Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 47.37
Liaison Holly Andersen
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2021

STARS v2.2

Bennington College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.55 / 2.00
"---" 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?:
No

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

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:
---

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:

"The 2020 Academic year to date, the total food cost spend was $467,019.00 Out of that total spend and of all of the attributes stated in the Farm Logix report the total spend was $317,496.00, which is 68% of total spend going to Local, Humane, Rainforest, etc. of the total spend going to these local businesses.
"


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
68

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:

The Bennington Dining Sevices hold an annual event during lunch time which features sustainable dining. The food offered at the events is raw (salads, cheese and fruit plates, sandwiches) to reduce oil, water, and energy use in the Dining Hall Building. In addition to that, the minimum amount of light is utilized, most of the dining hall lights are off to reduce the electric energy usage.


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:

Bennington College Dining includes the vegan meal options at all times. The vegan meal options are always marked at all dining outlets.


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:

Through our commitment to serving locally sourced and sustainably produced food we have developed relationships with local farmers and producers by the dozens, including Northeast Family Farms, Black River Meats, Maplebrook Farm, Blythedale Farm, Earth Sky Time Community Farm, Vermont Fresh Pasta Company, and Bennington College's own Purple Carrot Farm. All food prepared using the products from those companies are labeled during the meals.

In addition we are committed to:
-Composting all food scraps
-Recycling fryer oil
-Using recycled and recyclable containers and paper goods
-Recycling cardboard, paper, glass, and plastic
-Trayless dining to reduce thousands of gallons of water waste
-Discontinuing the retail sale of bottled water keeping plastic out of our ecosystem
-Eliminating straws, to-go containers, individual creamers, and many other single-use plastics from service.


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:

The Dining Hall staff members track the food waste daily, including the food for composting, and calculate it in the software system. Once the food waste percentage increases, the staff uses up less products for meal prep, and reduces the amount of products ordered accordingly.


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:

No trays used. Many menu items plated to control portioning.


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:
---

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:

Used frying oil is converted into biodiesel.


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:

Food processing trim weighed and sent to composting facility.


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 post consumer waste goes to composting facility.


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 service ware is resuable. No disposable service ware is used.


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:

All compostable and single use containers were elliminated on campus.


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?:
No

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

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

Composting on Campus
Beginning this fall, the College Buildings and Grounds staff will be collecting composting from all student houses. Last year, we supplied all student houses with a small stainless steel kitchen composting bucket. We will be using these buckets for composting this fall. The expectation for students is: when this bin in your kitchen is full, students must bring it outside to a larger 5 gallon composting pail located at each house's trash location. Our B&G staff will check these buckets several times a week. B&G will bring the 5 gallon buckets of composting to the dining hall composting dump location and return the empty buckets to each house. If this bin is missing from your trash location, please reach out to Buildings and Grounds and we will get you a new one. All staff and faculty housing will be required to bring compost to the dining hall composting location (at the exterior trash area near Commons). Please note that when you are bringing compost and dumping it in the dining hall compost, it cannot be in a plastic bag. Please either transfer compost directly from your bucket into the composting bins, or utilize a compostable paper bag.


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.