.”

Read more at Concordia – Eating for Health & Planet

Learn more about Aramark’ plant-forward style of eating.

Université de Montréal (Quebec)

View May 18th Presentation PDF by:

  • Pascal Prouteau : Director – Residences, Hotel, Food services
  • Louis-Philipe Lafrance : Executive Chef
  • Aurélie Feuerstein : Catering Chef

with highlights of achievements 2021-2022:

  • Increase vegan offers on daily menus (currently 33% vegan, 33% vegetarian, 33% meat/poultry/fish)
  • Development of Freebies Fidelity app promoting vegan menus
  • Grand opening of our greenhouse on campus
  • Operation of 3 additional agricultural plots (2 on campus and 1 off campus)
  • Addition of vegan cookies, vegan breads (tortillas, French rolls and ciabatta), vegan wraps, vegan poke bowls, homemade vegan dressings and vegan salads on the menus.