Overall Rating Reporter - expired
Overall Score
Liaison Jennifer Lamy
Submission Date March 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Emerson College
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on products that are third party verified under one or more recognized food and beverage sustainability standards or Local & Community-Based:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (expenditures on conventional animal products)? (If data is not available, respond “No”):

Percentage of total dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional animal products (meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, and dairy products that do NOT qualify in either the Third Party Verified or Local & Community-Based category):

A brief description of the sustainable food and beverage purchasing program, including how the sustainability impacts of products in specific categories are addressed (e.g. meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, dairy, produce, tea/coffee):

Our food service provider, Sodexo, signed the real food challenge in 2013 and has agreed to advance supply chain transparency on Sodexo-contracted campuses. The agreement puts in place a rigorous and comprehensive set of standards, defined by the Real Food Calculator, for judging the social responsibility and sustainability of Sodexo’s vendors and food producers. The assessment tool, developed by Real Food Challenge student researchers and associated food experts, lays out four key criteria areas for evaluating ‘real food’ – local & community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane. By using the Real Food Calculator standards, Sodexo aligns itself with the most progressive metric for institutional food service.

During the application process for this year's Princeton Review ranking, I spoke with Sodexo leadership and we will begin to use the calculator on our campus for a more concrete inventory and ranking of our food products. The resulting statistics will be used to demonstrate actual purchases of ‘real food’ and new opportunities for increasing them.

Additionally, Sodexo is fully committed to promoting and advancing a more sustainable and transparent food system in order to positively impact local communities and protect the environment,. One of the ways that Sodexo meets its sustainability is through purchasing commitments toward sustainable seafood, cage free eggs, and through broader partnerships with organizations like Real Food Challenge.

As of present, Sodexo takes additional steps within its animal welfare policy in U.S. operations today, outlining a phased approach to sourcing poultry, beef and veal from suppliers and fostering improved animal well-being through its supply chain. In a move lauded by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Sodexo specifically announced that it will eliminate the use of veal crates from its supply chain by 2017 and extend its previous commitments to source all of its shell eggs from cage-free systems by now moving to source all of its liquid eggs solely from cage-free hens by the end of 2020.

Sodexo’s strategy for sustainable seafood seeks to protect this important resource by:
Maintaining a wide variety of sustainable species in catalogues and menus;
Protecting species identified as being at risk by removing them from the supply chain where no improvement processes are in place or by implementing control measures;
Increasing the use of Eco-standards to guarantee respect of sustainability criteria for both farm-raised and wild caught fish;
Establishing sustainable supply for aquaculture in accordance with the highest environmental and social standards;
Collaborating with the WWF and working with other NGOs for technical advice on Sodexo’s sustainable seafood sourcing. WWF advises the Company on sourcing both wild caught and farm-raised fish.

All of Sodexo’s suppliers are required to pledge to conduct business with the highest ethical, social and environmental practices as defined by our Supplier Code of Conduct.

An inventory of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchases that includes for each product: the description/type; label, brand or producer; and the category in which it is being counted and/or a description of its sustainability attribute(s):
A brief description of the methodology used to conduct the inventory, including the timeframe and how representative samples accounted for seasonal variation (if applicable):

Data supplied by Sodexo, Emerson's dining services provider (see supporting document). Data covers all of Emerson's food outlets, consisting of one dining hall and three cafes. Inventory provided covers February 2017 ordering only, due to limited resources for data analysis by Emerson and Sodexo.
Sustainability-related attributes listed in column I. When products are listed as "seasonal", this means that when they are in season, they are sourced locally. Seasonal products are valued at 50% to adjust for varying supply.
Products are specified as "regional" if they are within 400 miles of our campus. These products are included due to the varying nature of the New England climate and are valued at 50%.
Because prices are unavailable from Sodexo for this inventory report (at this time, will be included next year), percentages are based off of number of product orders, not expenditures. However, total order expenditures are available for entire month blocks. The percentage of total expenditures on conventional animal products is an average expenditure for February 2017 and October 2016 to reflect seasonal distribution.

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food A (0-100):

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food B (0-100):

Which of the following food service providers are present on campus and included in the total food and beverage expenditure figures?:
Present? Included?
Dining operations and catering services operated by the institution No No
Dining operations and catering services operated by a contractor Yes Yes
Student-run food/catering services No No
Franchises (e.g. national or global brands) No No
Convenience stores No No
Vending services Yes No
Concessions No No

A brief description of purchased food and beverage products that have other sustainability attributes not recognized above :

Additional percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional products with other sustainability attributes not recognized above (0-100) :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.