Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.45
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date March 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Dickinson College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lindsey Lyons
Assistant Director
Center for Sustainability Education
"---" 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:

Dickinson Dining Services takes great pride in being a responsible member of the Dickinson College campus community and the community at large. We take it upon ourselves to be good stewards to a diverse number of efforts focused on sustainability.

Dining Services works to be an industry trend-setter in environmental sustainability. Our continual process enhancements including local purchasing, fair trade purchasing, waste reduction, composting program, and lowered energy consumption align with Dickinson's overall sustainable practices.

As we an independently serviced dining program, the sustainable dining policy focuses on working with vendors who have well-developed sustainability statements, policies, and practices.


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:

Since its inception in 2007, the Dickinson College Farm has provided an ever-growing link to Dining Services for local, organic produce. In addition to organic products, the farm has provided the opportunity for Dining Services to greaten its involvement in the college's sustainability movement by becoming the main purchaser of farm products. Dickinson's Dining Services makes every effort to purchase available produce and meats from our own farm before using other vendors.


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:

Dickinson College serves as the host site location for the local Farmer's on the Square Farmer's market during the winter months. This enables our regional farmers and vendors to be able to operate local sales year round. Dickinson donates the indoor warehouse space for use to support this community program. Additionally, the Dickinson College Farm has a 150 family "Campus Supported Agriculture (CSA)" program offering direct produce, meat and eggs to our faculty and staff. Targeting the campus for this program allows our farm to not compete with other CSA's in the community. Dickinson Farm is a weekly vendor at the local market and also served as a founding member, board member, and leader in the community effort.

Another way Dickinson support our local market is with LOCALTUNITY, an initiative for all students, faculty & staff aimed to build community, support the local economy, and buy and eat healthy local food together.

This community opportunity allows Dickinson employees and/or students to shop at the Farmers on the Square (FOTS) market together for fresh foods grown by local farmers and receive one $5 token per person to use at the market. Groups of Dickinsonians can double the fun of LOCALTUNITY by additionally agreeing to cook a meal together with their Farmers on the Square purchases.

www.dickinson.edu/localtunity


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:

Dickinson has offered vegetarian options at lunch and dinner for nearly two decades. Vegan dining was introduced twelve years ago. Vegan dining has been formalized in the KOVE, an area of the dining hall dedicated to vegan and kosher dining. Certified by Star-K, an internationally recognized kosher-certification agency based in Baltimore, and overseen by two mashgichot (kosher food-preparation supervisors), the KOVE is open for lunch and dinner Sunday through Friday afternoon (no dinner served on Friday).

When the KOVE is not available, vegan options are available in the main line. Other snack bars and dining facilities have complete-protein vegan options at every meal.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
No

A brief description of the low impact dining events:
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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:

The Dickinson College Farm hosts Gather (~1/month during academic year), Pizza on the Plaza (~1/month), a 100% local foods dinner (1/year) during each academic year.

Pizza on the Plaza, serving up wood-fired pizza from our mobile wood-fired pizza oven, and the annual Local Food Dinner, which brings 250 students, employees, faculty, community leaders and local farmers together to celebrate regional agriculture are examples of two signature sustainability themed meals.

Our primary dining services also themes the Thanksgiving feast, the student favorite, with a sustainability theme, and strives to serve as much local produce and meat as possible for that meal. Additionally, we host College Farm burger days to raise awareness about the meat production happening at our own College Farm.


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:

Dickinson hosts our distinctive "HUB Farm Stand" where a wide variety of certified organic produce and eggs are available for sale on campus. The stand accepts student meal plan declining balance and cash to make purchases easy for students. The stand operates year round.


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:

All items in all campus dining locations are labeled with allergens or if they come from the local sources. The labels are consistent throughout all venues and are easily recognizable by all students. Campus dining services does have signage in the main dining hall about our college farm, the composting process, food waste reduction, sustainable practices related to food service and consistent sources of local food. Signage is available to highlight sustainability practices surrounding EcoTainers (reusable to-go containers), our reusable mug discount, our compost program and the reduction of single use plastics.


