Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 43.45
Liaison Chris Homan
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Illinois State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 Ben Krull
Sustainability Program Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
No

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

Vegetarian and vegan options can be viewed online at the dining center websites, and is noted within the dining center as well.


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:

Our Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality (EMDH) department has a "Meatless Monday" menu for lunch and dinner every Monday at the Fresh Bites venue inside of Watterson Dining Commons.


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:

EMDH hosts an annual local foods dinner each fall at Linkins Dining Center. The event, in its 11th year, is put on for students, faculty, staff, and community members in hopes of celebrating the local food economy.


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:
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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:

Posters are hung in residence halls to promote using green utensils and biodegradable "carry-out" boxes when eating at the dining centers.


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:

Jeff Vargo, Senior Asistant Director of Residential Dining, does a sustainability tours for the FCS Quantity Food Class throughout the academic year and also has class visits with Environmental Health students several times a year. Some non-university groups have engaged in the same tour. The tour includes extensive conversations about what we do as well as how we can improve as a department as well as improve on an individual basis to move sustainability forward.


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:

ISU is working towards becoming a Healthier Campus Initiative partner which requires us to complete several health and wellness related objectives aimed at creating a healthier campus community.


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:

Campus Dining batch cooks many menu items. Batch cooking means preparing 20-25 servings at a time in order to heighten food freshness and reduce food waste.


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:

Once guests have finished their meals and returned their dishes to the dish line, leftover food and napkins are rinsed off the dishes and enter the pulper, which is measured and composted.

Trayless dining at Watterson Dining Commons and the Marketplace at Linkins has led to reduced food waste because over consumption decreases in trayless dining environments.


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:

In January of 2012, Campus Dining began a food share program that provides unconsumed bagels from Einstein Bros.® Bagels to local food pantries. This effort began thanks to the ideas of an Association of Residence Halls executive board member in 2010-2011.


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:

Food waste is collected in the prep area of all three dining centers and the Bone Student Center (see below).


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:

During the academic year, ISU composts roughly 4,200 lbs of food waste per week. Pulpers have been installed that are connected to the dish line in two of the three dining centers on campus. Once guests have finished their meals and returned their dishes to the dish line, leftover food and napkins are rinsed off the dishes and enter the pulper. In the pulper, the food waste is ground up and the water is removed before it is emptied into a container. The container is transported to the University Farm where it is mixed in with other organic material and composted in windrows.

The finished compost is utilized in several ways including as a soil amendment for research and general production by the ISU Farm and by the ISU Grounds Department as a soil amendment. It is also sold by the pick-up load, bag, or other container to the general public, by the ton to horticulture businesses and farmers, and small amounts are donated to various organizations.


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:

Trayless dining at Watterson Dining Commons and the Marketplace at Linkins has led to reduced water consumption and energy usage that was required to wash the trays. Additionally, food waste and over consumption decreases in trayless dining environments.


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:

In 2014 Campus Dining Services switched from Styrofoam containers to ones made with sugarcane fibers. The containers can be run through the bin grinder and added to the University Farm's compost medium.


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:

People who bring their own reusable coffee mugs get a discounted price at the Business Bistro and the Airport Lounge.


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:

In 2008, Campus Dining transitioned from an a la carte program to an all-you-care-to-eat service style. This change has led to a reduction in waste due to the elimination of prepackaged items that are necessary in an a la carte environment (i.e., individually packaged yogurt cups versus bulk yogurt that is self-served into a reusable bowl). In addition, Campus Dining batch cooks many menu items. Batch cooking means preparing 20-25 servings at a time in order to heighten food freshness and reduce food waste.


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