Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.78
Liaison Jessica Bowen
Submission Date March 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Aquinas College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 2.00 Jessica Eimer Bowen
Director of Sustainability
Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:

Grow™: Animal Welfare Policy
Responsible sourcing is deeply important to Creative Dining Services and central to our mission of operating with integrity. We recognize that responsible sourcing includes humanely produced animal products. The following commitments are intended to address a range of animal welfare issues affecting egg, dairy, and meat production, including confinement, painful procedures, and rapid growth. Creative Dining Services continues to assess industry progress in building supply availability and is working with our supply partners on our transition timeline.

Creative Dining Service also recognizes the health, environmental and economic benefits of vegetable-centric cuisine. Our locations promote daily options in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. Creative Dining Services is working with the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to assess, expand and creatively support programming in the menuing of non-animal products.

Eggs: In 2015, we committed to purchasing only cage-free shell and liquid, pre-cracked eggs by 2019. We are on target to fulfill this commitment.

Pork: Creative Dining is committed to eliminate all pork from animals bred using gestation crates by 2019. We are committed to working with our suppliers to address issues of pain relief for castration and tail docking, and the elimination of antibiotics.

Veal: Creative Dining is committed to eliminate all veal from animals confined in crates in by 2019, in alignment with the American Veal Association’s 2007 resolution. We have received confirmation and documentation from veal suppliers that all domestic and imported veal products are produced from animals raised without the use of crates or tethers.

Dairy/Beef: All milk purchased by creative dining is free of added hormones, and we work with suppliers to ensure the responsible use of feed additives, and strive toward eliminating the use of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) in beef cattle and other dairy products. We are committed to working with our suppliers to address issues of pain relief for disbudding and castration procedures.

Ducks and Geese: Effective 2017, Creative Dining Services has eliminated the purchase of foie gras.

Broiler Chickens: Effective 2017, we are asking our suppliers to take the following actions by 2024, or sooner if possible:
• Meet the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) maximum stocking density standard of <6 pounds per square feet.
• Providing chickens with enriched environments including natural light, hay bales and perches that meet GAP standards.
• Use GAP approved genetic strains for slower-growing chickens
• Rendering chickens unconscious prior to shackling using Controlled or Low Atmospheric Stunning.

Turkeys: We continue to work with our suppliers to address animal welfare issues associated with genetic selection for fast growth and support vendors that use Controlled or Low Atmospheric Stunning.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
No

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, and/or urban agriculture project, or support such a program in the local community?:
No

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a vegan dining program that makes diverse, complete-protein vegan options available to every member of the campus community at every meal?:
Yes

A brief description of the vegan dining program:

Our ZONE concept area offers a vegan, vegetarian, and allergen free option every day at each meal. 5 week rotating menu cycle created by our culinary team especially for AQ students in staff.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events:

During March we hold nutrition month events highlighting Plant based proteins, Meatless Monday, fresh and local offerings. We also sponsor and highlight more vegan vegetarian options during 6 weeks of Lent .


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:

Fall harvest pace changer Dinner in the dining hall using fresh and local apples, potatoes, & vegetables in October. Fall harvest community lunch in the garden in September for Faculty, staff & students sample small bites of fresh & local culinary cuisine prepared on site by our culinary team.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a sustainability-themed food outlet on-site, either independently or in partnership with a contractor or retailer?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labeling and signage in dining halls?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:

Yes, We have menus at each station informing the customers about products that are low impact food choices, also listing local vendor and local products, vegan, vegetarian, allergens on menus signs.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:

Yes, Creative Dining Services collaborated with an Aquinas sustainability class for a culinary tour of our sustainable practices. CDS also participated in the final project presentations of the sustainability class in December. The kitchen supervisor attended the GRCC sustainability conference, and both sous chef and kitchen supervisor attended chef lab training this summer with added sustainable food system training.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have other sustainability-related initiatives (e.g. health and wellness initiatives, making culturally diverse options available)?:
Yes

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:

Yes, We partner with the International Studies and Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Departments to include suggestions from students and potential recipes of traditional dishes and retail items to offer to aid in their transition to AQ. Health & Wellness initiatives in March and throughout the year.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor participate in a competition or commitment program and/or use a food waste prevention system to track and improve its food management practices?:
Yes

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:

All waste leaving the kitchen as pre-consumer and post-consumer waste is weighed, tracked, and compared to the number of meals served.


Has the institution or its primary dining services contractor implemented trayless dining (in which trays are removed from or not available in dining halls) and/or modified menus/portions to reduce post-consumer food waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:

Trayless dining has been in place for 3 years. Batch cooking techniques and 8 inch plates also help reduce post-consumer food waste.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
No

A brief description of the food donation program:

No but, The spring semester we offered a “Second Harvest “ option at our retail, by packaging complete single serving meals of leftovers and selling for $1-2$ each.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses (e.g. converting cooking oil to fuel, on-site anaerobic digestion)?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

On a small scale to a local farmer for feed. Also, cooking oil is picked up and recycled.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
Yes

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

Yes, composting is fully integrated into our kitchen for pre-consumer food waste, using color-coded bins. A "refresher" training is offered at the beginning of the school year, including a hands-on sorting activity.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
Yes

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

All food waste (and food soiled paper products) entering the dishroom is either scrapped into the composting bin in the front of the conveyor belt, or sorted by the dishroom staff. Composting bins are also located on every floor of every building across campus. Composting "Crocks"- to ease the collection of the compostables- are provided to every apartment and house on campus.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:
Yes

A brief description of the reusable service ware program:

All dine in meals are served with reusable service ware. All to-go containers and disposables used on campus are compostable paper products or the plastics are ASTM 6400 certified. Composting is fully implemented campus wide, in addition to the kitchen.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor provide reusable and/or third party certified compostable containers and service ware for “to-go” meals (in conjunction with an on-site composting program)?:
Yes

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:

All to-go containers and disposables used on campus are compostable paper products or ASTM 6400 certified compostable plastics.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor offer discounts or other incentives to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in “to-go” food service operations?:
Yes

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:

The Moose Coffee Shop offers a $0.25 discount to those who bring their own mug for coffee.


Has the institution or its primary dining services contractor implemented other materials management initiatives to minimize waste not covered above (e.g. working with vendors and other entities to reduce waste from food packaging)?:
Yes

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:

CDS partners with local vendors who bulk pack rather than tray pack products such as apples, and vegetables. Education and marketing campaigns are common throughout the school year, such as posting the current weight of food waste leaving the cafeteria on a white board in a public area.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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