Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 87.10
Liaison Alex Davis
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

Arizona State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Alex Davis
Program Manager
University Sustainability Practices
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or urban agriculture project, or support such a program in the local community?:
Yes

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:

ASU engages the local community in multiple sustainable food programs:

Produce Rescue engages ASU students in the food waste discussion while increasing the consumption of fresh produce. By volunteering with this program, Sun Devils gain a better understanding of how their food fits within the larger food waste system locally and nationally, identify societal obstacles and implement personal solutions to help address issues related to excess food waste. Changemaker Central at ASU coordinates the program across all of ASU’s campuses. Since 2016 - more than 1,490 students volunteered over 7,255 hours, saving and redistributing 911,634 pounds of fresh produce, or roughly 437,318 meals worth of produce, from going to landfill. This program is open to both ASU community members and local community members. It also serves to promote the broader Borderlands Produce Rescue program, which includes year-round healthy produce to the Phoenix community. More information: https://changemaker.asu.edu/programs/produce-rescue

Garden Commons at the Polytechnic Campus is maintained with the help of ASU community volunteers. Produce harvested from the Garden Commons is sold on the Polytechnic campus at a “farm stand” or is donated to local food banks. Anyone may purchase this produce and sales are advertised on the publicly accessible Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PolyGardens/. In FY19, the Garden Commons: donated 1489 pounds of organic produce to local food banks, logged 1,226 volunteer hours, held 19 weekly farm stands and engaged with 1,011 students, faculty, and staff. During the community service work days, the garden brings together ASU community members and external partners such as Coca-Cola and Stryker.

ASU Campus Harvest brings together ASU and local community volunteers to maintain, harvest, and package produce from the ASU campus grounds. Harvested produce is donated to local community groups (such as food banks and refugee support organizations) or is sold to the general public at affordable prices. For example, ASU’s iconic Palm Walk was replanted in 2017 with 110 date palms. These dates are harvested by ASU’s Grounds Services (due to the height of the trees, they must be harvested by professionals), then sorted and packed by both internal and external volunteers. Packed dates are sold in open areas of campus to the campus community and general public and are donated to community organizations that support refugees.

Sun Devil Dining manages 10 aeroponic tower gardens at ASU at the student Memorial Union. These towers serve as a hands on learning opportunity for course work and for student organizations such as the Garden Club. The Garden Clubs hosts meetings at the Tower Gardens site and assists with harvesting and distributing the produce to give to other students and staff.

Sun Devil Dining provides free produce Farm Stands to the students on campus bi-weekly each semester in the dining halls. Students are allowed to choose fresh fruits and vegetables to take with them for healthy snacks and meal prep. Over 10,400 pounds were given away this past year. While focused on students, the Polytechnic, West, and Downtown campuses did not check for student identification and provided produce to all.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:

Engrained café is an environmentally-conscious restaurant at ASU which opened September 2008. Engrained is part of Aramark’s Green Thread Platform that highlights sustainable food systems through a living and learning restaurant. The mission behind Engrained is outlined in our 6 intentions: Radius 150, Wall to Wall, Waste Not Want Not, Around the Community, Daily Commute, and Buy Smart.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor support disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through its food and beverage purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:

Aramark at Arizona State University considers the environmental impact of purchasing practices daily. We seek to purchase and use environmentally preferable products and services. Sun Devil Dining aims to purchase locally harvested and produced items from small and medium-sized enterprises when seasonally available.


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
1.14

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:

Educational activities utilizing games, trivia, and more are held relating food to the resource inputs required for the production of plant-based food vs animal proteins. Meatless Monday tablings are held at all eight residential dining halls on all four campuses to promote plant-based dining options.


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:

Daily Root stations are located throughout 7 residential dining halls across all 4 campuses. They serve plant-based meals to promote mindful eating habits that are healthy, wholesome, and good for the environment.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labelling and signage in dining halls?:
Yes

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

Posters, Sustainability Spotlight Boards, sneeze guard clings and LCD screens around campus keep students informed on the sustainability attributes of the dining program.


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:

Aramark's Food Waste Management program, called Food Management Fundamentals, provides extensive food waste management tools for all servers and culinary staff. Food waste is tracked and measured, and spot audited during location audits. This creates a uniform goal in reducing food waste across all lines of operations. For food storage, Aramark uses FIFO (first in, first out) and ensures that nothing is left to waste in coolers.


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 encourages customers to take only what they can eat and reduces food waste by an estimated 1.5 ounces per person each meal. Trayless dining helps prevent nearly 75 pounds of food waste per person each academic year. Aramark has been trayless in dining services since 2008.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
Yes

A brief description of the food donation program:

High quality, unserved food is often leftover at the end of the day in our coffee, retail, and catering locations. Through a partnership with Arizonans for Children, who works to alleviate hardships for children in foster care, this food is collected and distributed to children in need.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

All used fryer oil is collected for biodiesel and other industrial purposes.


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:

All pre-consumer food waste is composted at all of our locations.


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:

Sun Devil Dining employees play a significant role in ASU’s Zero Waste goals by composting food and paper in all dining locations across the four ASU campuses. This includes food waste and paper napkins left on plates that are returned to the dish belt in the residential dining halls


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 8 of the Residential Dining locations on ASU campus, Engrained Café, and Catering services have reusable service ware to cut down on single use disposables.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:

Aramark provides containers for to-go meals that are either compostable, recyclable and made from recycled materials, or reusable to-go containers. Compostable service ware is available in select locations


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

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

To encourage the use of reusable drink cups, Sun Devil Dining provides a highly discounted price of a 99 cent fill of all coffee, tea, and soda in our on-campus markets as well as retail locations excluding Starbucks.


A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:

Energy and water-saving protocols are implemented before locations close for holidays or summer months to prevent any unnecessary energy and water use. Equipment is deep cleaned regularly to maximize efficiency. Designated employees are appointed to oversee energy and water use in their locations and report problems at monthly meetings.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.