Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.77
Liaison Josh Lasky
Submission Date April 4, 2023

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 2.00 Joshua Lasky
Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:
The GroW Community, a student organization that manages the GroW Garden and cultivates dialogue on campus about food, facilitates Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares for students. The CSAs are distributed through FRESHFARM, a local nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture and improves food access and equity. Shares are delivered for pick-up weekly. Students participating in the CSA share program can use their credit, debit, or university GWorld dollars to support sustainable consumption.

At Farmers' Markets in Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle, students can pay with their GWorld dollars. The FRESHFARM Foggy Bottom Market is conveniently located right on campus. Students, staff, and faculty can take a break from work or make a stop on the way home to talk with farmers and select from the best of the region's lush bounty of offerings. This market offers conventional and certified organic fruits and vegetables, pastured eggs, organic and grass-fed meats, small batch charcuterie, farmstead goat cheeses and yogurt, sweet and savory baked goods, ice cream, cold-pressed juices, hand-made pasta and sauces, jams and jellies, crab cakes, empanadas, soups, flatbreads, paella, and more.

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:
GW students can use their dining dollars at a variety of sustainable providers on campus including Whole Foods, Beefsteak, and Sweetgreen, to name a few.

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:
GW partners with Curbside Kitchen to bring delicious, affordable, diverse, and easily accessible food truck cuisine directly to Potomac Square!
From Soul Food to BBQ, the food truck offerings change in real-time to reflect the tastes and demands of our students. Curbside Kitchen creates culinary experiences that offer variety, diversity, and a little of the unexpected…all focused on keeping students well-fed and happy!

GWorld dollars are accepted by Curbside Kitchen.

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:
Chartwells serves vegan and vegetarian meals at all meal services. Chartwells also utilizes Smallplanes coffee local DC roaster. Crisp is Chartwell's allergen friendly restaurant that provides sustainable protein products.

Vegan and vegetarian options are also available through GW's retail dining program through a variety of providers, including the primarily vegetarian, low-impact restaurant Beefsteak. Additionally, many events on campus implement low-impact dining practices as part of the meals provided during the events. For example: the annual Diversity Summit served vegan/vegetarian food from a local, sustainability-focused caterer. In addition to giving the caterer an opportunity during lunch to speak to the audience regarding the importance of sustainable food, there was also signage that displayed the connection between animal products and climate change, and reusable silverware was given out as the Summit giveaway. Additionally, a flagship Student Experience event, Midnight Breakfast, served primarily low-impact, plant-forward options, with minimal meat options. Lastly, faculty and staff have been moving towards increasingly low-impact meal including at the weekly Sustainable Faculty Lunch, hosted by Sustainable GW, which serves a majority of vegan and vegetarian 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:
GW dining partners provide variety for students who keep a vegan diet. Additionally, there is a vegetarian dining social media account that helps promote vegan friendly dining partners and to guide students through the options. A Dining Rep manages a social media account and also hosts monthly events on vegetarianism.

Chartwells has a resident dietitian. All menus have vegan and vegetarian options. Learning lessons and teaching kitchens are scheduled monthly.

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:
All vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and balanced menu options can be identified using a standardized labeling system across all locations. These labels are located above the menu item as well as on digital screen displaying menu items for the day and meal period. Additionally, all labels are prominently placed on online menus.

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:
GW Dining uses Waste Not, a back of house waste tracking system to track production waste, overproduction waste and wasted out of date inventory. Areas of improvement within the waste stream are identified and these goals are improved upon after discussion and collaboration with culinary and operation teams at each dining location.

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:
No trays are used in any of GW's dining outlets.

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:
Any excess or food that would not be used in production is donated by Chartwells to DC Central Kitchen.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:
No

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
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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:
GW provides pre-consumer compost at Mount Vernon's Pelham Commons, the dining hall for first-year students. Pelham Commons dining hall participates in a back-of-house food waste diversion program. All food waste generated by kitchen staff are collected and composted at Maryland Environmental Service through hauling servies provided by Compost Crew.

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:
GW composts at designated events, such as large catered events and sporting concessions. Composting services can also be requested free of charge at smaller events through a new request form launched in Fall 2022.

A food waste drop-off program was launched in Spring of 2018 for post-consumer composting by two GW students. The goal of the program is to contribute compost from students to GW's existing infrastructure to deliver compost to a regional commercial composting facility via hauling provider Compost Crew. Starting in Fall 2022, paid student staff and volunteers are available five days a week to collect compost in Kogan Plaza. Volunteers educate participants and help sort through compost for contamination. As of 2022, GW diverts roughly 350 pounds of organic waste from landfill each week.

In addition, all four university dining venues on the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon Campuses participate in food waste diversion programs. GW Dining staff manage the dish return station at dining venues and collect any food scraps for composting prior to dishwashing.

GW also offers a food and coffee waste diversion program at two Starbucks locations on campus, Tonic Restaurant, Peet's Coffee and SecreTea; all of which are a part of the GW dining dollars program.

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:
Melamine plates are used, washed, rinsed, and sanitized.

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:
The primary dining services contractor for Mount Vernon Campus provides third party certified compostable containers and service ware for “to-go” meals

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?:
No

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

A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
GW offers an open dining program, allowing students to enjoy more than 100 dining partners across the Foggy Bottom, DC area. There are Dining Reps who provide resources for students who have specific dining needs, including Sustainability, Vegan, Kosher, Halal, and Gluten Free, as well as for students who live on the Mount Vernon campus and are interested in guidance for making dining choices in that location. GW also offers many heart-healthy initiatives, cultural highlights, and individualized cultural pop-up eating experiences.

Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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