Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.57
Liaison Katie Koscielak
Submission Date April 11, 2023

STARS v2.2

Cal Poly Humboldt
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 James Richards
Chartwells Regional District Manager (Resident Dining Manager)
Humboldt Dining Services
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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:
Chartwells Higher Education (Dining Services Contractor) hosted an annual farmers market in conjunction with our Fall Festi-ful as part of our Joyful event series. This farmers event was held at 300 other campuses across the country simultaneously, making Fall Festi-ful the nation's largest farmer’s market event. This farmers market at Cal Poly Humboldt is free and available to all students. Some farms that participated included Rich Palmer Farms, Green Spiral Farms and North Coast Co-op.

Chartwells supports Oh SNAP!, the Cal Poly Humboldt student food bank, by providing a spending allowance of $50,000 annually. This is used by Oh Snap! to purchase wholesale food that is then given freely to any student experiencing food insecurity. Oh SNAP! Is invited to all Humboldt Dining events to self promote and create greater awareness on campus. Humboldt Dining also provides hundreds of free meal vouchers for Oh SNAP! for them to share with students who are experiencing food insecurity.
Humboldt Dining also maintains strong community partnerships with organizations like Arcata House through donations.

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:
The J Dining Hall at Cal Poly Humboldt includes a dedicated Vegan Station that provides vegan lunch and dinner everyday in which there are between 4-6 vegan dishes per meal. In addition, the other two hot food stations in the J Dining Hall offer 3-4 plant based dishes for every service including breakfast. Also, all other dining locations on campus offer at least one plant based dish for every service.

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:
Humboldt Dining services works with local SME to provide products across all dining locations on campus. All coffee used in dining outlets are from local roasters.
Kinetic Coffee is one of our dining locations in The Depot and serves only coffee roasted by Kinetic Koffee. This company is a firm believer of “Think Globally, Act Locally”. Their coffee is certified organic, shade grown, and governed by fair trade practices. They only purchase from environmentally conscious vendors and donate 10% of their proceeds to charities. Muddy Waters Coffee provides all of the coffee to other dining locations and our catering operations.
In addition to the coffee coming from local vendors we also purchase locally crafted bottled beverages such as Seabucha and Lost Coast Roast, tofu and tofu products from Tofu Shop Arcata, chocolates and caramels from HumYum, packaged snacks, tamales from Celebrations, breads, produce, meats from Painted Hills and Humboldt Grassfed, beer, and more.
Humboldt Dining also offers space inside of The Depot for local vendors including Los Bagels, Hey Jaun Burritos, Wild Blue Sushi and Obento to serve customers from.

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:
With most Humboldt Dining events being held in the J Dining Hall, our 21-22 events were low impact due to exclusively using reusable service ware.
In the spring of 2022, at Humboldt Dining events, significant effort was made to minimize landfill waste produced by the events getting us closer to hosting zero waste events. During this event we hosted various Stop Food Waste Day activities including…
1) Trash Talkers who helped people sort any non-reusable items into the appropriate Recycle / Compost / Trash bin.
2) Sustainable Swag table that included reusable straws / fully biodegradable pens / reusable cutlery set
3) OZZI tabling that discussed the benefits of using reusable to-go food containers.
4) 100% Plant Forward Menu served to over 1000 students. With 300 campuses in partnership, we offered the largest plant based menu takeover in the nation. Every event hosted by Humboldt Dining offers many plant-based options in our service lines including dessert.
Every day, our residential dining location provides a menu that is 80% plant forward which includes the hot stations, salad bar, fruit bar, soup, vegan Station, grill, desserts and more.

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:
The J Dining Hall includes a dedicated vegan station with multiple dishes for lunch and dinner. There are a variety of vegan foods as part of the main hot food line for all meals including breakfast. The vegan menu changes daily to remain diverse and is available to the entire campus. At all other dining locations on campus there is at least one plant based option during every service. Also, all retail locations offer a wide variety of vegan snacks and pre packaged foods. During the academic year of 21-22 there was a dining location in The Depot called Wildflower Cafe that offered a fully plant based menu.

