Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 78.07
Liaison Cary Gaunt
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Keene State College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Troy Bellott
Campus Executive Chef
Chartwells Higher Education
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

In the Fall of 2018, Keene State Dining launched its first ever farmers market on campus for students to shop, learn and interact with local vendors. We featured a variety of vendors showcasing locally made breakfast bars, fresh gelato, local cheeses and more.


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 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:

The Keene State College Dining Services contractor has made an effort to reach out to small local businesses to bring their products to campus. Popular items include the local Prime Roast Coffee and Frisky Cow gelato, among others.


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
2

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:

Chartwells/Keene State Dining find it imperative to continue to not only educating ourselves on sustainable practices, but also bring these resources to students here at Keene. VEGAN VALLEY + WELL-BEING. Once a semester, dining services features a locally sourced 3 course meal for students. Educating students on how we sustainability source fish to ensuring we utilize rGHB milk. It is a great way to delight students with a special intimate meal, while educating them on how we are continually monitoring where our food is sourced from.


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:

A station in resident dining offers vegan options at lunch and dinner daily. The vegan dining station (Valley Vegan) has been a part of the new dining commons since its opening in 2005. The popularity of the offerings and the number of student vegans has increased over the past several years. There are also vegan worthy options in the rest of the dining commons for many of the meals offered each week. Currently, the Valley Vegan is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Students can also find vegan pastries and desserts in the dinning commons throughout the day.


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:

Chartwells utilizes labeling and printed and digital signage in our dining commons to educate students on what our best practices are – sutainable seafood, rGHB free milk, rGHB free yogurt, reduced antibiotic chicken, etc. As you walk through our dining commons, guests will notice each item is labeled with a “highlighter,” denoting if an item is vegan, vegetarian, local, house made, balanced or avoiding gluten.

Our online dining app and website also clearly labels if an item is vegan, vegetarian, local, house made, balanced or avoiding gluten, along with nutritional information. Students can also download myFitness pal on their phone and track their meals.


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:

We participate in the EPA's Food Recovery Challenge, and the Waste Wise program partnered between the Sustainability Office and Chartwells. This partnership resulted in doubling the amount of food waste diverted from the City of Keene landfill and enabled Keene State to receive the 2019 EPA National Food Recovery Challenge Award for higher education institution in the category of food waste diversion.


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:

Keene State College has implemented trayless dining and the utilization of compostable to-go containers. In addition, all catered events use greenware/compostable goods for food delivery. Kitchen staff also make note of unpopular food items and then reduces the amount of that food that is made or removes it from the menu.


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:

The dining commons frequently donates food from the coolers at the end of every semester to local food kitchens and collaborates with the campus community to collect and donate Thanksgiving meals and funds to local food kitchen. Our campus recycling program collects food during resident move-outs and donates it to local food kitchens and shelters. Other food is donated by the dining services program or recycling program throughout the semester. 

We also opened a community food pantry dubbed "The Hungry Owl" in 2019, allowing community members from on and off campus either donate food, or take food for free when they are in need. It is operated by the Dietary Internship and Food Sciences department.


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:

All food waste, either from back of house or plate scrapings from consumers are collected and brought to Windham Solid Waste in Brattleboro VT for aerobic composting. Cooking oil is sold and then used to fuel the campus heat plant.


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:

All food waste from the back of house in the Dining Commons and Student Center is collected in toters and brought to a 35 yrd compactor onsite for organic waste collection. This waste is hauled to WSW in Brattleboro VT for composting.


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:

In both the Dining Commons and Student Center dining areas there are multiple compost collection bins for community members to scrape their plates or drop off compostable food containers. These bins are collected daily and are dumped in the compactor along with all pre consumer waste from the back of house and hauled to Windham Solid Waste in Brattleboro, VT for composting.


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:

China and durable service ware is provided in resident dining rooms and available for any catered event.


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:

Greenware (compostable) packaging is provided in retail, catering and resident to-go service areas. All to go food boxes are paper compostable containers. Composting or these items is available in the student center and dining commons.


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:

We offer a reusable mug refill discount for coffee and hot beverage purchases.


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

We utilize “just ask” for a sample and "take less and waste less" prompting students to think critically about what and how much they are going to eat. When recycling staff weighs the waste, that’s an awareness-building vehicle helping our community to focus on what we are doing when we waste food. Partnering with the Eco-Reps and ROCKS students, Chartwells tables by the dish return and ask students in the dining commons to scrape their plates to raise awareness of the amount an individual might waste at the end of their meal, and remind them of the challenges and consequences of food waste. 
We have resorted to plating smaller portions for certain meals. 

Chartwells at Keene State College hosts monthly Teaching Kitchens. Inviting students into the Kitchen with our campus executive chef. Topics range from waste not shaker salads to cooking on a budget. This platform has been an excellent tool to encourage students to ask questions about what they are eating, where it comes from and different ways to prepare meals. Chartwells’ Food Waste Warrior program educates students on how much waste they produce while eating in the dining commons. Stations are setup to track food scraps. The scraps are weighted and information is shared with the community to see how much food we are wasting during specific timeframes.

Dining Services works with the President's Council for a Sustainable Future, the Office of Sustainability, Eco-Reps programs, and ROCKS staff on topics such as local foods, reduction of pre- & post-consumer food waste, and composting (pre- & post-consumer). Chartwells also hosts a Stop Food Waste day in April to educate guests on what changes we can make every day to reduce the amount of waste we produce.


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

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.