Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 62.57
Liaison Kylee Singh
Submission Date Feb. 16, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California Polytechnic State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Megan Coats
Dietitian
Cal Poly 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:

In May 2014, the CSU Board of Trustees, with Governor Brown in attendance, adopted the first CSU system- wide Sustainability Policy. The policy aims not only to further reduce the environmental impact of construction and operation of buildings, grounds, and infrastructure, but to integrate sustainability across the curriculum. Cal Poly's polytechnic, hands-on, learn-by-doing approach is uniquely positioned to educate a community of leaders, problem solvers, and decision makers that will battle the effects of climate change. The CSU Sustainability Policy established goals to:

-Reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020
-Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2040
-Procure 33% of energy supply from renewable sources by 2020
-Increase on-site energy generation from 44 to 80 MW by 2020
-Reduce per-capita landfill waste 50% by 2016 and 80% by 2020
-Reduce water use 10% by 2016 and 20% by 2020
-Promote use of alternative fuels and transportation programs
-Procure goods that are recycled, recyclable, or reusable
-Procure 20% local/organic/free trade food by 2020
-Integrate Sustainability across the curriculum

Early Results: Cal Poly has already achieved the goals of reducing GHG emissions below 1990 levels, and has reduced its water use by 31% since 2013, five years ahead of the CSU mandate. Initiatives are underway to make progress toward all other goals of the CSU Policy.


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:

Cal Poly Organic Farm grows a variety of seasonal produce at different times of the year and provides these items to a number of campus venues including catering. The Cal Poly Strawberry Center and Cal Poly Citrus Farms provide seasonal fruit when available. Cal Poly whole eggs are also used at a variety of venues.


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:

Cal Poly Farm and Organic Farm host a farm stand on campus as well as "U Pick" events throughout the year.


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:

Vegan meals and options are provided in all twenty+ campus dining locations. Soy (edamame, tofu), whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc), nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy greens can be found in all dining venues throughout campus. Because the majority of campus dining locations are "a la carte," building a meal to meet dietary preferences is simple.


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:

In the fall of 2016, Meatless Mondays were launched in the main dining hall. Meatless dishes were featured, highlighting produce, legumes and whole grains. In addition, Campus Dining educated the campus community about the environmental, sustainable, financial and health benefits associated with going meatless. 


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:

Each fall, the main dining hall hosts a Food Day event, featuring local produce and sustainably-sourced seafood. The university simultaneously hosts a sustainability event that features clubs, local vendors, and educational activities. Each spring, the main dining hall hosts an event called Earth Day Everyday, which also focuses on local produce and products and a sustainably-sourced menu. Local vendors host tables at the event, providing samples and educating students about their products. 


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:

The Real Food Collaborative runs a sustainably-sourced mobile food location occasionally on campus.


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:

Dining develops and distributes a weekly email promotion called "The Dish," which features a sustainability tip or fact. "The Dish" also appears each week as a print ad in the campus newspaper, Mustang News. There are also signage displays and video monitors in the dining halls about food waste, composting, and trayless dining. Social media is also used to educate the campus community about sustainability efforts. 


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:

Dining assists students with their class research and projects on a variety of topics including food waste, composting, energy management, etc. Student-led groups and clubs also partake in a variety of events and outreach throughout the year.


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 Cal Poly registered dietitian leads a team of students who help facilitate events at dining venues about nutrition, wellness and sustainability. Topics may include, vegetarian proteins, hydration, composting, etc. Campus partners and student-led groups also have many sustainability related initiatives (including but not limited to Green Campus, Zero Waste Club, Nutrition Club, peer health educators, Health Ambassadors, etc).


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:
---

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 was implemented in 2005, campus wide. 


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:

Multiple times per quarter, food is donated to a number of local food banks/pantries.


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 uses an outside vendor to recycle cooking oil to be converted to fuel and other 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:

All pre consumer waste is collected into composting bins from all production departments. 


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:

Post consumer composting bins are available at many dining locations around campus, as well as, a select few residence halls, the library and union building, as part of a pilot program. The main dining facility, 19 Metro, also composts post consumer waste.


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 all-you-care-to-eat restaurant on campus utilizes reusable china for meals.


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:

In the all-you-care-to-eat venue, reusable "to go" containers are offered to first year students. Each student is issued a plastic recyclable container that they can use and bring back unwashed in exchange for a clean one. 


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:

At a number of campus venues, a discount is applied if a customer brings in their own reusable mug or cup for a beverage at beverage dispensers. 


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:

Dining has worked closely with vendors to ensure all serving ware is compostable or recyclable, if applicable. Catering also offers Zero Waste events, campus wide.


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