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Soma Café

Tasty hummus, fair-trade coffee, homemade soups… these are just some of the delicious offerings at Soma Café, the student-run coffee shop on Spence Street, which will be honoured with a sustainability award for its work at The University of Winnipeg's Convocation ceremony on Thursday, June 10, 2010.

Soma Café pioneered the use of compostable take-out containers and local-sourcing of food on campus, making a significant contribution to the environmental sustainability of UWinnipeg. By attracting volunteers from the community to help bake goods made from local gardens, providing student jobs, serving fair-trade coffee, and regularly donating products to events that take place on campus and in the community, Soma Café has also contributed to the social sustainability of UWinnipeg's campus and the surrounding community.

“Our University requires the vision and commitment of every individual on campus to achieve its sustainability goals. Each department and each student group has to take ownership for its ecological and social impact,” said Alana Lajoie-O'Malley, Director Campus Sustainability. ”The Campus Sustainability Recognition Award was conceived to recognize the efforts of the many individuals and departments on campus who recognize this fact. Soma is one example of many others, and I look forward to highlighting more in the future.”

The University of Winnipeg established two awards - one for students and one for faculty/staff - in January 2009 to recognize meritorious contributions to campus sustainability. The student award is granted annually at Spring Convocation, while the faculty/staff award is granted in the fall. To be consistent with principles of promoting sustainability, the award is primarily honorary in nature rather than material or incurring consumption of new resources. University woodworkers are working on a permanent plaque from materials recovered from university buildings under renovation, which will be fitted with small engraved name plates to memorialize recipients of the award. The plaque will be positioned in the new Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex when it is completed in 2011. The recipients are selected annually by the Campus Sustainability Recognition Awards committee.