Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 58.96
Liaison Stephanie Corbett
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Case Western Reserve University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jim O'Brien
Resident District Manager
Bon Appetit - CWRU
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:

Industry-leading milestones of Bon Appetit's company:
· Supporting local agriculture companywide, since 1999
· Striving to serve only seafood that meets Seafood Watch sustainability guidelines, since 2002
· Reducing antibiotic use in farm animals, since 2003
· Switching to rBGH-free milk, since 2003
· Sourcing eggs from cage-free hens, since 2005 (precracked/liquid eggs since 2016)
· Tackling food’s role in climate change, since 2007
· Upholding farmworkers’ rights, since 2009
· Switching to humanely raised ground beef, since 2012
· Switching to pork raised without gestation crates, since 2016

Farm to Fork: Bon Appetit chefs strive to source at least 20% of their ingredients from small, owner-operated farms, ranches, and artisan producers within 150 miles of their kitchens.

Seafood Standards: For all seafood purchases, wild and farmed, Bon Appetit adheres to the sustainability guidelines for commercial buyers as outlined by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program. Bon Appetit is also committed to purchasing 91.5% of tuna from suppliers that do not use FADs.

Sourcing more humanely raised animal products:
· Quietly putting meat in the back seat as well as offering vegetarian/vegan options every day
· Milk and yogurt comes from cows not treated with rBGH
· Eggs are certified cage-free (both shell and pre-cracked/liquid)
· Chicken and turkey are raised without routine antibiotics
· Ground beef comes from animals fed a vegetarian diet, never given antibiotics or artificial hormones, and from a third-party verified humane source
· Contracted pork is never given antibiotics or growth promoters
· Pork also comes from sows that spend their pregnancies in group housing, without being confined unnecessarily to gestation crates

Started the Low Carbon Diet program in 2007, which focused on:

· Serving reasonable, clearly defined portions of animal proteins based on U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommendations
· Skewing the menu mix away from beef and cheese
· Emphasizing plant-based proteins
· Tracking the ounces of various proteins they serve per guest per meal period, to make sure they stay on target

· Requiring Bon Appetit teams to actively engage in preventing waste at the source, by tracking their participation in our Imperfectly Delicious Produce program
· Continuing to prevent waste in their kitchens and recording their efforts using a two-month-long in-house program or a third-party waste-tracking program such as Lean Path
· Donating leftovers to local hunger relief organizations on a regular, not occasional basis. (Bon Appetit has vowed that by 2018, 80% of our accounts will be Food Recovery Certified.)
· Fribley cafe specifically has partnered with the Food Recovery Network this semester to use their leftover food to feed hungry members of the Cleveland community.

· No air-freighted seafood
· Restricting purchases of vegetables, meat, non-tropical fruit, and bottled water to North America
· Encouraging purchases of seasonal and regional fruits and vegetables
· Training chefs and managers how to prioritize tropical fruit that is typically boated or trucked versus air-freighted when needed

· Purchasing meat from North American farms and ranches (fed with U.S.-grown crops)
· Opting for paper products that are FSC Certified and/or made from recycled content
· Setting measurable goals for purchasing coffee from Certified Organic, shade-grown, Rainforest Alliance or Bird Friendly certified (by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center) farms

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

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

The University Farm cultivates 3-acres of kitchen food production which is purchased by Bon Appetit and other local restaurants and the campus community. Bon Appetit regularly serves these products including for example, summer salad greens, peppers, tomatoes, herbs and mushrooms.

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?:

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

Starting in 2012, and through last summer, the university farm offered a CSA to the campus community and the public. The CSA offered five four-week sessions with a pick up available either on campus or at the Farm. This CSA boasts of offering oyster mushrooms in addition to the other fresh, local, seasonal produce, and the option to only sign up for as many of the four week sessions participants choose.

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?:

A brief description of the vegan dining program:

Vegan and vegetarian options are made available at every meal, as required by Bon Appetit company policy.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:

A brief description of the low impact dining events:

Bon Appetit does not have continually scheduled “Meatless Mondays” yet, but on an everyday basis, Bon Appétit has committed to continuing to shift the proteins they serve from animal- to plant-based sources. They have set specific ounces-per-guest-per-meal targets and launched detailed reporting on this and other metrics, via the new dashboard, for every company location to ensure accountability. Chefs are receiving training on moving their menus away from beef and cheese, offering specifically defined reasonable portions of any animal protein (less than or equal to those of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines), and techniques to emphasize plant-based proteins.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:

Eat local challenge: Each September, Bon Appetit challenges chefs to hold an event with a meal made completely from local ingredients (defined as coming from within a 150-mile radius of the café). If they wanted to serve a turkey sandwich, for example, then not just the turkey, but also the yeast and wheat for the bread, the milk for the cheese, the eggs for the mayo, et cetera all had to be locally grown. The only exception allowed is salt.

Low Carbon Diet Day: Although low carbon changes are being incorporated into our purchasing and menus year-round, Bon Appetit celebrates Low Carbon Diet Day around Earth Day each year, which involves putting up educating materials about how the food we eat affects the earth. There is a different theme every year. For example, in 2013 they commissioned a review of more than four dozen scientific papers projecting how important crops such as corn, wheat, rice, fruit, dairy, and coffee will fare in a changing climate — and what pressures they are already under from climate change. In addition to distilling the research into eye-catching educational signage and materials, they added a performance element to bring it to life. Bon Appétit chefs around the country used a cooking demonstration to discuss these global agriculture trends as well as to encourage guests to choose planet-friendlier foods.

