Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 33.30
Liaison Bo Solomon
Submission Date March 31, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Drexel University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.63 / 2.00 Bo Solomon
University Sustainability Officer
Procurement
"---" 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?:
No

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
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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:

https://drexel.edu/sustainability/institutional-investment/farm-share/
Drexel University is proud to serve as a pick-up site for the Common Market Farm Share (CMFS) at two locations: University City Campus (specific location may vary from season to season) and the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University. CMFS connects local farms to urban and suburban markets. This program allows Drexel students, faculty and professional staff to pay in advance for biweekly shipments of locally grown, farm-fresh produce (six to eight seasonal items) and one dozen Certified Humane eggs.


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:

In the main dining center at Drexel University there is a station completely deveoted to providing Vegan & Vegetarian meals all day seven days a week. Vegetate, a new vegan and vegetarian eatery, opened on campus in fall 2013. UC Veg is a station at Urban Eatery is 100% vegan/vegitarian.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
No

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:
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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)?:
No

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:
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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:

You asked, and Drexel Campus Dining along with Real Estate and Facilities answered. Drexel students have been asking about ways to eliminate food waste and the introduction of composting programs on campus, so a new addition to the Handschumacher Dining Center (the Hans) has been recently implemented that you may have seen before at football stadiums or grocery stores — a BioHiTech digester.

Here’s what you need to know about the new food digester and how it will be used:
Scott Dunham, director of grounds, uses the BioHiTech food digester.
Scott Dunham, director of grounds, uses the BioHiTech food digester.
What is a digester? — A food digester is an accelerated composting machine. It uses bacteria similar to what is found in the human stomach to break down food and turn it into liquid waste, which then goes down the drain instead of in a landfill.

What is composted? — The digester will compost some proteins, grains, veggies and fruits that keep the microorganisms “happy” and the machine performing at its peak. The focus of the Hans’ composting program will be on eliminating waste from inedible food like banana peels, fish bones, fats and spoiled fruit or poultry and, of course, food scraps from meal prep and student leftovers. Drexel Campus Dining donates edible food, such as prepared but unused side dishes or baked items, to Sharing Excess or the Philadelphia Food Recovery Network.

What impact will this have to the University? — The digester can compost an average of 300-600 pounds a day. This could prevent thousands of pounds of inedible food from going to the landfill every month. Having the digester will also reduce the University’s carbon emissions, as the need to haul waste as often will decrease. Lastly, the digester can track how much food is being deposited into it throughout the day. This will allow Drexel’s food service partner, Aramark, to pinpoint times during the week where they could adjust food ordering. They can then utilize this information to make changes to the amount of food that is prepared for each meal service, further reducing waste.


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:

Plates, silverware, cups at the Hans Schumacher Dining Center


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 (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:

Drexel sells reusable mugs in two of its cafes and offers discounts on refilled mugs of any kind in its cafes. OZZY program for take-away meals.


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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