Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.90
Liaison Kathleen Crawford
Submission Date July 23, 2020

STARS v2.2

Florida Gulf Coast University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Tara Zinslen
Director of Marketing & Guest Experience
FGCU Campus Dining
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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:

Superfood Tuesdays: We have merged our monthly farmers markets into Superfood Tuesdays. During these days, we focus on educating guests on the importance of local purchasing, sustainable third party certifications, nutrition, and produce preparation and cooking. In addition, we partner with our residential culinary team to obtain produce as local as possible. Whenever possible we invite the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and local farms to participate. In order to keep the studnets engaged, we also use this as an opportunity to introduce nutritious produce to the guests that they may have never heard of or tried before (ex. starfruit and dragon fruit).
SGA Farmer’s Markets: Student Government's Director of Sustainability also hosts farmers markets on the Library Lawn. These markets are typically held biweekly during Spring and Fall Semesters. There is one primary produce vendor that purveys a mixture of locally sourced, seasonally-based foods as well as other in-demand items that are from other regions. Other local purveyors include small, local businesses that makes craft products such as candles and tea blends.
National Farmworker Awareness Week: We started a campus awareness week in 2018 that educates our community on fair labor and fair treatment of farmworkers. Being only 40 minutes away from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, we partner with them to bring light to this important topic. The week includes several social media posts and infographics, tabling events, and many student engagement activities.
Campus Garden: New in 2019, we added a small SoVi Garden to our residential restaurant! We grow herbs and other produce that we utilize in our recipes daily. The garden is also used for an educational tool for interns and students to learn to grow sustainable food sources and day-to-day upkeep and is led by an amazing gardener, Carol Kennedy.
Student Engagement: At several campus events each year, we facilitate a "terracotta-pot" painting table and encourage students to grow their own herbs and plants in their residence hall. In addition, we do seasonal events like “How to properly dispose of a pumpkin.”
Move-In Block Party: Outside the dining hall students were able to decorate their own 5 gallon bucket with handle to bring back to their dorm to use as a recycling bucket.
Fair Trade for Finals: During the semester, we hold Fair Trade for finals events featuring fair trade chocolate, sampling fair trade items, and encouraging students to look for fair trade items when purchasing. We mirror these events in our convenience stores and make sure to highlight all Fairtrade items.


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:

While we don't have enough demand to make it permanent, we do have a sustainability themed outlet held intermittently within our Residential Dining Hall. Within this outlet, we focus on featuring sustainably sourced ingredients, sampling, and purchasing. We featured items like protein power balls, fair trade coffee, and more.


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:

National Farmworker Awareness Week: We started a campus awareness week in 2018 that educates our community on fair labor and fair treatment of farmworkers. Being only 40 minutes away from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, we partner with them to bring light to this important topic. The week includes several social media posts and infographics, tabling events, and many student engagement activities.
Campus Garden: New in 2019, we added a small SoVi Garden to our residential restaurant! We grow herbs and other produce that we utilize in our recipes daily. The garden is also used for an educational tool for interns and students to learn to grow sustainable food sources and day-to-day upkeep and is led by an amazing gardener, Carol Kennedy.
CIW Donations: We try to partner with the CIW in many ways – new this year, we started traveling to Immokalee and handing out boxed lunches to the farmworkers as they returned from the fields.


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:

