Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.42
Liaison Darcy Everett
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2020

STARS v2.2

College of Charleston
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 P Brian Fisher
CSO/Executive Director
Sustainability
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

Launched in 2018, the College's Farmers Market aims to connect students to the local agricultural community and provide the campus community with access to fresh produce and other locally grown goods. About 20 local vendors attend the weekly markets, and the Center for Sustainable Development and student groups also table to provide information on sustainable, healthy living.

You can read more about the university's farmers market in a feature in The College Today at https://today.cofc.edu/2019/09/20/cofc-farmers-market-connects-students-from-farm-to-table/.


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:

Housed in Jewish Studies and run by the university's Dining Services, Marty's Place serves made-to-order vegan and vegetarian dishes in a Kosher kitchen. Menu items include grain bowls, cauliflower tacos and falafel burgers.

You can learn more about Marty's Place and view recent menus and the outlet's hours at https://charleston.campusdish.com/en/LocationsAndMenus/MartysPlace.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:

The College's Dining Services has a strong commitment to sourcing from local small and medium-sized enterprises and maintains a robust partnership with the state's leading food hub, GrowFood Carolina. Local produce and other goods are often featured in multiple venues on campus, as well as in catering packages and at special events.

Locally sourced food items are labeled daily, and Cougar students, faculty and staff can buy locally sourced groceries at campus marketplaces or at weekly farmers markets.

You can read more about the university's commitment to advancing a farm-to-campus culture at https://today.cofc.edu/2019/11/25/farm-to-campus-students-eat-local-at-cofc/.

You can also view a map of locally sourced items at https://charleston.campusdish.com/-/media/Local/Higher-Education/GroupB/Charleston/Files/ProduceMap2016.ashx?la=en&hash=02C00C44BF78577A2FE2A82BC3FBEED3B3A6F0D8&hash=02C00C44BF78577A2FE2A82BC3FBEED3B3A6F0D8.


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:

Vegan, vegetarian and plant-based dining options are consistently offered at every dining facility on campus, including Liberty Fresh Food and City Bistro. These venues has celebrated Meatless Mondays consistently. And through its Green Thread initiative, the university's Dining Services partners with the Center for Sustainable Development to host events and workshops on plant-based living.

In a partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Aramark is also working toward a larger low-impact dining goal to purchase 100 percent sustainable seafood.

You can ready more about the university's low impact and plant-forward strategies and opportunities at https://charleston.campusdish.com/Sustainability/WhatWeAreDoing.


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 options are consistently available at the university's primary dining facilities, Liberty Fresh Food and City Bistro. Additionally, housed in Jewish Studies and run by the university's Dining Services, Marty's Place serves made-to-order vegan and vegetarian dishes in a Kosher kitchen. Menu items include grain bowls, cauliflower tacos and falafel burgers.

You can learn more about Marty's Place and view recent menus and the outlet's hours at https://charleston.campusdish.com/en/LocationsAndMenus/MartysPlace.


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?:
Yes

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

Yes! Locally sourced food items are labeled daily using Locally Grown signs in campus dining facilities like City Bistro and Liberty Fresh Food Company. The university's Dining Services also advertises vegan, vegetarian and plant-based menus and events online and in-person.

You can read more about these sustainability efforts and labelling and signage at university dining halls at https://charleston.campusdish.com/Sustainability/WhatWeAreDoing.


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:

Aramark at the College of Charleston has worked to certify two campus dining venues as Zero Waste Facilities, Marty's Place and City Bistro. Its goal is to divert more than 90 percent of resources from local and regional landfills. Aramark has pursued the certification process organized by TRUE Zero Waste. The TRUE system enables facilities to define, pursue and achieve their zero waste goals, cutting their carbon footprint and supporting public health.

In partnership with the Center for Sustainable Development and student groups, the university's Dining Services participates in routine Weigh the Waste campaign events to document and audit post-consumer waste generated at each dining location, which helps raise awareness of waste generation on campus and inform new practices and policies.

You can learn more about TRUE's program at https://true.gbci.org. You can also watch a short video detailing Aramark's efforts to recover food at the College of Charleston at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=114&v=zXfLq-EOkvE&feature=emb_logo.


