Sustainability Champion Spotlight: Neil Jamieson

Published on : 10/13/21
    • Time with Sodexo: Almost two years
    • Location: Vancouver
    • Segment: Campus/schools
    • Role: Chef Manager


    Neil is the Chef Manager at one of our school accounts in Vancouver.  He and his team oversee all food and catering services on campus, and they are always seeking new healthy and plant-based options for the students and teachers. Neil works with the moms committee at the school and a nutritionist to ensure his team are providing nutritious snacks and drink options.

    Sustainability has always been very close to Chef Neil’s heart. For me, sustainability is a work in progress. There is a lot to learn and know.  It does require time and effort, but it is something that we need to continue to focus on to correct our mistakes from the past.

    On campus, they have implemented several sustainability initiatives, mainly focused on food and material waste. Some of the initiatives include:

    • Meatless Monday every week, as well as a plant-based, gluten-free option for lunch every day.
    • Compostable packaging and no plastic bottle drinks. The school provides a filtered water tap in the café with reusable cups for the students to use for free.
    • Efforts to source locally and responsibly whenever possible. Neil’s team purchases different local vegetables, greens, chicken and turkey from the lower mainland. There are two herb towers on campus that the school takes care of, which Neil’s team are allowed to use daily.

    In 2020, Neil participated in the plant-based meal training with Humane Society International/Canada. By participating in this training, Neil has committed to increase the school’s plant-based offerings to 20%.

    “Being a Sustainability Champion is a challenge. I now view things differently and question things that I do in the kitchen that I have been doing for years. I think to myself, is there a way to do this that is better for the environment?”

    Neil has encountered some challenges in the past, but he says that his team work closely with the students and faculty to find sustainable solutions and find healthy, fresh eating options that students want to eat.

    “You can’t accomplish everything in one day, but you need to start somewhere. Sustainability is an ongoing process. My advice is to be patient, but start to think differently. This is not business as usual.”

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