Welcome, and thank you for visiting the blog of the University of Guelph Sustainable Restaurant Project (UGSRP). Our project was started in May of 2011 with the hopes of achieving three goals. The first goal of the program is to incorporate more ‘sustainability’ focused curriculum at the University of Guelph’s School of Hospitality,Food and Tourism Management (HFTM). The second goal is to take steps to move our student run restaurant PJ’s towards a more environmentally sustainable model. Our last goal will be an ever evolving one as our project team and students look to connect with, and become part of other projects that involve restaurants and sustainability.
The idea for the project came as a result of fourth year HTM students working on a case study regarding sustainability in our school. The student reports and classroom presentations for the case study pointed to several ways in which both PJ’s and HFTM curriculum could become more focused on sustainability. After several discussions to think how best the ideas of the students could be implemented, Instructor Simon Day and I applied for a “Learning Enhancement Fund” grant from the University of Guelph. The funding proposal was accepted by the University and the project was created!
After receiving word of that our funding application was accepted we moved to bring together a group of people to be involved in the project. Our team is a committed group of students, faculty and community partners that are committed to working towards a more sustainable future for the restaurant industry.
Through this project it is hoped that we will help create change, not only in mindsets but in the behaviours of hospitality students, hospitality educators and operators in industry. One of the ways we will do this is by generating ‘research that counts’. Research outcomes will be more ‘applied’ than ‘theoretical’ and will be geared towards helping educate operators to improve their businesses. We also hope that by introducing hospitality students to a richer curriculum we will help bring more knowledge about sustainable practices to industry through our graduates. Lastly, we hope to act as an example for other hospitality schools and industry. We hope that other schools join us in embedding more sustainably focused curriculum throughout our programming, helping to produce more “Leaders for a Sustainable World”.