Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 36.28
Liaison Claire Rodgers
Submission Date June 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.25 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:

Third party food contractor Rebecca's Cafe contributes to a local company that collects waste fryolator oil which is then converted into biomass fuel. Rebecca’s offers locally grown products when available and uses local vendors and suppliers. Rebecca's offers coffee produced by farming communities where coffee is grown using sustainable farming practices. All coffee sold at Rebecca’s is 100% certified as Fair-trade or Rainforest Alliance under the eco-ground program. Rebecca's also supports Boston Rescue mission and Boston Food Bank. Coffee grounds are given to local farms. They’ve been trying to reach sustainability in the US market. Jim, the manager of Olin's dining hall, is the head of the US sustainability branch for Rebecca’s, and his personal mission is to get ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
Yes

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:

By harvesting maple sap from nearby sugar maple trees on and off campus, Rebecca's Cafe, working with students, was able to process its own maple syrup. This program is also likely to be further expanded next year.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, and/or urban agriculture project, or support such a program in the local community?:
No

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
---

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:

Vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options are incorporated into the regular entree. This way there isn't a separate, less varied option for people with dietary restrictions.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events:

There is a garden bar once a week for lunch.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:
---

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:
---

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labeling and signage in dining halls?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:

Currently in progress, but a goal for next year.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:

Dining helped the Environmental Systems Science class when they did an energy audit and broke down the carbon footprint of Olin dining. When the dining hall saw the breakdown of contributors to green house gases and red meat was a big contributor, they served less red meat. Dining also helps create the student maple syrup.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have other sustainability-related initiatives (e.g. health and wellness initiatives, making culturally diverse options available)?:
Yes

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:

After a few students created a machine to grind cassava (which is being used for efforts in third world countries to process their food), Rebecca's worked with the student to take the machine to different Rebecca's Cafe venues to help raise money and awareness for the project. They used the machine to serve cassava cakes in Olin's dining hall.


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?:
No

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
---

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:

Trays are kept available “upon request” for guests in order to save water and energy from washing less dishes.
There are regular reminders to only take what you’re going to eat through emails and notices. The plate and serving utensil size is also limited. Limiting the serving utensils to small tongs cuts down on waste. Rebecca's uses 7.5 inch plates instead of 9 or 10 inch dinner plates to limit serving size.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
No

A brief description of the food donation program:

Started in FY18


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses (e.g. converting cooking oil to fuel, on-site anaerobic digestion)?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

Rebecca's sends fryolater oil to a company that picks it up and turns it into bio-diesel.


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:

Started in FY18


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:

Started in FY18


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:

There are reusable utensils, cups, and plates for "dine in" meals.


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:

Started in FY18


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor offer discounts or other incentives to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in “to-go” food service operations?:
No

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:

Next year, students will have to pay for reusable to-go boxes. This will incentivize reusing the to-go boxes.


Has the institution or its primary dining services contractor implemented other materials management initiatives to minimize waste not covered above (e.g. working with vendors and other entities to reduce waste from food packaging)?:
Yes

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:

Rebecca's buys high quality scrap meat from provider Kennealey Meats. Meat is placed in a large bag, hundreds of pounds. This reduces packaging and waste.
Napkin waste is also reduced by placing napkins on table rather than upfront.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Data was collected from Jim Drumheller, Olin's dining hall manager. Olin only recently switched to Rebecca's Cafe this year, so this program is still in the process of getting modified.
Kevin Comellas, Executive Chef

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.