Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.69
Liaison Ciannat Howett
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Emory University
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.26 / 6.00 Taylor Spicer
Programs Coordinator
Office of Sustainability Initiatives
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of total annual food and beverage expenditures on products that are sustainably or ethically produced:
28.68

Percentage of total annual food and beverage expenditures on plant-based foods:
51.41

An inventory of food and beverage purchases that qualify as sustainably/ethically produced:
A brief description of the methodology used to conduct the inventory, including the timeframe and how representative samples accounted for seasonal variation (if applicable):

At Emory University, Bon Appétit Management Company uses an in-house purchase tracking program to track all food purchases made in residential dining, catering, and retail operations (excluding bottled beverage purchases, branded concepts, and subcontracted vendors; including the convenience store) during all weeks of operation during the 2018-2019 fiscal year.


Website URL where the institution’s validated Real/Good Food Calculator results are publicly posted:
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Which of the following food service providers are present on campus and included in the inventory/assessment?:
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., regional or global brands) Yes No
Convenience stores Yes Yes
Vending services Yes No
Concessions No No

Total annual dining services budget for food and beverage products:
$1 million - $4.9 million

A brief description of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchasing program:

Emory's Sustainable Food Committee guides the institution's transition to more local and sustainable purchases. In 2007 this committee developed a set of guidelines to help meet Emory's institutional goal of ensuring 75% of all food served will be locally or sustainably grown by 2015. Emory’s Sustainability Vision and Strategic Plan for 2015-2025 revises this goal to 75% by 2025.

Emory defines "local" food as from Georgia and the surrounding seven southern states (AL, KY, FL, MS, NC, SC, TN).

Sustainably grown food adheres to one or more of the following criteria:
• Certified USDA Organic
• Sourced from Certified Grass-Fed Animals (American Grass-Fed Association)
• Certified Humanely Raised (Certified Humane by Humane Animal Farm Care, Animal Welfare Approved)
• Certified Sustainable (Food Alliance Certified or LEO-4000 American National Sustainable Agriculture Standard)
• Seafood Watch Southeast “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” Approved List
• Marine Stewardship Council
• Fair Trade USA, Fair Trade International, Fair Trade Federation

Minimum standards include:
CHICKEN - Springer Mountain Farms or university-approved equivalent*
PORK - raised without gestation crates
GROUND BEEF - 100% Grass-Fed as certified by American Grassfed Association or Animal Welfare Approved
HOT DOGS - all beef, nitrite/nitrate free
FLUID DAIRY & YOGURT - artificial growth hormones rBST/rBGH prohibited, and routine administration of antibiotic in feed, water, or otherwise is prohibited
EGGS - Shell and liquid eggs are cage-free and Certified Humane® by Humane Farm Animal Care
SEAFOOD - Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program Best Choice (Green) or Good Alternative (Yellow) rated species, or Marine Stewardship Council
PRODUCE - As much local produce as possible (8 state Southeast region), Coalition of Immokalee Workers tomatoes, and seek Fair Food Certification items
COFFEE AND TEA - Fair trade (Fair Trade USA, Fair Trade International, or Fair Trade Federation)

*local (8 state southeast region) and no antibiotics ever

Bon Appétit Management Company is Emory’s contracted dining services provider as of May 2015. The contract stipulates that certain food standards are met in residential dining, catering, and retail operations operated by Bon Appétit.

For the Emory University Hospital system, sustainable food purchases are determined based on what food items met the criteria established by Emory University and the dollars spent in total on those items. Produce is usually product raised in the 8 state region because it’s preferred over third party verified product raised in California or outside the USA, for example.
Examples of purchases made by the hospital system include, but are not limited to, produce grown in the designated 8 state region with preference for produce grown in GA (purchased through the GA Common Market); chicken from Springer Mountain Farms in GA; grass-fed beef from White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia and Carhan’s Farms in Eatonton, Georgia; pork raised in Alabama; seafood from the Good/Best list for Monterey Bay Aquarium; locally roasted coffee beans; and grits ground from corn raised in the Carolinas. The food items are not tracked by food category, but as total sustainable food dollars/total dollars in spend – totally excluding categories such as bottled beverages. Emory University Hospitals operate their own dining operations and catering services and do not use Bon Appetit as a contractor. The hospitals' food purchases are not included in the figures above or in the inventory. For FY 19, the hospital system, which included six hospitals in the Atlanta metro region, sourced about 13% its food and beverages locally and/or sustainably, according to Emory's definitions.


Website URL where information about the food and beverage purchasing program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data reported for 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Emory's Sustainable Food Purchasing Guidelines can be found here: http://sustainability.emory.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/SustFoodPurchGuidelns5-27-16.pdf

STARS 2.2 explains that "Other non-dairy beverages: soft drinks, sport drinks, milk alternatives, wine and beer" should be included in the percentage of "All Food and Beverages." Emory does not include these beverages in its sustainable and local food tracking for practical and sustainability-related reasons. Bottled beverages and syrups are purchased through a different ledger than other food and beverage purchases and have never been included in Emory's internal tracking of local and sustainable food purchases. Emory, therefore, did not have the internal capacity to alter its numbers to include bottled beverages. Dairy products and alternatives, coffees, and teas are all included and are areas in which Emory makes progress to source more environmentally- and socially-conscious products that are better for human and animal health, progress which is limited in the arena of most bottled beverage purchases.

Emory does not include vending services in its local and sustainable food purchases, but data for on-site franchises and the only campus convenience store is included in this section.

Additionally, Emory's Sustainable Food Committee decided on April 4, 2017, to exclude all meat and dairy products from cows treated with ionophores from our list of "sustainable" foods. This Committee reviewed the limited available research on the effect of ionophores on human and animal welfare. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future was consulted and advised the Committee to maintain its prohibition of products with ionophores from our "sustainable" products because they may be used in human medicine in the future. All anti-microbials can foster the development of resistance, so we are actively looking for sources that do not use ionophores in routine treatment.

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.