Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.21
Liaison Darcy Coughlan
Submission Date Dec. 20, 2021

STARS v2.2

Coastal Carolina University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Darcy Coughlan
Associate Director
Sustain Coastal
"---" 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?:

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
The Farmers Market that is run by the Sustain Coastal Department is a monthly project that occurs during the academic months. The project partners with the Waccamaw Market Cooperative. The Waccamaw Market Cooperative is a non-profit organization that is responsible for coordinating and managing community-based farmer’s markets throughout Horry/Georgetown counties. At the farmers markets, local businesses can feature fresh and locally grown produce, plants, baked goods, handmade jewelry and other eco-friendly products. They accept cash, checks, EBT, and credit/debit cards. Some benefits of having a farmers market include increasing fresh, healthy food and serve as a public gathering places for people from different ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic communities.

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:
In the Healthy Highlights by CCU FoodCrew, they have a Sustainability feature in their weekly emails. On Sustainable restraint that was featured was Sambazon Acai Bowls. The Sambazon Company prides itself on being the first and only certified organic and Fair-Trade Acai. The company’s fair trade is founded on three principles: 1) respect of human rights and fair working conditions, 2) respect of the ecosystem and promotion of sustainable and agricultural practices and 3) respect and betterment of local communities. In connection with their principles, their philosophy is about incorporating all three pillars of sustainability, which are society, environment and economy, into everyday business. When a customer purchases an acai bowl form Sambazon, they are making a positive impact on building of schools, medical centers, community centers and water filtration systems in Brazil. They are also helping support over 30,000 local Brazilian farmers and helping to protect 2 million acres of the Amazon Rainforest. Aramark / CCU Food Crew has hosted sustainability - themed food events such as Weigh the Waste, Food Waste Buffet, and Local Flavors Showcases.

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?:

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
Every week the CCU FoodCrew make weekly emails called “Healthy Highlights” showing either guest chefs, highlighting special promotions and the special meals for the week among the various dining halls. The CCU FoodCrew participates in Food to Table, where they work with agents who source directly with farms in the Carolinas. The distributer gives Food Services a list each week of products that are locally available so that can help them decide what the feature meals will be throughout the dining halls. Customizing the menus are important to utilizing the local produce. Aramark / CCU FoodCrew currently purchases local items through our partnership with FreshPoint which sources local items within a 250 mile radius of the Coastal Carolina University campus. https://coastalcarolina.campusdish.com/Sustainability During Earth Week of 2021, the CCU FoodCrew highlighted a new product that they were featuring called Vertical Roots. Vertical Roots is a company that uses a closed -loop NFT hydroponic system using less than 10 gallons of water for each growing container per day. They use 95% less water than traditional growing practices use. Vertical Roots uses zero pesticides, has the highest FDA and USDA Food Safety approval and is always sources locally. Vertical Roots provides opportunities for students to gain hands on experience. They use eco conscience sourcing and everything is delivered 1 day after harvest maximizing quality and eliminating the environmental impact of cross-country distribution. https://www.verticalroots.com/retail-wholesale-best-lettuce/

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

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:
The Plant-Forward Program with the Dining Services at CCU promotes a style of dining that emphasizes veggies, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Plants as the star of the plate allows for animal products to appear in smaller portions. Some examples of the meals that are offered are salads, garden burger, burrito bowls, bagels, soup, sushi, smoothies and much more. Cutting out some meat, especially red meat and large predatory fish can significantly help lower a person’s individual greenhouse gas emission. Raising pigs, cows, and chicken generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and other automobiles combined. Aramark / CCU Food Crew promotes plant-forward options in all of our dining facilities including educational tabling and sampling. Our registered dietitian samples plant-forward options regularly throughout the semester for our students and guests. https://coastalcarolina.campusdish.com/HealthAndWellness/PlantForward

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:
Our vegan–vegetarian program has been set forth by our corporate chefs to ensure that daily intake for vegan-vegetarian customers is met. It is designed to allow customization of the ingredients available for the meal period as well as any other of the vegan-vegetarian items from the salad bar that would heat up well and complement the dish being served. Aramark offers a meatless option daily that helps reduce the amount of animal derived food purchases. Our registered dietitian samples vegan options regularly throughout the semester for our students and guests.

