Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.54
Liaison Elaine Durr
Submission Date Feb. 19, 2020

STARS v2.2

Elon University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Carrie Ryan
Director
Auxiliary Services
"---" 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:

As part of the Alamance County Food Collaborative, Elon Dining Services has a relationship with the Authentically Alamance Farmers’ Market at Elon Community Church, to promote local vendors and increase student attendance at the market. Elon Dining Services participates in quarterly events, such as cooking demonstrations at the Farmers’ Market, and supporting community dinners featuring local growers and food industry workers.


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:

Elon Dining Services continuously seeks out small, local, and disadvantaged businesses through community partnerships and local food hubs.


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
8

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:

Elon Dining Services hosts multiple farm to table meals throughout the year, serving only seasonal ingredients sourced from within a 150 mile radius. Elon Dining Services holds regular outreach events to educate the university community on environmental benefits of local, plant forward dining, as well as how to create nutritious plant forward meals.


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:

Residential dining facilities have vegan options available 3x/day. One dining hall has a vegan station serving a hot entree for both lunch and dinner with a variety of vegan proteins, grains and veggies available. All dining halls have a separate area for vegan options, including soups and desserts. In addition, vegan items are highlighted on all menus, with recipe filters that can be viewed in the dining hall or online. Dining halls have non-dairy milk options and a variety of vegan proteins on the salad and deli stations. There are also vegan options in several of the retail locations.


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:

There are digital boards with basic nutritional information along with vegetarian, vegan and local identifiers. In addition, there is rotating signage in all locations to inform guests of plant forward and local products.


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:

Elon Dining Services performs a kitchen/prep food waste audit daily. All waste is put in a bucket, weighed and then tracked on a website daily. Once a week the numbers are reviewed with the employees and additional training is done if needed.
Since spring 2017, dining has implemented a program called Lean Path, which helps to generate waste reports. Dining also holds a monthly Weigh the Waste event in one of the residential dining facilities, with the location rotating between facilities. This event encourages students to be mindful of preventing food waste and allows dining to collect student feedback on waste reduction.


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:

Elon Dining Services incorporated trayless dining during the 2007-2008 academic year and continues to be trayless in all dining locations.


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:

Campus Kitchen at Elon University (CKEU) provides meals to community partners. CKEU is a service opportunity through the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement for students, faculty and staff. CKEU collects food from Elon Dining Services, Loy Farm and other community partners. In FY 18-19, Elon Dining donated 930 pounds of protein and whole grains to contribute to over 4,500 meals for community members.

Elon Dining Services also donates food items that would otherwise go to waste over breaks to local community partners.


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:

Elon Dining Services uses a vendor that collects used fryer oil to be recycled into biofuel. In FY 18-19, Elon Dining recycled over 15,000 pounds of used oil.


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:

All dining halls, retail locations, and food prep stations have a pre-consumer food waste composting program. Beginning in 2008, all organic material is composted by a local family operation. Elon Dining Services staff members are responsible for separating the compostables in the kitchen.


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:

All dining locations, as well as many campus buildings have post-consumer compost bins for organic waste. Guests are responsible for separating the compostables in retail settings. There are designated bins with signage on the bin and in some locations above the bin (including photos). In the dining halls, dining services staff members separate all organic waste that comes into the dish room into compost bins.


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:

Elon Dining Services uses reusable service ware in all residential dining facilities. Retail locations have compostable cups, containers, and lids.


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:

Elon Dining Services provides certified compostable cups, soup containers and flatware for to-go food at dining locations. Easily identifiable compost bins are available in all retail dining locations and multiple other locations across campus.


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:

Elon Dining Services reduces single use disposables by providing reusable incentives in all locations. Every student, faculty, and staff member with any level of meal plan receives a free reusable to-go container, which can be returned and washed at any residential dining location. This has allowed almost all disposable containers to be eliminated. Elon Dining Services provides a $.30 beverage discount when guests use a reusable mug or cup, and a 10% discount when guests use a reusable grocery bag. Additionally, Dining holds frequent reusable giveaways, encouraging students to utilize reusable mugs, bags, and straws.


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

Elon Dining Services has a new food philosophy dedicated to turning fresh, local, and sustainably sourced ingredients into authentic food experiences. Seasonal menus are expertly created and overseen by chefs, a registered dietitian, and a sustainability coordinator. Chef inspired menus are made with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients and are scratch-cooked. Clean, health-conscious choices are provided and nutritional information is available online for all menu items. Dining staff make quarterly visits to local farms and producers to learn more about production methods, and communicate processes to the Elon community. Elon Dining Services is encouraging innovative programs that foster engagement, such as partnerships with campus sustainability groups, culturally specific cooking classes, student informed recipe development, and nutritional education. Specifically, in October for vegan and vegetarian awareness, the registered dietitian focuses on events promoting plant forward options throughout the residential dining halls with games and prizes. April is focused on earth month, the benefits of plant forward eating, and buying locally/eating seasonally. Vegetarian, vegan, made without gluten and Smart Choice options are available and labeled as such.


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