Sustainable Sourcing

Queen’s University ranked first in Canada and third worldwide in 2023 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings. This was Queen’s third consecutive year ranking in the top 10. The rankings examine universities’ impact on society through the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals within and beyond local communities. Learn more about how these principles are reflected in our dining options across campus, such as our special diet options.

Hospitality Services collaborates closely with student groups and organizations across Queen’s campus and external partners committed to helping protect our community and environment. We have developed initiatives to help reduce our carbon footprint and minimize our environmental impact while balancing sustainability with high customer service and fiscal accountability in all policies and procedures.



Local Food

Approximately 45% of our food purchases are from within a 500km radius, and 69% is sourced from within Canada.

How food is produced, sourced, distributed, and handled all have sustainable impacts on local economies and the environment. Hospitality Services commits to minimizing our carbon footprint and supporting the vitality of our neighbouring communities through mindful campus food service operations.

West Campus Apiary

Did you know Queen’s has an apiary on west campus? Pretty cool right?

Bee pollinators in urban areas help ensure the health and survival of plants, flowers, and trees. This living lab supports experiential learning and local food production while improving the campus ecosystem and increasing awareness of environmental sustainability within the community. Two new wildflower garden plots at the adjacent community garden support these pollinators.

Four hives produced nearly 500 pounds of honey during fall harvest in 2022.

Ten hives produced nearly 1800 pounds during the 2023 harvest.


Fair Trade Campus

Queen’s University became Canada’s 41st Fair Trade Campus in 2021. Fairtrade purchasing ensures that ingredients used in product offerings get produced by small-scale farm organizations or plantations that meet social, economic, and environmental standards and provide opportunities to maintain market relationships and the livelihood of farmers.

Fairtrade coffee, tea and a chocolate bar are standard practices on campus in all dining halls, retail locations, and catering provided by Hospitality Services, Donald Gordon Hotel and Conference Centre, and Queen’s Event Services.


Sustainable Seafood Purchasing 

Housing and Ancillary Services provides the university with a wide range of food services in dining halls, campus retail food locations, and our events and catering operations. Practicing sustainable sourcing can significantly help protect the world's oceans and preserve underwater ecosystems. We commit to purchasing 100% sustainable seafood that is MSC, ASC, or Ocean Wise certified.


Cool Food Meals

Cool Food Meals identify recipes with a low climate impact. Launched at Queen’s in the Fall of 2022, recipes are analyzed by the World Resources Institute, a global research organization, for their greenhouse gas emissions. Meals fall below a maximum threshold of per-meal greenhouse gas emissions and meet a minimum threshold of nutritional quality.

Low Carbon meals have at least 38% lower carbon emissions than the average meal. Learn more about this calculation at

Look for this icon in dining halls and make the climate-friendly choice. 

Oct 2, 2020 10:15 am