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:
In the J Dining Hall there are full sized wall graphics highlighting how Humboldt Dining promotes sustainability. These infographics inform customers that eating plant based proteins reduce their carbon footprint while telling them of the top five sustainable proteins. Also, these infographics are consistently updated to show what we currently offer. For example, graphics display that 100% of the napkins used are compostable and made from post-consumer waste. Another graphic shows that 100% of the eggs are cage-free. Our digital display screens allow us to feature various slides promoting our OZZI reusable container program, our Waste Not program, and our certification from Green Restaurant Association.

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:
Cal Poly Humboldt’s Office of Sustainability partners with Humboldt Dining to advance sustainability efforts in dining. One primary sustainability campaign is an outreach effort called "Weigh the Waste" which is hosted multiple times each semester in the J Dining Hall. The Weigh the Waste events help students become more aware of food waste as a sustainability problem, and asks students to engage in critical thinking questions such as "Why is there food waste left on your plate after eating?” “Could you have taken less?” “Does dining provide too much for a serving?" Student participants are asked if they would volunteer to weigh the food waste left on their plate at the end of the meal.
The goal of Weigh the Waste is to get students thinking about their role in the food waste phenomenon and to flag it as a huge issue and that students can play a part in making things better. Also, these events help tap into a broad audience for creative ideas about minimizing food waste across the campus, and to hopefully encourage behavior change to minimize food waste on campus and in the world.
Results from this data have shown that students would like food servers to ask them how much food they want (rather than serving full servings directly to plates) and students would like more self-serve food stations.
Weigh the Waste events have been used primarily in the residence dining hall because there are more students available to participate in the event.
Campus Sustainability and Dining will be partnering in 22-23 to weigh post consumer waste on various days throughout the year to track the amount of waste generated by students. Self-serve food stations were brought back to the main dining hall in Fall 22, since it was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Humboldt Dining tracks it's back of house kitchen waste, through a proprietary tool called Waste Not, which is a tracking and reporting method for pre-consumer food waste in order to determine where operations can improve on waste. This program was implemented in all dining outlets in fall 2022.

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:
All dining locations are trayless. Portions are controlled by using specific size serving utensils such as a 2 oz ladle. Customers are encouraged to try a smaller amount first then come back for more if they like it. The salad bar station is self-serve so that customers take only what they want. During COVID-19 Humboldt Dining staff served customers but have since gone back to self-serve at all stations. Menus are made based on popular items so that we are offering customers more of what they ask for, thereby reducing the potential for waste. All other dining locations use a pay per item system which discourages customers from taking more than they are willing to pay for and consume.

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:
Humboldt Dining Services coordinates with the campus food bank called Oh SNAP! Oh SNAP! receives all retail items from our dining locations that are nearing best by dates as well as expiring shelf stable foods. If there is food leftover from dining or catering events it is donated either to Oh SNAP! or to local charities, the Betty Kwan Chinn Foundation and Arcata House Partnership, both of which serve the local houseless community. Humboldt Dining maintains strong relationships with these entities in order to easily donate all leftover food from the dining services as a whole.

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:
Humboldt Dining, in coordination with the Facilities Department, collects all pre and post-consumer food waste across all dining outlets. The food waste is put into a large “Bio-Bin” where the decomposition process is initiated. The bin is transported to a vermiculture site called “The Local Worm Guy” which then sells the worm castings to local farmers.
All fryer oil from our dining locations is collected and picked up by SeQuential. SeQuential, together with parent company Crimson Renewable Energy, is the only large-scale biodiesel producer in Oregon and one of the leading used cooking oil collectors in the nation. They collect used cooking oil from all over the region and transform it into biodiesel – a cleaner, ultra-low carbon fuel that offers a 50% reduction in harmful particulate matter and a carbon footprint up to 85% smaller than petroleum diesel.

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 waste from all dining locations is collected and transported to the “Bio-Bin” for processing by the Local Worm Guy. Through the Waste Not program, all pre-consumer waste is weighed and tracked in an effort to reduce as much waste as possible.