In February 2017 Bon Appetit hosted a local cereal tasting table in both Leutner and Fribley, to showcase a local cereal maker and bring awareness that they will be featuring the product in our dining halls.

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?:

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:

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?:

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:

Bon Appetit prioritizes a education campaign throughout the year in the campus dining halls and restaurants that educates consumers on the benefits of eating local, promotes consumers choosing locally sourced meal options and occasionally throughout the year educates on the benefits on eating vegetarian and vegan for lowering impact.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:

Bon Appetit employs four fellows who travel to campuses to meet with students and staff to increase awareness and education regarding sustainable food systems and other sustainability issues related to the dining contract. The fellow assigned to CWRU just spent a week at our campus and met with student groups to help them collaborate both with Bon Appetit and to offer advice on amplifying their messages and goals. The Office for Sustainability also employs two ambassadors who are focused on sustainable food and water on campus. They collaborate with other student organizations and departments to advance the goals of sustainable food and raise awareness. One of their projects this semester is to create a sustainable eating guide for the campus use, as well as to plan programs and outreach during our campus's food week, April 10-14th, the highlight of which will be a keynote by a local sustainable food producer and advocate.

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)?:

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:

Bon Appetit Management Company provides a wellness indicator for all foods, that indicate at a glance whether something is on the healthier end of the spectrum or the not-so-healthy end by using a colored up or down arrow, along with a per-serving calorie count.

Since 2013, Bon Appetit has been working through a sodium reduction campaign to enable their chefs to create healthy and delicious food with less salt.

Starting in 2016, Bon Appetit has worked through their fellows on a healthy kids in the kitchen program that partners with campus cafes to teach local children, oftentimes children of staff or faculty, to prepare healthful food.

Bon Appetit has also committed to encouraging healthy food choices and appropriate serving sizes as a matter of course in their dining facilities, and making it easy for those with food restrictions (i.e. vegan, vegetarian, gluten free) to find compliant foods.
They are committed to emphasizing the use of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains and use a "stealth" model to increase nutrition through healthy cooking techniques in everyday food production.

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?:

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

Our on-site food provider, Bon Appetit, has kitchen and sustainability standards in place that include preparing food in small batches and cooking from scratch, to include stocks from scraps, that reduce waste. Pre-consumer food waste from dining halls are composted at our University farm. Bon Appetit is piloting LeanPath software in our University's kitchens this year.

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?:

A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:

Bon Appetit has eliminated trays in all student dining halls; only retail food areas areas have trays available for use. Our local chapter of Food Recovery Network has partnered with Bon Appetit and its outlets, as well as other local businesses, to capture leftover food for donation. They collect from locations five days a week, and pick-up a bulk donation stored by Bon Appetit on Saturday. The food is taken to one of two hunger centers, and provided to patrons in the form of items to eat on site, to take home, and integrated into a hot meal.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:

A brief description of the food donation program:

Bon Appetit regularly donates surplus food before closing cafeterias for breaks - unprocessed food, typically surplus produce, is donated to different local food pantry type non-profit organizations. Food Recovery Network, a student organization, works with Bon Appetit to donate surplus prepared foods from two kitchens and various retail outlets bon on and off-campus to a different local food pantry.

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)?:

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

Bon Appetit is working with a student group to pilot a program to produce used cooking oil to biofuel that would be used on campus. They are in the beginning stages of production.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

Bon Appetit composts the majority of its pre-consumer kitchen waste; this waste is composted at the CWRU Farms for use in gardens that grow produce which is then used by dining services. The Tinkham Veale University Center has a pulper installed to aid in composting pre-consumer kitchen scraps.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

The "Green Your Event" checklist directs event planners on how to prepare for a zero-waste event, to include post-consumer composting. Event composting is sometimes done for events, such as the annual Farm Harvest Festival at the University Farm. Our Weatherhead School of Management graduation celebration was a zero waste event that composted all the lunch scraps at a local commercial compost facility.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:

A brief description of the reusable service ware program:

The two main student dining halls are "dine in" and provide only reusable dinnerware for all meals. The Tinkham Veale University Center food court also offers the option of using reusable plates for dine-in 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)?:

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:

In an effort to reduce food waste, "to-go" containers are not offered at dining facilities.

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?:

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

Bon Appetit offers resuable mug discounts in many of its retail locations: Starbucks NRV (1.00 refill coffee), Tomlinson Marketplace (.99 refill coffee, fountain beverage and iced tea), BRB Cafe (.99 coffee), KSL Cafe (.99 coffee) and WRB Cafe (.99 coffee).

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)?:

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:

The Student Sustainability Council and Bon Appetit worked together in 2015/16 to remove plastic bags from two grab and go food locations on campus. They piloted moving the bags the previous spring to reduce automatic bag usage, and surveyed students to encourage putting food into reusable bags or backpacks. In the fall, they handed out reusable, packable bags with carabiner clips that were purchased by Bon Appetit with sponsorship from the Office for Sustainability. Plastic bags were then phased out and are no longer offered. Over 500 bags were being used per day, 5 days a week, prior to the phase-out.

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.