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:

Professional staff of Dickinson's Dining Services and our College Farm are active participants in educational programs at Dickinson. This comes in the form of giving guest lectures, teaching the Introduction to Food Studies courses, meeting with student groups to develop plans and project ideas, and even hosting a sustainable dining student intern within Dining Services. In partnership with the Center for Sustainability Education, our Food Studies Certificate Program, and Dining Services educational programs, workshop and training are offered on a regular basis that have direct connects to support learning and research 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:

Dickinson's Human Resources program has a health and wellness program that includes food-related and nutrition programing. Nutrition counseling is available for all Dickinson College faculty and staff members. Nutrition Roundtable discussion groups are provided by a registered dietitian (RD) to discuss selected topics and to help answer your nutrition questions to assist employees in reaching their health goals. Educational programs are also available for that work to help maintain a healthy, balanced eating pattern to meet your nutrition needs, making healthful dietary selections on and off campus
and setting realistic nutrition goals and strategies for achieving them. Sustainability plays into the curriculum of all of these programs.


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?:
No

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
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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:

The Dickinson Dining Hall permanently eliminated trays in Fall 2009. Menu selections, particularly in the snack areas, have also been modified to reduce post-consumer food waste. The College purchased a complex dining software program to track and improve menu and portion control to reduce pre- and post-consumer food waste, and has seen efficiency and improvements in procurement, menu planning and implementation.


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:

Dickinson Dining Services donates leftover food to the local Salvation Army kitchen on an as-available/present basis during the year. Additionally, they donate bulk perishable items to Project SHARE (Local community food bank) and to Safe Harbor (local Homeless Shelter) at the end of academic periods when the kitchen will be closed. Donations include dairy items and fresh produce. These items are tracked and managed within Dining Services.


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:

All waste cooking oil is taken by RTI (Restaurant Technologies) and converted to biodiesel. All food waste items are pulped and sent to the Dickinson College Organic Farm for compost. All recyclables are separated and sent through our recycler, Advanced Disposal.


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:

Dickinson Dining Service composts 100% of pre-consumer food waste in all dining locations. The waste is sent through a pulper, and placed in sealed buckets. All compost is managed internally within Dickinson and sent to our own Dickinson College Organic Farm.


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:

Dickinson Dining Service composts 100% of post-consumer food waste (and napkins) in our main campus Dining Hall. The waste is sent through a pulper, and placed in sealed buckets. All compost is managed internally within Dickinson and sent to our own Dickinson College Organic Farm.


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 campus dining locations offer and encourage reusable service ware. The main campus Dining Hall only offers reusable service ware, disposables are not available.


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:

In Fall 2014, Dickinson launched our EcoTainer program. Dining Services is proud to offer EcoTainers to the campus community as an effort to reduce waste and energy consumption. These containers, supplied by G.E.T. Enterprises, Inc., are made from polypropylene and are exchanged, washed and sanitized, and redistributed by Dining Services for repeated use by students, faculty and staff.

EcoTainers can be used at Union Station and the Quarry, as well as at Grab & Go. While disposable containers will still be available in retail locations, EcoTainers are required in Grab & Go for entree, soup and salad options. EcoTainers are available for a one time small fee ($6) and are able to exchanged for the users tenure at Dickinson. Users do not need to renew each year.


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:

All to-go campus dining locations offer a discount for use of a reusable mug for hot and cold beverages. This offer is available to students, faculty and staff. Over the years, many variations of reusable mugs and bottles have been given out to incoming students to encourage participation in this program.


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:

Dickinson’s Dining Hall, an all-you-care-to-eat cafeteria-style facility that serves the campus community, including 2,400 students, has been named a 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA). The distinction recognizes Dickinson’s commitment to sustainable operations and food sourcing.

Dining staff were trained to support the Sustainable Vendor Policy in Winter 2018.

Dickinson catering operations are offering compostable bamboo service ware as a more sustainable alternative to disposable service ware.

Beginning in August 2014, Dickinson Dining Services began purchasing only coffee products that are ethically-sourced and sustainably grown (from Sun Coffee Roasters of Plainville, Conn.).


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Dickinson’s Dining Hall, an all-you-care-to-eat cafeteria-style facility that serves the campus community, including 2,400 students, has been named a 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA). The distinction recognizes Dickinson’s commitment to sustainable operations and food sourcing.

Dickinson has five retail eateries on campus, catering services and a main Dining Hall, which offers 20 stations, a 30-item salad bar, deli bar, two made-from-scratch soup offerings and three separate entrées for lunch and dinner. Vegetarian, vegan, organic non-GMO cereal, gluten-free and kosher entrees also are available. Through its innovative food-waste program, the Dining Hall sends approximately 800 pounds of food—equal to the carrying capacity of one small dumpster—to the College Farm each day to be composted.

Dickinson’s sustainable dining-service operations have been recognized nationally by The New York Times and The Daily Meal, which selected Dickinson as one of the 75 best colleges for food in America in 2014 and 2015.

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