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?:

A brief description of the sustainability labelling and signage in dining halls:
There are signs around the around the dining halls that are brightly colored, leaf shaped messages that make better-for-you choices easy to find. It is a simple way that can help you find the food that fits your lifestyle. The first sign is “Eat Well”, this sign means that the food it is referring to contain nutritionally dense whole foods like fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, beans, and lean protein. They are also lower in calories, saturated fat and sodium. The next sign “made with Whole grains” this selection makes up over 15% of the menu items. The next two signs are “Vegan” and “Vegetarian”. These state whether the food products are vegan and have no meat, dairy, eggs or honey or vegetarian where the products contain no meat or fish. The last sign is “Plant-Forward”, this features a style of cooking where the dish emphasizes healthy plants at the center of the plate with a proportionally small quantity of animal protein. Aramark / CCU FoodCrew promotes low impact food choices and sustainability practices with "We compost out leftovers" signage throughout our dining facilities. https://coastalcarolina.campusdish.com/HealthAndWellness/FoodThatFitsYourLife

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:
Food waste is collected form each dining hall and is turned into compost and used in the plant bed throughout campus. To minimize food waste before its generated they input back of house operational practices. Other practices include programs to help consumers decrease food waste, and feeding those in need during instances of excess safe. Aramark/CCU FoodCrew currently donates food leftovers from catering and residential dining to our CINO Pantry for students who experienced food insecurity. Aramark tracks production tends and food waste throughout it's operation with a propriety menu management system. Monthly targets and annual improvement targets are cascaded down throughout the organization to ensure that a reduction in the carbon footprint is a central focus of operations. https://coastalcarolina.campusdish.com/Sustainability

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:
The Coastal Carolina University Dining Halls participate in a sustainability initiative where they use a trayless dining service. Dining Services have been using trayless dining since 2010. Trayless dining positively impacts the waste stream, minimizes food waste, conserves energy and water and also reduces the amount of cleaning chemicals entering the waste stream. To reduce plastic / Styrofoam cups, there is a reusable mug program where students and faculty can bring their own cup in for a drink and receive a discount on beverages while also helping the environment. Aramark/CCUFoodCrew does not offer trays in any of the dining facilities and offers students the standardized portions and allows for seconds or double portions upon request. https://coastalcarolina.campusdish.com/Sustainability/WhatWeAreDoing

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:
Non-perishable food is collected from students during our “Campus Salvage” program. This program is conducted when students are moving out at the end of each spring semester. Students can donate their food at one of the many POD locations that are set up across campus. The food is then taken to local charities by members of the sustainability department.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
100% of all the oil that is used in Dining Services is recycled by Quest. By using Quest, the oil that would have been thrown down the drain or thrown in the garbage. Quest then takes that oil and turns that used cooking oil into animal feed additive, biofuel, biodiesel or is processed into lubricants resulting in one hundred percent landfill diversion. Aramark / CCU FoodCrew composts leftovers in all residential dining facilities.

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

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:
Pre-Consumer food waste is gathered and placed in plastic roll cart containers outside of the food preparation buildings on campus. We have a total of three containers that contain approximately fifty pounds of food scraps each. The containers are then picked up daily and taken to a compost pile located on campus. The food scraps are mixed with yard debris that is mulched to build the compost pile. The compost is then used by employees of the university who work in the facilities area once ready for use.

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

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:
In partnership with SMART Recycling and Aramark Dining Services, Coastal Carolina University entered into a post-consumer composting program utilizing 9 roll carts at two dining locations. The carts are emptied 3 times per week.

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:
Aramark provides silverware for dine in meals that are cleaned and sanitized in the location for re use. We do not currently offer compostable service ware for meals to go as the assumption is that they will use the utensils in their room, home, or office.

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:
Aramark currently offers an exchange system for the residential restaurant called OZZI for "to-go" meals that allows diners to swipe in and fill a cleaned and sanitized container and take it with them to eat. They will then return their box and exchange it for a key tag and leave, or they can get another box to fill and go with them.

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?:

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
Aramark provides meal plan holders a reusable water bottle that they can use to refill beverages in the residential dining areas at no cost. Use of these bottles is encouraged in place of paper, plastic, or foam cups to reduce the amount of landfill waste on campus. Starbucks offers 10% discount for reusable cups.

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

Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs 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.