|Submission Date||May 12, 2017|
James Madison University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining
|2.00 / 2.00||
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
JMU Dining Services strives to become more sustainable and efficient in their everyday operations. We work to reduce our environmental footprint while delivering exceptional service results. We also offer expertise and practical solutions to our campus partners to help them reduce their environmental impacts. Our goals are to develop and implement long-term environmental stewardship programs and policies within the areas of sustainable food; responsible procurement; green buildings; energy and water conservation; transportation; and waste stream management. These programs and policies are called "Green Thread" as they weave throughout our business operations every day.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
Note: Food from the Madison Garden (on campus) is donated to the local food bank.
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?:
A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
Fall Farmers Markets are organized and hosted by Dining Services; students are allowed to use dining and flex in addition to cash. Our sustainability coordinator works with local vendors to encourage awareness of our local farming community.
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?:
A brief description of the vegan dining program:
Residential dining offers meatless chicken, meatless beefy crumbles, and vegan garden burgers for lunch and dinner daily. Both Ehall and Dhub residential locations offer rotation vegan entrees that incorporate tofu, meatless chicken, meatless beefy crumbles and hummus as the complete-protein. Food courts have meatless chicken and hummus available at delis. Our grab and go program offers vegan options that change every two weeks to offer variety.
Students wanting to learn more about vegan options on campus can meet with our Registered Dietitian to find diverse, complete-protein vegan options or utilize our Vegan/ Vegetarian dining guide. The guide highlights all of the vegan and vegetarian options at each location.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
A brief description of the low impact dining events:
JMU Dining is committed to reducing its carbon footprint through the Meatless Monday movement. Each food item an individual consumes has a carbon footprint or carbon output associated with its production and consumption. The production of meats and animal by-products are responsible for higher carbon, greater water usage, and more greenhouse gas emissions than fruits and vegetables. Dining Services emphasizes this campaign in the dining halls and retail locations by increasing vegetarian options and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:
Throughout both the fall and spring semesters, JMU Dining Services hosts multiple sustainability-themed meals and Farm-to-Fork dinners. Examples of the sustainability focused meals include but not limited to: Meatless Mondays, Sustainable Seafood meals (sourced from MSC), and meals highlighting local farmers in the region. The Farm-to-Fork themed meals source many local products, with local vendors brought in to promote their specific product to the students.
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
JMU Dining Services has a retail dining location on campus that sources locally whenever possible. The location, Bistro 1908, sources local, 100% grass-fed beef all year round and local products, when seasonally available from a local food distributor called the Local Food Hub. In addition, Bistro 1908 offers vegan and vegetarian burgers sourced from a local vendor, No Bull Burgers. Bistro 1908 participates in Meatless Mondays and will invite local vendors in throughout the school year to promote their products.
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:
The Dining Services Sustainability Coordinator is a steering committee member on the Virginia Sustainable Food Coalition. The mission of the Virginia Sustainable Food Coalition is to harness the intellectual, human and economic capital of colleges and universities to foster the emerging local food economy in Virginia.
JMU Dining Services also regularly engages in the local and JMU community in order to further educate individuals. Below is a sampling of outreach conducted by JMU Dining:
• Dining Services partners with Local Friendly City Food Co Op (local grocery store offering organic & local products) to educate students on sustainable gardening tips.
• The Sustainability Coordinator offers tabling and information sessions that engage and teach students about sustainable and healthy foods and waste minimization.
• Dining Services offers guided tours of East Campus Dining Hall (LEED Gold Certified) open to K-12 schools as well as higher education.
• Dining Services coordinates student engagement with several organizations, such as: Net Impact, Student Government Association, Food for Thought, Environmental Management Club, and as well as several professors.
• Students are able to participate in growing food at the Madison Garden at East Campus Dining Hall. The food is donated to the local food bank.
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)?:
A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:
Each week at a residential location, we feature a trendy produce item on Friday for both lunch and dinner. The produce is featured in 4-6 food entrees, and we have an educational table set-up to teach the students about the featured vegetable and how they can incorporate the produce in their diet.
