Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.28
Liaison Ciara Tennis
Submission Date Nov. 3, 2022

STARS v2.2

Eastern Connecticut State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" 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 campus holds an annual farmer's market in the Student Center. The fall 2022 farmer's market joined with 300 other Chartwells locations across the country to offer the Fall Festi-Ful Farmer's Market and featured multiple Connecticut vendors, including:
- Keiffer’s Kettle Korn from Voluntown will have fresh made kettle corn, Italian ice, and lemonade
- Bake Bake Hooray visits us from Branford with cinnamon rolls, cookies, gluten free treats, coffee and beans
- Award winning Perfect Poundcakes will bring their signature poundcake slices and mini pound cups from East Hartford
- Shooks Apiaries brings it all together with their home made honey, from their own bees and beeswax products as well

The Fall Festi-Ful was the first Joy-Ful event of the year, a series of events aimed at "creating moments of joy through food."


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:

Supporting the preservation of the American family farm, reducing the carbon footprint of our supply chain, and giving back to the local communities are central to our core values. In collaboration with our partners at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, we seek to reduce our dependence on factory farming and to partner with qualified local and regional growers and develop relationships with local farms whenever possible. We define “local” as typically within a 250-mile radius of Eastern Connecticut State University.

https://dineoncampus.com/easternct/sustainability


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:

The dining hall has a dedicated plant forward station which features menu items daily during lunch and dinner. The station is called Rooted in Good Taste. Chartwells has instituted zero waste events for regular annual campus functions (e.g., President's picnic, campus holiday party, alumni/reunion). We have continued the zero waste initiative at several events throughout the year.


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:

The dining hall has a dedicated plant forward station which features menu items daily during lunch and dinner. The station is called Rooted in Good Taste.


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:

The dining hall utilizes signage informing students about the importance of composting their food before they leave the dining hall.


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:

Waste Not is a food waste reduction program that is used by Chartwells to track, measure and reduce the amount of kitchen food waste in our facilities. It is designed to increase operational efficiencies and create awareness about reducing food waste and its environmental impact. This program has been extremely successful to date in reducing waste year over year.

Eastern also participates in Project Clean Plate a program that teaches students not to waste food in the all-you-can-eat dining area. Incentives are given to students who return a clean plate to the tray return during the program's implementation period.


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:

In 2015, Eastern's dining hall, Hurley Hall, implemented a trayless dining initiative, where students do not use trays to carry their food in the dining hall. Not only does this help to reduce water waste in washing the trays, but it also helps to limit the amount of food that students take, in an effort that they will only take what they plan to eat. Also, Eastern is part of the Clean Plate initiative, in which students are encouraged to eat all of the food on their plate. Both initiatives have continued to present.


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:

At certain times of the year there may be an employee food donation request for the Willimantic Covenant Soup Kitchen.

In 2017, the Warrior Food Recovery program was born. Leftover, usable food is donated twice a week from the dining hall to the local Willimantic Covenant Soup Kitchen. As of May 2018, 2,718.7 lbs of food have been donated.

https://www.easternct.edu/sustainability/sustainable-dining/warrior-food-recovery.html
https://dineoncampus.com/easternct/sustainability


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:

As of May 2017, Eastern Connecticut State University sends all of its pre-meal and post consumer food waste to Quantum Biopower, a food waste recycling center located in Southington, CT. Quantum's anaerobic digestion system generates biogas and compost as outputs. Learn more here: http://www.quantumbiopower.com/clean-energy/anaerobic-digestion
http://www.quantumbiopower.com/clean-energy/compost-soil/
http://www.quantumbiopower.com/


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:

Eastern Connecticut State University now participates in the composting of both pre- and post consumer waste, which is sent to Quantum Biopower, a food waste recycling center located in Southington, CT. Quantum's anaerobic digestion system generates biogas and compost as outputs. Learn more here: http://www.quantumbiopower.com/clean-energy/anaerobic-digestion
http://www.quantumbiopower.com/clean-energy/compost-soil/


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:

As of May 2017, Eastern Connecticut State University sends all of its pre-meal and post consumer food waste from Hurley Dining Hall to Quantum Biopower, a food waste recycling center located in Southington, CT. Quantum's anaerobic digestion system generates biogas and compost as outputs. Learn more here: http://www.quantumbiopower.com/clean-energy/anaerobic-digestion
http://www.quantumbiopower.com/clean-energy/compost-soil/


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:

Eastern utilizes reusable silverware for "dine in" meals.


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:

Eastern's to-go containers and cups are 100% recyclable. As of 2017, Eastern's to-go containers are now reusable as well. Students can purchase the plastic to-go containers and use them to take food out of the dining hall. They may return their dirty container for a new, clean one and the dining hall staff will wash the dirty containers on-site for reuse. For the 2020 academic year (fall 2020 to spring 2021), recyclable to-go containers were used due to the pandemic. Eastern returned to reusable to-go containers at the start of the 2021 academic year.


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:

In the Student Center's Campus Perks Café, students receive a discount when they bring their own, reusable coffee (or tea) cup.


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:
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Information for this credit was provided by Joe Salvaggio, Sr. Director of Dining Services.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.