Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 31.92
Liaison Tom Kovacs
Submission Date Sept. 30, 2022

STARS v2.2

Eastern Michigan University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 Thomas Kovacs
Professor
Geography and Geology
"---" 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:

EMU Dining Services worked with Growing Hope during the first two years (fall 2016 to winter 2018) of the contract to bring farmer’s markets on campus with their mobile farm stand. Starting in 2018, we started hosting our own pop-up farmer’s market on main campus at the Student Center and at our university’s day care, the Children’s Institute. At these market, we purchase local produce (less than 250 mile radius or state of Michigan) from our produce vendor, Coastal Produce, and sell the produce at-cost to customers.


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:

We used to work with Growing Hope during the first two years (fall 2016 to winter 2018) of the contract to bring farmer’s markets on campus with their mobile farm stand. We no longer utilize this service, as since we started hosting our own pop-up farmer’s market on main campus at the Student Center and at our university’s day care, the Children’s Institute in the fall of 2018. We do have concession contracts with various local food trucks such as Ypsilanti's Chihuahua Chili.


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?:
No

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
---

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

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:

EMU Dining Services hosts and markets a variety of low-impact dining events and campaigns including, but not limited to the following: Meatless Mondays, Green Week (i.e. Meatless Monday, Teaching Kitchens, wellness tables), Farm to Fork luncheon, residential dining Farm in the Spotlight, EMU Veg Planet teaching kitchen, local Pop-Up Farmer’s Markets, and ZeroWaste events through the county for sustainability-minded customers and events (i.e. Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition, Southeast Michigan Local Food Summit, etc.).


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:

EMU Dining Services has undergone great efforts to increase the selection of plant-based choices on campus. Management staff have been trained by the Dining Services’ registered dietitian and lead culinary staff have went through the United States Humane Society’s ForwardFood training. At every retail location, at least one vegetarian option, if not vegan, is offered. At the residential dining location, The Commons, a variety of vegan menu items are offered. At breakfast, a custom tofu scramble option is available at the grill’s omelette station along with fresh fruit, cereal, soy milk, toast, sunflower butter, and jelly. At lunch and dinner, almost every meal features a vegan entrée built with a plant-based protein (i.e. white bean cassoulet, barbecue seitan, etc.). In addition, students can request vegan Daiya pizza, vegetarian spicy black bean burgers, and vegan Tofurkey hot dogs. All options are labeled on menu call out cards, and EMU Dining Services’s website and smarth phone application as vegan or vegetarian, where appropriate.


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:

Where appropriate, we label all vegan and vegetarian menu options with a coinciding logo. This is also available on EMU Dining Services’ website and smart phone application. “Local” logos are labeled occasionally.


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:

EMU Dining Services is partnered with Food Recovery Network (FRN). FRN has helped Dining Services donate over 5000lbs of recovered food in the last 5 years. In addition, EMU Dining Services utilizes the Compass Group program, Waste Not, to measure, track, and decrease food waste. Educational campaigns and marketing such as Stop Food Waste Day, #LoveFoodNotWaste, and #CleanYourPlateChallenge.


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:

Residential and Retail Dining. Standardized Recipes and clearly indicated portion sizes. In all-you-care-to-eat dining establishments self-service has suggested portion sizes and matching serving utensils. We do not use trays and utilize marketing campaigns to promote decreased consumer food waste (i.e. #ProjectCleanPlate, etc.).


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:

We donate food through Food Recovery Network (i.e. Ypsilanti Parkridge Community Center, Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, etc.), EMU SWOOP's Pantry, and Food Gathers.


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:

We recycle deep-fryer oil and utilize Washtenaw County's Zero Waste program for sustainability-minded catering events (upon request) to diverge food 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:

Composting for pre-consumer waste is currently not available om campus. Occasionally we give pre-consumer scraps to the EMU Giving Garden. At Zero Waste catering events we do collect the pre-consumer scraps to be composted by Washtenaw County.


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:

Composting for post-consumer waste is currently not available om campus. At Zero Waste catering events we do collect the post-consumer scraps to be composted by Washtenaw County.


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:

In our residential dining setting reusable silverware is used. In our retail settings, disposable, non-biodegradable silverware is used.


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:

No onsite composting available.


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:

There is incentives to use reusable drink containers. At Starbucks, customers receive a $0.10 discount if they use a reusable cup. We also have a promotion for students who purchase a Starbucks reusable cup can get three free cups of coffee at our convenience store locations.


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

Teaching Kitchen
Halal options
Diverse menus in residential dining hall (Asian, Jamaican, southern, Latin, African)


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.