Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.76
Liaison Katharine Gross
Submission Date Nov. 16, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Lehigh University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Bruce Christine
GM
Dining Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:

Better Tomorrow 2025 is Sodexo’s global strategy for a better future. Four priorities outline the areas where we can influence the most positive change in our business and include 18 measurable commitments to action. The Better Tomorrow Plan (BTP) includes each of our 419,000 employees, at 32,700 sites across 80 countries in one journey forward to a Better Tomorrow.


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?:
Yes

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

The Bethlehem Farmers’ Market operates as a community service for Southside Bethlehem. It operates to (1) address the food desert issue plaguing community residents, (2) offer a place for the community to engage and interact, (3) educate the community about nutrition, (4) promote non-profit and community partners, and (5) act as an economic incubator for small businesses and farms in the Lehigh Valley.

Bethlehem Farmers’ Market provides a safe and clean environment in which local farmers and vendors are able to sell their products to the members of the Bethlehem and greater Lehigh Valley communities - free of charge.

The market aims to select vendors who offer products that both appeal to customers and abide by the Buy Fresh, Buy Local guidelines of the Greater Lehigh Valley branch. The Bethlehem Farmers’ Market supports Lehigh University’s Campus Sustainability Plan and Master Plan.

For twenty weeks, June - October, the Seed Farm of Emmaus, PA offers Lehigh University staff, faculty, family and friends a share of their farm. The Seed Farm is looks to encourage shareholders to expand their knowledge and appreciation of healthy eating, interesting cuisine, & sustainable agriculture.


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:

- Meatless Monday's at all Student Restaurants
- Vegetarian/Vegan Station: There is at least one item available every meal that makes a complete protein based vegan option whether by itself, using seitan or another protein based products, or combining items from multiple stations
- Loyalty discount program at all Lehigh University retail outlets when they purchase a vegetarian/vegan option


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:

In addition to Meatless Mondays, Lehigh University Dining hosts a variety of events throughout the year: World Food Day, World Vegetarian Day, during Earth Week, during Recyclemania to name a few.


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:

Sustainability-themed meals are a cornerstone of our menu creation. Throughout our dining services, we search for local ingredients to incorporate into our menu whenever we can. Specific examples are our farm to fork events during Recyclemania, Earth Week and leading up to World Food Day.


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:

Lower Cort, one of two main all-you-care-to-eat restaurants on campus, has a Farm To Fork station open for lunch and dinner daily that offers a minimum of one local item in each menu.


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:

Low impact signage is available throughout dining locations either digitally or via labelling and posters.


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:

Lehigh Office of Sustainability and Lehigh University Dining partners together throughout the year to send a single message regarding sustainable food systems. One example of these efforts is when Lehigh Dining gave a tour to the Eco-Reps, a peer-to-peer education program focused on promoting sustainable living to students, of the newly installed Enviropure food digester that converts organic waste into grey water within 24 hours.


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:

Full-time, on-site dietitian provides support to individual students, faculty and staff as well as clubs, residential halls and athletic teams alike so that they can achieve their health and wellness goals. In addition, she reviews all menus to ensure a well balanced, healthy and diverse menu.

Global Cuisine is a program created at Lehigh University that promotes the cultural and culinary traditions of a student, faculty or staff member by partnering with Lehigh University Dining to create an authentic themed meal including but not limited to menu, decor, music, entertainment. It occurs once a month during fall and spring semester.


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:

Pre-consumer food waste is either converted into grey water via an environmentally friendly food digester or reduced in volume by the use of a pulper.


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:

- Lehigh University Dining has been trayless since 2009
- Half size portions are available wherever possible
- Dining Services is continually moving towards smaller plates to encourage smaller portions


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:

With the support of student and faculty engagement, Lehigh University donates to local charities weekly and is a chapter of the Food Recovery Network.


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

Fryer oil utilized throughout Lehigh University Dining locations is converted into biodiesel.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

Due to local shutdowns, there are no composting sites are available in this region at the current time.

Pre-consumer waste is addressed based on location. The majority is either reduced in volume via a pulper and discarded until a composting option becomes available or is converted into grey water via the Enviropure food digester.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

Due to shutdowns, there are no composting sites are available in this region at the current time.

Post-consumer waste is addressed based on location. Rathbone converts all post-consumer food waste into grey water via the Enviropure food digester.


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:

Students use china and stainless steel silverware in all dining locations. No disposables are used.


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:

Lehigh University Dining provides free reusable to-go containers for students. Students are permitted up to two containers per academic year at no charge. If not returned, students incur a $10 fee per container.


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:

Students receive a discount if they bring their reusable mugs to any dining or retail location. Incentives include $.99 refills any size, price of next smaller size or 10% off depending on location.


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:

REUSABLE DISHWARE PROGRAM: Students can reserve reusable dishware for an event. The dishware includes plates, bowls, forks, knives, and spoons. This program is free of charge for the students and contributes to Lehigh Dining goal of being sustainable.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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data based on 2015-2016 academic year

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.