Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Scott Doyle
Submission Date Oct. 25, 2022

STARS v2.2

Ithaca College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 2.00 Scott Doyle
Director
Energy Management and 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?:
No

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

Ithaca College previously hosted a pick-up location on campus for a local CSA. Due to COVID this has been discontinued.


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:

We offer a vegan station in our Campus Center dining hall as well as the Terrace dining hall. These stations frequently features information about sustainability and the impact of animal farming.


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:

Our food and beverage supplier,Performance Food Group is committed to managing our business in a socially responsible manner. PFG describes in its ESG report that they have an obligation to our customers, our investors, and our associates to address issues that impact our world and our global food system. "We believe that working closely with our vendors can allow us to address the inherent ESG risks within global supply chains and identify
opportunities for better ways to do business and create value for all our stakeholders.

In this spirit, in fiscal 2021 we initiated an ESG Supplier Survey Program to facilitate deeper insight into areas of alignment and potential collaboration with suppliers across a variety of ESG matters. As part of this initiative, we launched an ESG supplier survey focused on assessing our
suppliers’ efforts on key topics, including:

• Environmental Management
• Human Rights & Labor Management
• Animal Welfare
• Health & Wellness
• Ingredient Transparency and Traceability
• Farming, Production Methods, Suppliers of Suppliers

The results of the survey will help PFG assess the ESG performance of our suppliers and determine where opportunities for collaboration and partnership exist, as well as to identify potential supply chain risks that need to be addressed.


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
---

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:

Dining Services typically hosts multiple sustainability-themed events each academic year. Events include one called, "Reimagine the Harvest Table", which took classic holiday dishes and "reimagined" them as vegan or vegetarian alternatives. For example, we had a carving station for cauliflower steaks, vegan apple pie, and vegetarian pot pies.

We have also hosted "Mindful Mondays".

Dining Services also hosts multiple events during Earth Week, and various other events throughout the year.


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:

There is a designated prominent vegan station at the Campus Center Dining Hall and Terrace Dining Halls, as well as vegan desserts, milk, cream cheese, and butter alternatives. There are also vegan options available in our other two dining halls for every meal. If a student does not have a meal plan, our retails locations also have vegan options for dine-in and take-out.

We have also started serving both the Impossible and Beyond burgers at our dining locations to create more options for vegans/vegetarians and to encourage students to consider a plant-based diet or meat alternatives. IC also has a "grain bowl" bar available both in the dining hall and as a stand-alone retail location.


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:

Signage is created about the benefits of plant-based diets, the environmental implications of eating animal products, food waste, and composting.

Outreach to classes and through the student Eco-Reps group includes advocating for plant-based diets and outlining of accessible food options.


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:

LeanPath is an innovative tool that our dining services team uses to monitor and help reduce food waste. Since the system’s implementation in 2011, we have diverted over 180 tons of pre-consumer waste. This is approximately an 85% decrease from our baseline recorded before we began using the system. We further are now required by New York State to track the amount and location of food donated annually, and the amount of food composted.


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 halls are tray free, reducing post-consumer waste. Service is both served and self-serve.


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:

Our food salvage program is coordinated by the student organizations and are actively exploring added created ways to increase donations. IC has historically packaged about 50 meals each week to feed the hungry in our area. Packaged meals are sent to Ithaca Rescue Mission, a local organization who has been assisting people in need since 2013. These contributions add to our 800+ pounds of food donated annually. There is additionally an annual food donation report that is now required by New York State (beginning for full calendar year 2022) to track exactly what is donated and where it is donated.


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:

Waste oil from Dining has historically been collected for conversion to bio-fuel under a contract administered by the Ithaca College Environmental Health and Safety Division with a local vendor.


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:

Both pre- and post-consumer collection. The College has been a pioneer in food scrap composting since 1993, operating and on-site composting facility until 2007 when the switch was made to an off-campus food scrap composting contractor.


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 of our dining halls are equipped with compost receptacles to minimize the amount of organic waste in our waste stream. All compost is then sent to Cayuga Compost, a local commercial compost facility.


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 service ware is used in all residential dining halls and is the default for all Catering events in the College’s Campus Center facility. COVID has in some areas however impacted some of the comprehensiveness of this reusable service.


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:

Dining Services historically has offered a grab-and-go system where students are able to borrow reusable clamshell containers to take dining hall food to-go. Students then return the used clamshell to the dining halls to be washed by Dining staff. COVID has suspended some of this service though it is intended for expansion.


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:

Dining has historically offered a discount at coffee locations if customers bring their own mug and/or cup. Originally, the discount started at $0.15 per beverage, but in 2018, was increased to $0.25 per beverage to further encourage reusables. COVID has however unfortunately limited these options.

In 2018, OEMS also began a partnership with Fill It Forward, an initiative to eliminate disposable water bottle use on campus. Every time a reusable water bottle is used, students scan a UPC tag, earning 10 points. When they reach 100 points, they are eligible to redeem them for a free brewed coffee, but only if it is served in a reusable cup or mug. COVID impacted this service as well, though it is our intention to restart it.


A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
---

Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

It should also be noted that in June 2019, Ithaca College brought all dining services responsibilities in-house and will allow for us to advance sustainable dining initiatives with greater ease. Collaborations have already begun with Cornell University and added purchasing options are available from our new food supplier.

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.