Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.71
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bowdoin College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Matt Caiazzo
Sourcing and Menu Manager
Dining
"---" 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:

Bowdoin Dining is committed to promoting sustainability by utilizing affordably priced, local and renewable products, reducing food waste, recycling, and reducing the negative impact of industrial meat production by promoting a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, sourced locally. Specific examples of sustainable initiatives include: providing oversight and coordination to the ongoing development of the Bowdoin Organic Garden, ensuring that a selection criterion for all contracted vendors is a consideration of their environmental practices and record, increasing resources and expertise dedicated to our fresh vegetable culinary production area, and celebrating local food and cuisine.


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:

Since 2005, Bowdoin Dining has operated the Bowdoin Organic Garden, two campus plots, over a 1/2 acre of land, dedicated to growing certified organic produce for the dining halls. This long-term sustainability investment includes a full-time garden manager, an assistant garden manager, two summer student interns and many student and staff volunteers. Over the years, the partnership has deepened our connections to the local agriculture community, expanded our culinary staff's ability to utilize seasonal produce, and provided a campus focal point for faculty and students to pursue related academic interests. https://www.bowdoin.edu/dining/organic-garden/index.html


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:

Brunswick, our community, has two very robust famers' markets that provide local produce, meat, fish, baked goods and other prepared products, several days a week, year-round. It is not the College's intention to compete with these successful operations. The Bowdoin Organic Garden does hold public sales several times over the summer and early fall, mostly at times of excess harvest.


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:

At Bowdoin, we don't necessarily identify a vegan dining program. Because Dining is such an important component of the residential life at the college, we want our food to reflect the preferences of all our students. Rather than limit the appeal of our plant-forward offerings to a subset, we market their health benefits and deliciousness to everyone. At a minimum, in each dining hall, during each meal period, our menu standards require that one vegan entrée be available in addition to a vegan protein and cooked vegetables. At the salad stations, there is an array of composed salads, in addition to rotating fresh cut vegetables and fruits, plain grains, legumes and house-made vegan dressings. Because our dining halls are traditional AYCTE locations, and we continue to feature scratch cooking, our chefs are continually coming up with wonderful recipes to meet the needs of our customers. Some of our most popular healthy items are: chick pea curry with roasted cauliflower, black bean and sweet potato patties, maple baked butternut squash with cranberries, homemade kimchee, house pickled beets, curried tofu “egg” salad, and mansoor dal. Our students LOVE cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in any form! We bake fresh bread daily for the dining halls, most of which are vegan. House baked vegan cookies and desserts are available including rotating flavors of chia pudding. We produce our own, very popular vegan granola. Several varieties of vegan milk including rice, soy and almond are always available as well as freshly ground peanut butter, dried fruit, wheat germ, soy nuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds and nutritional yeast. We put a lot of effort into ensuring that our vegan items have broad appeal to all members of the campus community.


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:

Bowdoin Dining has collaborated with several student groups to educate diners about carbon footprint as it relates to our menu items. Students calculated carbon footprints and experimented to determine the most effective way to affect dining decisions based on this information. These exercises have been very positive both for our culinary staff and customers.


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:

Bowdoin Dining hosts Locavore Dinners several times a year at which all the entree options and desserts are locally sourced or made from locally sourced ingredients. The dining program has a strong emphasis on local cuisine. A Bowdoin education includes an appreciation of Downeast standards like lobsters, creamy fish chowder, baked beans, anadama bread, hermits and whoopie pies and the Maine experience wouldn’t be complete without lobsters, which are pulled from the sea just down the road off Harpswell Neck. Bowdoin kicks off each academic year with an authentic lobster bake, and graduating seniors say their final goodbyes over lobster, corn and blueberry cake.


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:

In both dining halls, there are displays on bulletin boards with educational materials about Bowdoin's Organic Garden, local food options, and sustainability in dining. This is in addition to labeling of foods in the dining halls as vegetarian, vegan, from the Bowdoin Organic Garden, locally sourced or certified MSC, organic. or other.


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:

Our organic gardener hosts events at the garden and makes numerous presentations during the course of the year that teach and inform students about agriculture and the local growing community. Our sourcing manager is involved with several local foods organizations that bring stakeholders together to discuss common issues and seek creative solutions. Dining Services works with faculty members across multiple disciplines (biology, sociology, economics, environmental studies, visual arts) each semester to help illustrate sustainability issues.


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:

The Dining department strongly emphasizes healthy eating among our own employees. Our nutritionist works one on one with them to encourage diet changes that will have a positive impact on their health. We have seen a marked increase in fresh vegetable consumption among staff since our composed salad program. Bowdoin has made a campus-wide commitment to increasing diversity and supporting inclusion, which our department has implemented in the form of making food with authentic ingredients and spices from other cultures.


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?:
No

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

Bowdoin Dining encourages trayless dining by marketing its positive effects. We work with sustainable student groups who set up tables in the dining hallls to influence peer behavior. Because our dining spaces are frequented by outside community members, many of whom need trays because of mobility issues, we keep trays on hand, but students for the most part don't use them.


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:

A student-run group, Food Forward, regularly transports extra food to Mid-Coast Hunger Prevention Program in Brunswick.


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:

Bowdoin Dining Service's used cooking oil is collected and picked up by a local company that makes it into bio-diesel and soap products.


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:

Pre- and post-consumer waste from the dining halls is picked up by a Portland, Maine based company, We Compost It.


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:

Pre- and post- consumer waste from the dining halls is picked up by a Portland, Maine based company, We Compost It.


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:

The dining halls do not provide disposable dishware with the exception of a 6 oz. compostable paper coffee cup. All other dishware is ceramic, glass or hard plastic. We use metal silverware. All dishware is washed and reused for those who eat in the dining hall.


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:

Our dining halls do not provide to-go containers to customers other than the aforementioned 6 oz. compostable paper coffee cup. Reusable containers are available and encouraged in our retail grill restaurant and highly utilized by both faculty/staff and students. Bowdoin Dining makes the containers available for a discounted price and washes them for free.


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:

There is are rewards systems for the express lunch option, cafe, and grill. For the express option, bringing a reusable bag (instead of using a paper bag each time) is rewarded with a stamp. Once ten stamps are collected, they can be exchanged for $1 coupon for on-campus dining options. At the cafe, drink rates are reduced if you bring your own mug and "in-house" drinks (in dining cups that are then washed and reused) are also discounted and available for free refills of coffee. At the campus grill, customers can purchase a reusable take-out container and save $.25 per order when they use their reusable container.


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:

Bowdoin Dining has made substantial investments in space and equipment that allows us to purchase and store our products in bulk.


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