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 is currently featured in our primary residential dining halls, Liberty Fresh Food and City Bistro. This policy conserves resources (energy, water usage) and eliminates costs, as well as decreases waste headed to local and regional landfills.

You can read more about trayless dining at the College of Charleston at https://charleston.campusdish.com/Sustainability/WhatWeAreDoing.


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:

Yes! In partnership with Student Affairs, university Dining Services has initiated a text alert system that enables students to receive surplus food following campus events. This measure is meant to eliminate waste and combat food insecurity.

Additionally, the Student Alumni Associates hosts a one-week “Swipe Away Student Hunger” campaign at the end of each semester to collect meal swipes and Dining Dollars from students in order to provide short-term meal plans for students facing food insecurity. You can read more about this program at http://studentaffairs.cofc.edu/student-food-housing-insecurity/index.php.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:
No

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
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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:

Starting in 2012 and in partnership with a locally owned business, City Bistro dining hall began composting all pre-and post-consumer food waste. For every 2,000 pounds of waste generated by the dining hall, the College receives 40 pounds of compost. One year later, the university began composting all pre- and post-consumer food waste at its second residence hall dining venue, Liberty Fresh Food. Pre- and post-consumer composting is also executed at Stern Center Food Court, Chick-fil-A, Einstein Brothers Bagels and Marty's Place, as well as at events that feature Zero Waste programming and support through the Center for Sustainable Development.

You can learn more about campus composting and the College's Zero Waste program at zerowaste.cofc.edu. You can also observe the amount of food waste diverted during the fall semester of 2017 at https://charleston.campusdish.com/-/media/Local/Higher-Education/GroupB/Charleston/Files/Composting-Totals.ashx?la=en&hash=3E3A3613CD3B87DAAF2B2EC26D083ED60CD01BCE.


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:

Starting in 2012 and in partnership with a locally owned business, City Bistro dining hall began composting all pre-and post-consumer food waste. For every 2,000 pounds of waste generated by the dining hall, the College receives 40 pounds of compost. One year later, the university began composting all pre- and post-consumer food waste at its second residence hall dining venue, Liberty Fresh Food. Pre- and post-consumer composting is also executed at Stern Center Food Court, Chick-fil-A, Einstein Brothers Bagels and Marty's Place, as well as at events that feature Zero Waste programming and support through the Center for Sustainable Development.

You can learn more about campus composting and the College's Zero Waste program at zerowaste.cofc.edu. You can also observe the amount of food waste diverted during the fall semester of 2017 at https://charleston.campusdish.com/-/media/Local/Higher-Education/GroupB/Charleston/Files/Composting-Totals.ashx?la=en&hash=3E3A3613CD3B87DAAF2B2EC26D083ED60CD01BCE.


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:

Reusable service ware and condiment containers are utilized at every campus dinning venue. And in an effort to reduce single-use plastic pollution and adhere to local ordinances, single-use plastic bags, straws, cups and Styrofoam are no longer distributed on campus.

Additionally, the university offers a reusable coffee mug discount at Stern Center Food Court, Starbucks, Einstein Brothers Bagels and other campus marketplaces. Students, faculty and staff who purchase drip-coffee or tea with a reusable mug pay just $0.99, and Starbucks offers a $0.10 discount on its specialty drinks.

You can learn more about the university's reusable service ware program at https://charleston.campusdish.com/Sustainability/WhatWeAreDoing.


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:

Compostable and reusable containers and service ware are utilized at every campus dinning venue. And in an effort to reduce single-use plastic pollution and adhere to local ordinances, single-use plastic bags, straws, cups and Styrofoam are no longer distributed on campus.

All Cougar students who purchase a meal plan through the university can also request a reusable take-out box. More information on our take-away materials can be found at https://charleston.campusdish.com/Sustainability/WhatWeAreDoing.


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?:
Yes

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

The university offers a reusable coffee mug discount at Stern Center Food Court, Starbucks, Einstein Brothers Bagels and other campus marketplaces. Students, faculty and staff who purchase drip-coffee or tea with a reusable mug pay just $0.99, and Starbucks offers a $0.10 discount on its specialty drinks. Learn more about our reusable container discount or incentives program at https://charleston.campusdish.com/Sustainability/WhatWeAreDoing.


A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
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Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.