Expansion of Vegan/Vegetarian Station: Every year we increase the footprint of our plant forward options in our dining hall. New in 2019, we added in a “pan-o-vation” station which features daily plant based options like Tofu Stir Fry, Vegan Meatballs, and Vegetable Low Mein.
Daily Vegan Dining Options: In addition, we offer a main course everyday on the hotline and one soup as a vegan or vegetarian option. We have added an all-day vegetable crudité and items like ground flax seed, hemp hearts, and nutritional yeast to benefit our plant based customers as well.
Weigh the Waste: Dining Services partners with Colloquium (a sustainability focused course) to conduct a post-consumer food waste audit called Weigh the Waste twice a semester. During this event, students from the class collect and weigh all food waste in front of the students with the goal being to lower the food waste during the second audit. Students break out into groups to do their own outreach and education. Many groups focus their projects on the topics of food footprints, composting, and low impact dining education.
Vegan/Vegetarian Focused Days: We celebrate World Vegan day and World Vegetarian Day. Also, many of our events feature a build-your-own-snack that is vegan friendly (trail mix, energy bites- recipe card in attachments).
Dietitian Visits: In order to assist vegan and vegetarian students to meet their health goals and better navigate campus to find items that align with their diets, we offer free one on one meeting with our campus Registered Dietitian.
National Food Day: Each year we host a day based around education of sustainability in food. Like a resource fair, we have several tables with different topics that include the following: local food-students paint pots and plant their own plants, on-campus Food Forest, Fair Trade education, nutrition information, prize wheel with many different questions about sustainable food to educate students.
World Water Day: In order to spread awareness on this day, we laminated articles in the dining hall for students to read while they ate. This article educates on the water foodprint of food. We also highlighted this topic across all social media platforms.
Move-In Block Party: Outside the dining hall students were able to decorate their own 5 gallon bucket with handle to bring back to their dorm to use as a recycling bucket.
Reusable Straws – In order to encourage less single use plastic waste, we started giving away reusable straws at our events and have them available for students to purchase at every point of sale on campus. Locations like Starbucks have cut back on their plastic straws by over 50%.
Bamboo Cutlery - A very popular giveaway at events, students are able to get their own set of bamboo ware to use instead of plastic.
Serviceware – In the last three years, we have been adjusting our serving utensils and serviceware to smaller, less wasteful portions. We also encourage students to “try a sample” before taking a whole portion.
Social Media: Each semester, we highlight Vegan/Vegetarian ‘dining hacks’ on social media and also host a 7 day vegan/vegetarian challenge for students to participate in. Each day we highlight different plant based options across campus and the resources available within our program.
Daily highlights: New in 2019, we highlight all the local menu options, where they were sourced, and ingredients from our campus garden in the dining hall and online.
Labeling: We have increased all labeling and signage for all local ingredients, fair trade, and vegan making them a highlighted option and easier for students to identify. This past year we added additional chalkboard call-outs bringing more emphasis to our vegan and vegetarian options and those that offer ingredients from our campus garden.
Campus Food Pantry: We have a strong partnership with our campus Food Pantry, and hold several events in their honor each semester. Every week we donate 30 loaves of fresh bread. At the end of each semester, we donate excess packaged food items and bottled beverages. We host events where we encourage students to buy and donate to the pantry and we offer a meal plan donation program to benefit the food pantry.
CIW Donations: We try to partner with the CIW in many ways – new this year, we started traveling to Immokalee and handing out boxed lunches to the farmworkers as they returned from the fields.
Health and Wellness Events: Our Health and Wellness Events held annually are Cholesterol Education Day, National Fruits and Veggies Matter More Day, Health Education Week, Healthy Skin Day, New Year's Resolution Event (promoting reusable cups and vegan and vegetarian options), National Gluten-Free Day, World Health Day, Brain Awareness Day, healthy build-your-own-stations at events (introducing healthy foods like chia seeds and flax that students may never have heard of or tried).


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:

Per our contract with the university and our Real Food Campus Commitment, All locations will provide no less than one alluring vegetarian and vegan entree per meal. We have a Vegetarian and Vegan brochure that clearly labels all options on campus. This brochure can be found at many locations and also on our dineoncampus.com/fgcu website. We work with Hampton Creek Foods to replace egg-based mayo with plant-based alternatives in many locations. We also offer Just Dressings from Hampton Creek at our dining hall. We celebrate World Vegan Day in our dining hall and hold other sustainability events/marketing promotions/social media posts throughout the year where we promote vegan offerings and educate the student population on the health and sustainability benefits of the lifestyle (event photos attached). We currently have an A rating with Peta2's Vegan Report Card.
Expansion of Vegan/Vegetarian Station: Every year we increase the footprint of our plant forward options in our dining hall. New in 2019, we added in a “pan-o-vation” station which features daily plant based options like Tofu Stir Fry, Vegan Meatballs, and Vegetable Low Mein.
Daily Vegan Dining Options: In addition, we offer a main course everyday on the hotline and one soup as a vegan or vegetarian option. We have added an all-day vegetable crudité and items like ground flax seed, hemp hearts, and nutritional yeast to benefit our plant based customers as well.
Vegan/Vegetarian Focused Days: We celebrate World Vegan day and World Vegetarian Day. Also, many of our events feature a build-your-own-snack that is vegan friendly (trail mix, energy bites- recipe card in attachments).


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:

Through Chartwell's, we label our menu though our Balanced U Program (attached document to explain). There are TVs at almost all of the stations in the dining hall and PIDs for those areas not covered by TVs to easily identify vegan, vegetarian, etc.
Social Media: Each semester, we highlight Vegan/Vegetarian ‘dining hacks’ on social media and also host a 7 day vegan/vegetarian challenge for students to participate in. Each day we highlight different plant based options across campus and the resources available within our program.
Daily highlights: New in 2019, we highlight all the local menu options, where they were sourced, and ingredients from our campus garden in the dining hall and online.
Labeling: We have increased all labeling and signage for all local ingredients, fair trade, and vegan making them a highlighted option and easier for students to identify. This past year we added additional chalkboard call-outs bringing more emphasis to our vegan and vegetarian options and those that offer ingredients from our campus garden.


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: Waste Not is a program used to minimize the cost and environmental impact of food waste in Compass (Chartwell's Higher Education) accounts. The program is driven by a lead associate and designed to be implemented and executed by the staff to increase engagement and operational efficiency. All trim and production waste is measured and categorized daily at every station before disposal, results are posted, and progress is tracked through the Waste Not computer program. Results are to be discussed weekly and adjustments should be made when needed. Waste is categorized into three different categories: overproduction waste, production waste, and unused/out of date.
Fraser Family Farm Partnership: A chef and professor at the College for Resort and Hospitality Management takes almost all of our pre-consumer food waste (excluding meat) and takes it to the farm he owns to feed his pigs. This eliminates this food waste from going to the landfill.
Serviceware – In the last three years, we have been adjusting our serving utensils and serviceware to smaller, less wasteful portions. We also encourage students to “try a sample” before taking a whole portion.


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:

FGCU Campus Dining is trayless at SoVi Dining Hall. Trayless Dining saves 1/3 to 1/4 gallon of water and 3 ounces of food per customer. Menus at many stations went from pre-served on plates and sitting out under a heat lamp (which produced waste as guests did not want food that wasn't fresh) to made-to-order action stations that made the food in front of you and with ingredients of the guests choice.
Serviceware – In the last three years, we have been adjusting our serving utensils and serviceware to smaller, less wasteful portions. We also encourage students to “try a sample” before taking a whole portion.


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 Food Pantry: We have a strong partnership with our campus Food Pantry, and hold several events in their honor each semester. Every week we donate 30 loaves of fresh bread. At the end of each semester, we donate excess packaged food items and bottled beverages. We host events where we encourage students to buy and donate to the pantry and we offer a meal plan donation program to benefit the food pantry.
CIW Donations: We try to partner with the CIW in many ways – new this year, we started traveling to Immokalee and handing out boxed lunches to the farmworkers as they returned from the fields.
Community Cooperative: The Community Co-op is a local soup kitchen that we started donating food to more than a year ago. Mostly during the holiday season, we are able to donate hundreds of pounds of food to nourish the local community.


