Trent Becomes Only Canadian University to Offer Three-Star Green Certified Restaurant

May 22, 2019

Trent’s Peter Gzowski Dining Hall earns certification meeting Green Restaurant Association standards in areas including food options, energy efficiency and waste diversion

Trent University student holds up re-usable green container at Gzowski dining hall.

Trent University is now the only university in Canada with a three-star certified green restaurant.

The Peter Gzowski College Dining Hall on Trent’s Symons Campus in Peterborough has met all of the requirements for the certification, through the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), including using reusable dishes, having a comprehensive composting and recycling program, using no Styrofoam and using energy-efficient appliances.

“We are thrilled to have achieved this level of certification,” says Mark Murdoch, director, Trent University Foodservices. “It reflects Trent’s commitment to leadership in both the operation of a first-class on-campus dining program and to continuously improving our sustainability practices. It was a team effort that required the cooperation of Chartwells, our primary food service provider, and numerous departments on campus, supported by our students who are passionate about the environment.”

The restaurant earned 181.38 GreenPoints through 50 environmental steps in areas including disposables, energy, furnishing & building, food, chemicals and pollution, waste, water, and education and transparency. For example, the dining hall’s administrative office uses 100% recycled paper that’s chlorine free, offers reusable take-out containers and meets the association’s requirements for weather stripping of doors and windows.

In the food category, the dining hall offers 27.27% of its main dishes as vegan and 21.21% of its main dishes as vegetarian. In the disposables category, the dining hall offers reusable glasses and utensils for customers. In the energy category, the restaurant uses LED lamps as well as energy-efficient ice machines, printers and televisions. In the chemical & pollution category, the restaurant offers customers and staff a bicycle rack, is located 1/4 mile from a bus stop and ensures there is no smoking within 25 feet of its entrance. In the waste category, there are bulk condiments for in-house use and the restaurant offers no bottled water, a university-wide initiative Trent introduced in 2011.

The certification process took approximately 10 months as the GRA conducted several audits to ensure the dining hall was in compliance.

Trent also offers a one-star green certified restaurant at the Lady Eaton College Dining Hall, although Mr. Murdoch says there are plans to boost the eco-friendliness of restaurants across the University.

“We will take what we have learned at Gzowski and apply it across the entire campus,” Mr. Murdoch says. “In the year ahead, we hope to move Lady Eaton to a three-star certification and begin the certification process for Champlain College and Otonabee College.”

Founded in 1990, the GRA is an international non-profit organization that is the leading voice within the industry. The GRA operates across Canada and the U.S. and has made it accessible for thousands of restaurants to become more environmentally sustainable.

About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.

For more information contact:
Kathryn Verhulst Rogers, manager, Marketing & Communications, Trent University, 705-748-1011 x6240 or

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