Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.56
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 2.00 Tim Broderick
Senior Sustainability Coordinator
Housing and Dining Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
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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:

A new partnership has formed between the Horticulture Center and Dining Services to grow greens on campus for the Dining Centers. This relationship launched during the President's picnic in which the sandwiches served feature micro romaine lettuce grown in a hydroponic system to reduce water consumption.


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:

Housing and Dining Services supports a student sustainability garden in partnership with the College of Natural Sciences. The agricultural project is located outside Pinon Hall and engages the local community residents. The raised beds are used not only to grow food for the surrounding community but also as an educational tool for the College of Natural Sciences sustainability floor in Pinon.

As well CSU just celebrated its 4th harvest at the Coors Field GaRden. The urban garden is located in downtown Denver and is a symbolic reminder to attendees and pedestrians of the importance of locally grown foods. The organic crops grown are even used at the ballfield to further highlight this commitment. The Institute for the built environment at CSU supports the annual harvest and maintenance of the gardens.


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:

CSU offers a wide range of meatless meals. Diners can find delicious vegan breads and cookies from the in-house bakeshop, as well as dishes such as kung pao tempeh, Thai vegetable curries, vegan stir-fries with seitan, tempeh, or tofu from the Mongolian Grill. Middle Eastern options include the falafel with lemon-tahini sauce or a quinoa, tabbouleh, and white-bean hummus wrap. Or, students can stick with a new take on an old classic: vegan "chicken" nuggets and vegan veggie hummus wraps and salads.

In addition, the Housing & Dining Services dietician offers vegetarian/vegan nutrition and cooking classes for on-campus students including a plethora of nutrition education within the dining centers centered around eating a balanced vegan/vegetarian diet. In addition, the online dining menu highlights vegan and vegetarian options for each meal period.


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:

Choose Meatless Monday is run throughout the start of fall semesters. The Eco Leaders program collaborates with Green Guard members to promote the campaign by providing samples of the vegetarian dishes as well as Choose Meatless Monday stickers. The program is also promoted through digital signs, table cards, and integrated into our larger sustainability behavior change campaign Green Warrior.


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:

In the fall of each year, as the largest quantity of local foods are gathered by Colorado farmers, the Dining Centers have a harvest dinner. This dinner features local dishes as well as promotes the benefits to eating local 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:

Our online menu as well as in house digital menus label what foods fall under the AASHE local definition. This is shown by our custom designed blue local label. We also promote which goods are vegetarian and vegan.


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:

We have an organic agriculture program on campus that has been in existence for 15 years. This program educates students about how to grow organic food and how organic regulations effect this. Students are responsible for growing a full row of crops organically and are graded based on yields and quality.

As well different events are hosted by the Eco Leaders including Green Warrior, movie screening, and in hall programming. Many of these events and campaigns address learning more about sustainable food systems.


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:

Yes, CSU has a robust nutritional program. Residential Dining Services is committed to the nutritional well-being of the students and staff of the Colorado State University community. Food choices and diet habits are an important part of our daily lives and are crucial for the health and well-being of all individuals.

Their responsibility is to provide nutritionally balanced food choices, along with accurate information and resources so that each individual can make the best dietary decisions for themselves on a daily basis.


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:

CSU's menu management system closely tracks food purchased for meals and makes sure only the quantities needed are brought in and no more.


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:

All on campus dining centers are tray-free.

Over 11,000 meals are served every day in CSU dining centers. Not washing and sanitizing over 50,000 trays per week saves an estimated 195,000 gallons of water every month in addition to a reduction in dish-washing chemicals and energy usage.

Trays of prepared food that are not served at the end of each meal period are donated to the Larimer County Food Bank. In 2013, over 60,000 pounds of food were donated.


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:

Colorado State donates thousands of pounds a year of food from the dining centers to the Larimer County Food Bank. In 2012, More than 65,375 pounds of food was donated by the Dining Centers and CSU Mountain Campus donated just over 900 pounds. Non-perishable food donations are also collected from students as part of the Leave It Behind program at the end of the academic year.


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:

Yes, CSU and the City of Fort Collins have an intergovernmental agreement to divert food waste from the landfill and create energy through their anaerobic digestion system at the City Wastewater Treatment Plant.


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:

Pre-consumer food waste is collected at the dining centers and the bake shop.

Housing & Dining Services in 2011 invested in a state of the art, fully-automated composting system called the Earth Flow. This enclosed, 30‐yard capacity compost bin is located on the CSU Foothills Campus (three miles west of Main Campus). Pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste from CSU Dining Centers is composted in the Earth Flow. The Earth Flow accepts up to 2,000 pounds of material per day. Organic waste is loaded into one end of the vessel by placing the collection container on an automated tipper. Every time food waste is added, bulking material like straw, wood chips, and horse manure from the equine center is added at a 1:2 ratio. Material is composted for about four to six weeks inside the vessel. Finished compost is discharged through an end door of the vessel. The compost is piled on site to cure for at least 3-4 weeks before being used in landscaping projects on campus such as Braiden Hall and the Durrell Center renovations. Over 30 yards of compost were used on these projects as a soil amendment.

In 2013, the CSU Earth Flow Composter diverted over 300,000 pounds of food waste from the landfill. In the first half of 2014, CSU composted over 100,000 pounds of material.


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:

Pulpers installed at Ram’s Horn, Braiden, And Durrell dining center mix all of the food and paper waste with water, and then grind up the material. This slurry is then taken by pipe to a centrifuge, which removes excess water and recycles it back through the system. The pulped organic waste is emptied into collection containers outside the building. This pulped material is perfect for composting or anaerobic digestion because it is already broken down into small pieces. The pulpers have helped reduce the waste stream in the dining halls by up to 70% and reduced water use by 80%.


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 dining centers on campus use reusable service ware for dine-in meals.

All to-go meal containers can be returned to two locations to be composted as part of our robust composting program.


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:

Free Rental Rubbermaid containers are available at all dining facilities. Students can check the Rubbermaid containers out at any dining center and return them dirty. Housing and Dining Services takes care of cleaning and restocking them.

All to-go products are compostable, from a local company called Eco-Products. This includes everything from the compartment food containers, to-go cups, lids, straws, silverware, etc. CSU also provides composting bins in two locations to collect to-go containers and close the loop. The compostable to-go containers are fed through the pulper, which collects all food waste, paper waste and some cardboard from the dining center. The materials from the pulper are taken to an in-vessel composter on the Foothills Campus (three miles west of Main Campus). The finished compost is returned to campus for use in campus landscaping projects. The diversion rate for the dining centers was 92% in FY14.


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:

Housing and Dining Express counters offer reusable mug discounts along with select on-campus franchises such as Carl's Junior.


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:

Recycling Cooking Oil


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