Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.06
Liaison Margaret Bounds
Submission Date June 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Connecticut College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
1.63 / 2.00 Margaret Bounds
Assistant Director of Sustainability
Office of 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:

The Sprout Garden and Farm partnered with a local organization, FRESH New London, to provide fresh produce - grown both on campus and at urban farming sites in downtown New London — to families in need in our community via a community supported agriculture (CSA) program.


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 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:

Dining Services purchases a variety of products from local SMEs, social enterprises and minority owned businesses. Examples include:
-Granola from Beautiful Day which has a mission to provide refugees with job training
-Cookies from The Arc Eastern Connecticut which supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
-Milk from a local dairy co-op, Farmer's Cow
-Produce and meat from a variety of farms in New London County
-Seafood from a local fisherman owned and family operated seafood dealer
-Sushi from a local restaurant that is sold at our to-go dining location and served by Catering at a variety of events


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
5

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:

Meatless Monday, with plant-forward menus and very limited meat options, were offered throughout 2019-2020 and will return after the pandemic restrictions on dining are lifted.


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:

All dining halls offer vegan entrees daily for each meal period and at the main dining hall, Harris, there is also a Vegetarian/Vegan Station nightly. Daily menus are available online and vegan items available in any dining hall are marked with a green heart.


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:

Posters with facts about sustainable food practices are displayed in the main dining hall. Produce from the campus garden is labeled on the line in the dining halls.


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:

In 2019 Dining Services used the Phood system to track food waste. Prepared foods that could not be re-served were tracked by type to determine which foods were most discarded. Pre-consumer kitchen scraps were also tracked along with post-consumer plate waste. We found that post-consumer plate waste is by far the greatest percentage of our total food waste.


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 was implemented in 2008 and there are currently no trays available for use as one moves through the various food stations in either of the main dining halls. In the student center cafe, only small, compostable trays are available upon request.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

The College sends all pre and post consumer food waste from the dining halls and from catering to a local pig farm for use as animal feed. Used cooking oil is collected by Newport Biofuels for conversion into biodiesel.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:
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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:

No disposable plates, cups or silverware are provided in the dining halls except during special events.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
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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 three coffee shops on campus all offer a discount for using a reusable mug.


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

Halal options are offered in our main dining hall.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Information was provided by Dining Services staff.

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.