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 partner with the Filtafry system, part of Filta Environmental Kitchen Solutions. Filtafry extends the life of our cooking oil by micro-filtering impurities out of cooking oil, extending its usefulness. Once our cooking oil has come to the end of its life, Filtafry will collect the oil and safely removes it from our site. From there, the oil is purified and the majority made into biodiesel.
Fraser Family Farm Partnership: A chef and professor at the College for Resort and Hospitality Management takes almost all of our pre-consumer food waste (excluding meat) and takes it to the farm he owns to feed his pigs. This eliminates this food waste from going to the landfill. The pounds of waste diverted a week amounts to approximately 1000lbs during the weeks the Dining Hall is in session.


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 pre-consumer waste (besides animal products) goes to the Fraser Family Farm to become pig feed. The poundage amounts to approximately 1000lbs a week (16 operating weeks a semester = 16,000 for Fall, 16,000 for Spring= approximately 32,000lbs a year of diverted pre-consumer food waste. Some pre-consumer food waste also goes to instructors and students for projects throughout the year.
We also donate several pounds of pre-consumer to our on-campus food forest as fertilizer.


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:

When our Weigh the Waste program (explained earlier and there is an attachment further explaining the program) is conducted, the compost collected during the 4 program days a year are taken to our on-campus food forest to be turned into compost. The poundage for the Fall = 79.8lbs. Spring = 74.6lbs. Total = 154.4lbs of food waste was composted in our on-campus food forest.
Additionally, we provide food waste for FGCU’s Emergent Technologies Institute for their Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus System. The integrated WEF system turns solid waste and wastewater into both a biogas energy source that can substitute for propane, and into nutrient-rich, recycled water for fertilized irrigation.


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:

Students signing up during the Early Meal Membership time frame over the summer receive a free reusable serving ware (a clam shell to-go container). Other students may purchase one for $6 and $1 from each sale is donated to interdepartmental sustainability events on campus in the form of in-kind catering.
Serviceware – In the last three years, we have been adjusting our serving utensils and serviceware to smaller, less wasteful portions. We also encourage students to “try a sample” before taking a whole portion.
Reusable Straws – In order to encourage less single use plastic waste, we started giving away reusable straws at our events and have them available for students to purchase at every point of sale on campus. Locations like Starbucks have cut back on their plastic straws by over 50%.
Bamboo Cutlery - A very popular giveaway at events, students are able to get their own set of bamboo ware to use instead of plastic.


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:

Students signing up during the Early Meal Membership time frame over the summer receive a free reusable serving ware (a clam shell to-go container). Other students may purchase one for $6 and $1 from each sale is donated to interdepartmental sustainability events on campus in the form of in-kind catering.


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:

Students signing up during the Early Meal Membership time frame over the summer receive a free reusable serving ware (a clam shell to-go container). Other students may purchase one for $6 and $1 from each sale is donated to interdepartmental sustainability events on campus in the form of in-kind catering.
The campus community can get $1 refills at Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Einstein's Bagel Bros., Chik-fil-A, and SoVi Dining when using designated retail cups or reusable FGCU Dining Cup.


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

Health and Wellness Events: Our Health and Wellness Events held annually are Cholesterol Education Day, National Fruits and Veggies Matter More Day, Health Education Week, Healthy Skin Day, New Year's Resolution Event (promoting reusable cups and vegan and vegetarian options), National Gluten-Free Day, World Health Day, Brain Awareness Day, healthy build-your-own-stations at events (introducing healthy foods like chia seeds and flax that students may never have heard of or tried).
"Eat Your Greens" monthly newsletter in resident dining hall bathroom stalls- educates on a different sustainability/health and wellness topic each month (in attachments).
Campus Food Pantry: We have a strong partnership with our campus Food Pantry, and hold several events in their honor each semester. Every week we donate 30 loaves of fresh bread. At the end of each semester, we donate excess packaged food items and bottled beverages. We host events where we encourage students to buy and donate to the pantry and we offer a meal plan donation program to benefit the food pantry.
CIW Donations: We try to partner with the CIW in many ways – new this year, we started traveling to Immokalee and handing out boxed lunches to the farmworkers as they returned from the fields.


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