Each semester we offer 2-3 Health and Wellness Events. At these events we promote a variety of topics on a healthy lifestyles, many of the topics revolve around produce, calcium-rich foods, hydration and lean protein. At these events we giveaway reusable water bottles and reusable food containers to not only promote healthy eating, but sustainability.
At another residential location, we run a Delicious Destination Station. This station features a culturally diverse menu for a whole week. We have run Mexican, Middle Eastern, Korean and Indian cuisine from this station.
More than two thirds of adults and three out of four college students surveyed by Aramark indicate they are striving to be careful about what they eat and want to know how to make better nutrition and lifestyle choices. With Healthy for Life™, people are empowered with a broad selection of great-tasting and better-for-you recipes alongside easy-to-understand nutrition and wellness information.
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?:
A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
The Food Management Process at Aramark, also known as the 5P Process, is enabled via five basic steps: Plan, Product, Production, Portion and Post Analysis. Successful and repeated achievement of the required activities in each step drives efficiencies that reduce waste, increases the positive social and economic impact of our food operations, and provides safe, high-quality food consistently produced with predictable and repeatable results.
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?:
A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:
JMU has implemented trayless dining facilities throughout campus. By eliminating trays, Dining Services has been able to reduce water usage and post-consumer food waste.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
A brief description of the food donation program:
JMU Dining Services follows a similar approach in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Food Recovery Hierarchy, with source reduction being the first step to managing a waste stream. Once all unnecessary waste is eliminated, we determine another purpose or reuse the material. If we can no longer use it, then we work with the local Salvation Army in Harrisonburg by donating excess food. As of May 2016, over 13,500 lbs of food has been donated. If the material can no longer be used in its current state, we then compost the leftover food.
In addition to donations to the Salvation Army, in November 2016, Campus Kitchens was created on JMU’s campus and partners with Dining Services to take safe, unused food to be re-purposed and served to those in need.
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)?:
A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
In addition to recycling with the university, Dining Services also recycles 100% of used fryer oil in conjunction with Quest Recycling, who diverts the oil into biodiesel and animal feed.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:
Clear containers are a staple in all of JMU Dining kitchens where dining employees toss in any pre-consumer food waste or compostable material to be composted. All pre-consumer food waste is weighed and logged for tracking purposes. Goals are set for dining locations to minimize pre-consumer food waste and areas are held accountable to their performance.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:
All residential dining locations on JMU’s campus participate in the post-consumer food waste composting process. At the residential dining locations, all leftover food scraps are broken down by a pulper and placed into a composting compactor for pick-up.
At one of our largest retail dining locations, consumers are asked to sort their waste into compost, recycle, and landfill receptacles. Graphics displayed above each bin are there to aid the consumer in the sorting process and reduce compost contamination as much as possible.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:
A brief description of the reusable service ware program:
Reusable service ware is utilized in all residential dining locations and available at a retail location for students wishing to “dine in.”
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)?:
A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
Dining Services offers reusable to-go containers at Mrs. Greens residential location for students to utilize multiple times. Students can take their food to-go and bring dirty containers back and exchange for a new one. This allows to minimize waste being thrown away on campus.
In addition to the reusable to-go program, JMU Dining Services offers compostable to-go containers as well for students to use at all retail locations throughout campus.
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?:
A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
Each year school year Dining Services offers a mug to all meal plan holders to reduce waste to landfills and encourage reusable containers. Students have the opportunity to design the artwork for the each upcoming school years mug, and voting is done each April by the student body. These mugs can be used in all dining locations on campus, including Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Students in 2015-16 earned rewards for scanning bar codes at dining locations using the Cupanion app to track reusable mug usage. Rewards included prizes from a FitBit to free yogurt parfaits. For the 15-16 school year, 1,788 disposables were diverted from landfill.
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)?:
A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
Food court composting required that traditional disposable packaging be replaced with compostable products—e.g., utensils, clamshell boxes, bakery packaging, straws, napkins. Two of the items—a 5 oz. container for cold side dishes and a triangular wedge sandwich container—were developed by Eco-Products Inc. expressly for JMU Dining Services and are now being used by other universities.
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Vegan/ Vegetarian Dining Guide