Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.19
Liaison John Pumilio
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colgate University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Pamela Gramlich
Sustainability Office Program Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" 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:

Supporting the preservation of the American family farm, reducing the carbon footprint of our supply chain, and giving back to the local communities are central to our core values. In collaboration with our partners at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, we seek to reduce our dependence on factory farming and to partner with qualified local and regional growers and develop relationships with local farms whenever possible. We define “local” in 2-tiers: 1) within a 250-mile radius of Colgate University and 2) within our county or any of the six counties that border our county. We aim to have 30 percent of food purchasing from local and community-based or third-party certified sources. We are currently meeting that goal.
https://new.dineoncampus.com/colgate/sustainability


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:

Chartwells purchases food from the student-run Colgate Community Garden.


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:

Over the summer and in the fall there is a weekly farm stand with produce from the Colgate Community Garden. There is also a "Meet the Farmers" event once a year in which our local producers meet with students and share their goods/ produce.


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:

Colgate University’s dining halls distinguish between meat and meatless options in our main dining hall. There are vegan options located within the “Rooted in Good Taste” vegetarian and vegan section; however, there is no signage distinguishing between vegetarian and vegan options. Additionally, vegetarian and vegan sandwiches and wraps are available in all dining locations across campus.

Colgate University’s Made-to-Order Program makes vegan and vegetarian options (sandwiches, pasta, and vegetarian omelets) available to students at our dining locations. Local, vegetarian, and vegan food options are promoted using posters and signs, encouraging students to be a “flexitarian,” eating at least one meatless meal per week. In the future, Colgate plans to implement campus-wide events such as "Meatless Mondays."


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:

Chartwells catering will provide reusable china upon request for a small upcharge. They will also incorporate local and sustainable foods upon request, and provide compostable/ biodegradable plates and "plastic"-wear upon request.


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:

Chartwells will provide local meals 1-2 times a semester that highlight local and sustainable foods.


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:

Colgate's main dining hall has a large sign displaying the impact of food choices. They also have a map of local foods and often times indicate sustainable and/or local food choices.


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:

Chartwells holds a food workshop showcasing local and sustainable food which is open to all students. There have also recently been class projects that focus on sustainable food systems at Colgate.


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:

Colgate University’s Made-to-Order Program helps to minimizes food waste by reducing the amount of “leftovers” that would otherwise be thrown away.

Chartwells implemented "Project Clean Plate” which recorded and publicized the amount of waste our main dining hall produced during the semester, explicitly showing students the impact of their consumption. The program was successful in reducing waste production by about 25 percent during its peak implementation.


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:

Project Clean Plate was, and continues to be, a successful way to build student awareness of consumption and waste regarding food on campus. Overall waste was reduced significantly.

All pre-consumer food scraps on campus, about 35%, are composted. We also use the LeanPath system to reduce overall food waste generated through the preparation and disposal of food in our kitchens.

Colgate University went trayless dining in 2012. This was the result of a student-led effort where Environmental Studies students researched the economic feasibility and the social and environmental impacts of going trayless in our main dining hall. Our student government association picked up on this and pushed it through with support from Colgate's Dining Services.


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:

Since 2012, there have not been trays offered in the campus dining hall.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
No

A brief description of the food donation program:
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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:

To divert food from the landfill, Colgate composts pre-consumer food waste in the main dining hall on campus.


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:

Colgate began composting pre-consumer food scraps in our main dining hall for all meals in 2010. Our Dining Services staff collects the food scraps and our Facilities Department brings the organic material to our on campus composting facility.


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:

A small-scale, post-consumer composting program operates through Colgate's Community Garden.


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:

All of the dinnerware in the primary dining hall is reusable.


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 our take-out locations utilize corn-based compostable packaging and flatware. There is also a reusable option available for students, staff, and faculty.


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:

We offer beverage discounts at the Coop and the library café for those with reusable mugs.


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)?:
No

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data on conventional vs sustainable animal products purchased is an estimate based off of incomplete information.

The year 2015 was a banner year for dining services at Colgate and we spent significant time and energy ensuring that sustainability is well-represented and advancing in our food and dining service operations on campus. Here are a few areas that we focused on:

Sustainable Dining Services Advisory Group. Throughout 2015, a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and key dining service representatives made progress to ensure that sustainability is well represented in Dining Services. We are pursuing the recommendations and goals highlighted in our 2014 summary report to the President’s Staff. We met more than a half-dozen times in 2015 and helped to guide the development of a new food procurement benchmarking and tracking system, hiring and training of our new manager of sustainability in dining services, working with the Chartwells team during their transition, and further defining what a sustainable dining services program entails.
Dining Services Contract. This committee helped to select Chartwells as our new dining services vendor. We spent significant time in 2015 on this process working with our consultants, the committee, our broader community, and the Chartwells team to ensure that our community’s priorities were expressed and sustainability was represented in a significant way.

Manager of Sustainability in Dining Services. In 2015, Colgate created and hired our first manager of sustainability in dining services. This work included justifying and getting approval of the position, writing the job description, advertising the opening, organizing a search committee, reviewing applications, conducting interviews and making a final decision.

Community Garden Project. Last year was the garden's first full year at our new location on Broad Street (south of the Townhouses). The garden produced over 4,000 lbs of produce and we sold half to dining services on campus and we donated half to the Hamilton Food Cupboard. The sale of our produce covered our operating costs.

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.