Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.79
Liaison Yumiko Jakobcic
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Grand Valley State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Yumiko Jakobcic
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability Practices
"---" 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:
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:

In a partnership between the Office of Sustainability Practices and Campus Dining, produce grown on campus is being incorporated into meals served on campus. Herbs and vegetables are grown, harvested and packaged at Grand Valley’s Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP), a hands-on farming space that allows students, faculty and staff members to learn about sustainable agriculture. Then, the produce is purchased, prepared and served at Engrained, a campus restaurant located in The Connection on the Allendale Campus.


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?:
Yes

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

GVSU hosts and on-campus Farmer's Market and its Sustainable Agriculture Project offers CSA shares.


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:

Campus Dining offers Meatless Mondays meal options at all dining locations as well as a complete protein vegan meal option. The Green Team promotes vegan options as part of a sustainable and healthy meal alternative.


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:

Campus Dining offers Meatless Mondays meal options at all dining locations as well as a complete protein vegan meal option.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:

Campus Dining has hosted various themed meals for Earth Day, Sustainability Week, etc.


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:

Campus Dining is proud to earn a 3 Star Green Restaurant Certification for the sustainability efforts at Engrained.


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?:
Yes

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

Local vendors are noted on menu screens and various signage is used. Additional efforts are noted here: https://www.gvsu.edu/campusdine/sustainability-68.htm


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:

The Sustainable Agriculture Project, housed in the Office of Sustainability Practices in Brooks College, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year. What started as a community garden in 2008 has grown to a learning-living laboratory where students learn academic content and develop practical skills. It includes two hoop houses, a greenhouse and four acres of land, and offers community-shared agriculture and community garden programs.


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:

Campus Dining has a registered dietitian who offers education and programming for students.


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:

A system of food management fundamental and waste reduction is used to minimize food waste and maximize efficiency. The Food Management Fundamentals system consists of the following steps: 1. Planning: forecasting customers and portions; 2. Product: purchasing compliance; SKU consolidation and reduction; 3. Production: using production sheets and standard recipes and tracking waste; 4. Post Analysis: using past results to inform future forecasts.


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:

The use of trays at Fresh Food Company was eliminated to reduce energy, water and detergent use. This resulted in saving 1,619,000 gallons of water froom 2007-2008. In addition, we have installed more efficient dishwashers in at least two of our dining locations that will save additional resources on top of the original study. An audit was conducted at Fresh Food Company to track consumer waste as a percentage of food served. The results aided in helping the Green Team promote consumer waste minimization efforts at the dining location.


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 Dining donates to local food pantries at the end of each semester. Through a partnership with Food Donation Connection, excess baked goods and produce are donated to Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids, MI.


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)?:
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:

Pre-Consumer composting is available at all of our dining locations. We have separate bins for composting, recycling, and landfill waste at all of our dining locations for ease of separation. Our goal is to be zero waste and eliminate the landfill bin all together.


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:

Post-Consumer food composting is available at all of our dining locations. Separate bins for composting, recycling and landfill are easily accessible for all customers to separate their items. Campus Dining also has a “Green Team” actively educating and showing students how to separate their trash to eventually reach zero waste in the dining halls. This team routinely stands out by the trash receptacles and educates students on the importance of composting and recycling to eliminate trash from going to landfills. We use compostable service ware and trash liners to encourage composting and landfill diversion.


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:

Reusable dining ware is available at Engrained and Fresh Food Company to reduce the need for disposable to-go containers.


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 Fresh Food dining location offers a reusable to-go program. This program allows customers to purchase a meal to take home in a reusable container and bring it back to us to wash and exchange it for a new container during their next meal. Compostable clamshell to-go containers are offered at applicable dining locations. Compostable containers are made from Ingeo plastic and are BPI-certified compostable.


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?:
Yes

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

$1 coffee and pop refills are available at all Campus Dining locations. $.25 water refills are available at all Campus Dining locations.


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:

Campus Dining participates in Zero-Waste football games and catering events. Volunteers at the hosted event help guests in sorting their waste into the proper compost, landfill and recycling receptacles in order to maximize the waste diversion rate. Grand Valley was ranked second in the nation for waste minimization in the National Game Day Challenge for Zero-Waste football games.


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