Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.83
Liaison Tom Twist
Submission Date June 12, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bates College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Tom Twist
Sustainability Manager
Facilities
"---" 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:

Bates Dining believes that the purpose of its mission is to create and keep satisfied customers, resulting in growth of the operation and the advancement of its members.

Bates Dining believes in the preparation of quality food, a clean, safe and orderly environment, fairness, friendly service and professional performance.

Bates Dining believes that each and every person can contribute creatively to our success. Everyone can become both a supporting member of an award winning team and a star in his / her own right.

Bates Dining believes in establishing relationships with customers, employees, purveyors and all other members of the community committed to the highest standards of quality, integrity, professionalism and fairness.

Bates Dining believes that the environment must be taken into consideration when purchasing, creating, delivering and serving our products.

Bates’ Dining Service has become a model of environmental stewardship, redesigning machinery to conserve both water and energy and diverting a majority of its wastes from the solid waste stream.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
Yes

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:

We two garden plots on campus - one for herbs closest to the dining hall, and another farther away, which generally has a variety of produce. Both gardens total about 1.6 acres. Our dining commons purchases the produce from these gardens, and uses them in our vegan bar.

We also work with a nonprofit called Lots to Gardens, which uses vacant lots - some of which are owned by Bates, to create gardens in conjunction with our local and growing immigrant community. We collaborate with this wonderful group quite often.


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?:
Yes

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

We also work with a nonprofit called Lots to Gardens, which uses vacant lots - some of which are owned by Bates, to create gardens in conjunction with our local and growing immigrant community. We collaborate with this wonderful group quite often.

We also partner with Wolf Pine Farm, to supply a local CSA option to the Bates Community.


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:

Bates Dining has allocated about a quarter of its space to create a vegan bar, which serves wonderful, fresh and local food. This is offered every day, at every meal, all year round.

http://www.bates.edu/food/foods-importance/food-in-good-company/vegan-station-draws-carnivores/


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:

We host acclaimed chefs to come in and demonstrate meatless cooking techniques. We also just completed a month of protein awareness, focusing on getting enough protein, particularly if you are a vegetarian. We also now host events which are entirely free of disposable dishware. Dining, in conjunction with a student group known as CHEWS, puts on an event like this every month.


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:

Yes, we culminate our No Waste November with a Trashion Show, where designers showcase outfits made from trash - and a locally-sourced meal, Harvest Dinner.

https://www.bates.edu/dining/

https://www.bates.edu/news/2019/12/10/slideshow-portraits-from-the-2019-trashion-show/


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:

About one quarter of our Dining Commons is allocated to local, sustainable, and vegan food, which is prepared fresh on site as the food is consumed (to reduce waste and help freshness). During the growing season, the vegan bar is also the recipient of veggies from our Bates Garden.


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:

The Dining Commons has a prominently displayed map of Maine, where each of our local producers is labeled geographically. Also, during the harvest season, there are signs letting the students know which dishes were prepared with produce from the Bates garden.

Also, we have recently phased out disposable cups, and have distributed signs about waste around the dining hall. This was a Dining/student initiative, and is currently keeping 750,000 disposable cups out of the landfill every year.

https://www.bates.edu/news/2017/03/30/paper-coffee-cups-soon-to-be-an-un-commons-sight/


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:

We have started a 1.6 acre garden to tangibly teach students about the value of local, organic, no till food. We use this space not only to provide vegetables for dining, but also as a place for students to try out more environmentally benign food production methods.

https://www.bates.edu/news/2018/05/09/onions-and-taters-and-kale-oh-my-its-the-bates-garden/


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:
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:

Dining is committed to keep its waste diversion rate above 80%. This last fiscal year, it diverted 83% of its waste to composting, pig farmers, and recycling. It is leading the college in its waste management systems. We have reduced this waste further by eliminating 750,000 paper cups from the waste stream by switching to reusable drinking containers. We also now compost all napkins in Commons.

http://www.bates.edu/dining/who-we-are/


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:

Though we do have trays available for certain special cases, dining's education and cultural shifts in the student body have made the trays entirely unused, save for visitors. We have accomplished this via a cultural shift and outreach campaign.


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:

Our dining Commons donates previously served food to St. Mary's Food bank, in Lewiston.


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:

Dining is seeing a diversion rate of 83% of its waste stream. This is accomplished by - having food waste and paper napkins go to our local composter, food waste to pig farmers, used fryer oil to a biodiesel processing plant, and our brown grease to a methane digester.


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, we partner with a composter and pig farmer for our food waste.


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:

Same as above, except just composting, not pig food.


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:
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:

Students can request to go lunches, which are packaged in recycleable or compostable containers.


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:
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:

We send our fryer oil to a biodiesel plant, and our brown grease to a methane digester.


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