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:
All compostable post-consumer waste from the J Dining Hall is collected from our dish area and transported to the Bio-Bin for processing. All dining locations try to collect as much compostable post consumer waste as possible for composting rather than sending to landfill. Composting and recycling bins with signage are used throughout all locations in an effort to educate students in proper sorting of post-consumer waste.

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:
The J Dining Hall offers all reusable plates, cups and cutlery. Our Catering Department also uses all reusable service ware.

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:
Humboldt Dining implements the use of OZZI containers for “to-go” meals in our main residential dining hall. All students receive a token in their welcome packets which they can exchange for an OZZI container for meals they wish to take out. The student then can return the soiled OZZI container for a new token - in exchange for another OZZI - and the cycle continues. Most compostable cups and containers at our dining locations can be processed with our compost in the Bio-Bin.

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:
All dining locations that offer coffee have a standing discount for any customer that brings their own mug. Customers receive a .25 cent discount which makes a $2.25 cup of coffee cost only 2 dollars. Some locations that offer coffee sell mason jars that come with a first fill up of coffee for free.

A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
Humboldt Dining is committed to maintaining our straw-free and plastic-water-bottle-free campus. Most dining locations have a water station for refilling bottles. Every dining event includes giving away items that promote sustainable practices such as stainless steel water bottles, plastic-free notebooks, pens made of completely biodegradable materials, stainless steel reusable straws, fabric tote bags and more. Humboldt Dining is striving to host completely zero-waste events going forward.
Humboldt Dining services maintains a working relationship with Green Restaurant Association in order to keep our locations updated with innovations and equipment that give us higher sustainability ratings within their system. The J Dining Hall has a 3 Star Rating from Green Restaurant Association and is projected to reach 4 stars in the coming semester.
In the primary residential dining location there is an energy efficient MEIKO M-iQ Conveyor Dishwasher which provides estimated savings of 278,014 gallons of water, and significant reductions in energy usage, annually.
Chartwells Higher Education provides our chefs with healthy and low impact recipes that students enjoy.

Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Sustainability Themed Outlet
-In the Fall 2022 Chartwells opened an internal brand in the Depot dining location called VedgeCraft which only offers plant based and vegetarian options.

Vegan Dining Program
-This has since been replaced with VedgeCraft which continues to offer a 100% plant forward menu.

Labelling and Signage
-Chartwells in partnership with HowGood has analyzed recipes for their environmental and social impact. The sustainability assessments will be provided for each recipe for Humboldt Dining to use in external guest communications, and started at the end of the Fall 2022 semester. HowGood is an independent research company with the world’s largest database on product sustainability. With data and analysis for more than 33,000 ingredients, chemicals, and materials, HowGood will help CHE improve their environmental and social impact. Through in-depth, ingredient-level insights on factors ranging from greenhouse gas emissions to animal welfare the data empowers strategic decision-making for our guests to make the most sustainable choices. This program is now up and running and will be marketed to customers through social media, posters and flyers.

Food Recovery Program
-Campus Sustainability and Dining will be partnering in 22-23 to weigh post consumer waste on various days throughout the year to track the amount of waste generated by students. Self-serve food stations were brought back to the J Dining Hall in Fall 2022, since it was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Humboldt Dining tracks it's back of house kitchen waste, through a proprietary tool called Waste Not, which is a tracking and reporting method for pre-consumer food waste in order to determine where operations can improve on waste. This program was implemented in all dining outlets in fall 2022.

Take Away Materials
-The Ozzi program is now used in multiple dining locations on campus. Dining hopes to replace bioplastic cutlery and lined paper containers that are not compostable in the Bio-Bin with a locally compostable option.

-In the fall of 2022 Bigfoot Burgers started a “Mug Club” where members buy in for $25 annually and they have their own personalized reusable mug to drink from each time. Members receive free fries with every burger plus drink discounts such as $4 pints during happy hour.

Read more about Oh SNAP at http://hsuohsnap.org/
Read more about Green Campus at https://greencampushsu.weebly.com/ and https://greencampus.humboldt.edu/
Read more about Vegan Station at https://now.humboldt.edu/news/hsu-menus-expanded-plus-more-affordable-meal-plans-ahead-for-fall

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.