Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.54
Liaison Alex Miller
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Carleton College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Alexandra Miller
Sustainability Program Coordinator
Energy and Sustainability
"---" 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:

A policy is attached from Bon Appetit.


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:

All of our campus farm produce is sold to our dining service provider. Three farm interns work all summer at the on-campus farm.


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?:
No

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

There are vegan dining options at every meal in both dining halls. One of the dining halls has a station which always has vegan options for lunch/dinner, and has recently expanded to vegan breakfasts during the week. The other dining hall always has a type of veggie burger and salad bar options. Many of the entrees offered are available with meat or as a vegan option.

Food Truth students are promoting Meatless Mondays and Bon App is encouraging students to o meatless any day of the week.


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:

Yes, and there are vegetarian specials with every meat special. For Climate Action Week low-impact dining options are highlighted (ie. low water use, vegan or vegetarian, etc.)


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:

We do a few local-focused meals where we bring in farmers from the area to visit with students, we shoot for twice a year. Climate Action Week also has a themed meal for low-impact dining each year.


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:

We have a robust signage program that labels foods from vegan to made without gluten-containing ingredients,etc.


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:

Yes, Bon Appetit does an excellent job with signage of local producers and other sustainability practices year-round. The student workers in dining services work directly with the manager to develop materials such as table tents to educate students on the importance of local foods.


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:

Bon Appetit has a monthly wellness topic that we feature relating to both wellness and nutrition.


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:

Bon Appétit's staff works to reduce food waste as part of their daily protocol.
For outdoor events, BA manages the number of buffet lines so that food does not become stranded and wasted (they also limit the number of trays of produce they put out by placing only one type of vegetable on each tray). Additionally, leftovers from menu items are planned into the subsequent day's menu, and soups are frozen or transported to Carleton's cafe for the next day's meal. Broths are created from the stock of vegetables that would otherwise be disposed.

The Carleton Food Recovery program is extremely robust and was asked to present at the Students for Zero Waste Conference 2018 in Philadelphia, PA. They have since served as a model for other campuses.


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:

Through a student-led initiative, Carleton instituted trayless dining in one of its two campus dining halls. The program began as "Trayless Tuesdays" in the 2010-2011 academic year and was expanded by student referendum to "Trayless Everyday" for the 2011-2012 academic year and beyond. The program applies to student dining, not the two commercial cafes. We continue to encourage student to go trayless and promote this annually during Climate Action Week.

The Food Recovery Program operated through the CCCE collects and delivers food from the dining halls to the local food pantry. Volunteers collect food ten times a week and recently collected over 2,000 pounds of food in the fall 10 week term and donated them to 4 non-profits in the area.

Bon Appetit has integrated "tasting spoons" throughout the dining halls so that students can sample an item before committing to it. They also limit the number of self-serve stations so that portions are controlled.


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:

Food Recovery Network has began and developed into one of the most active groups on campus. They now pick up 10 times a week and deliver to four non profits in the Northfield community. This past term was a record for donations- one ton of food donated in nine weeks!


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:

We donate the fryer oil for biofuel.


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 for food prepared by Carleton's food provider is composted.


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 food waste at Carleton is composted by an outside company. Additionally, only compostable products are used at major outdoor catered events. Composting is widespread on campus and is part of our triple-bin system.


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:

Carleton uses metal reusable silverware for dine in meals and "Eco Products" plant based plastic compostable silverware for to-go meals. They are BPI certified and composted off-site.


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:

All dishware in our dining halls are reusable. In our to-go style cafe, reusable dishware is available for those wishing to eat in the cafe. Compostable to-go containers are the option if student want to take their meal out of the cafe. Our cafe also has a Mug Club, to encourage students to use their reusable mug for coffee and tea (10 mug punches equals a free cup of coffee or tea).


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:

Patrons in our cafes can purchase a drink for $1.25 (no matter what size) with use of a reusable mug. Without the discount, a large is $1.80 and a small is $1.44. Our cafe also has a Mug Club, to encourage students to use their reusable mug for coffee and tea (10 mug punches equals a free cup of coffee or tea).


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:

Imperfectly Delicious Produce (IDP): This is a program that was started by Bon App’s waste specialist. The idea behind it is to put to use produce items that would otherwise be thrown out because, aesthetically, they are not fit to be sold in grocery stores. With the IDP, misshapen produce, or tomatoes with blemishes on them are being used to cook our meals instead of being thrown out.
Buying in Bulk
Bon App has tried to buy in bulk as much as possible to reduce the smaller, individual packets. For example, Bon App puts ketchup out in the big containers as opposed to having individual packets to reduce the overall waste produced.
Napkins on tables: Studies have shown that when the napkins are on the table, people take a napkin as needed. Whereas, if the napkins are on the counter, people take a huge stack and end up throwing them all out in the end. By switching to this set-up, Bon App has saved a lot of money and waste.

Dining Hall: Bon App has been trying to reduce food waste by batch cooking throughout the meal period, so they make the food as needed. They also now have tasting spoons at each station to let students try the food before they take it. Bon App is hoping this will reduce the amount of students that take food and then waste it because they don’t like it.

Bon App also uses Terracycle to recycle as many products as possible, like the Malt-o-Meal brand cereal bags.


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