|Submission Date||Jan. 19, 2021|
OP-8: Sustainable Dining
|2.00 / 2.00||
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?:
A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
Macalester – through our wellness program – partners with Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm out of Waverly, Minnesota to bring the community fresh, local, and nutritious produce for sale, right on site. Untiedt’s has been traditionally on-site every Thursday. Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm also offers a CSA subscription with pick up locations near campus.
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:
Bon Appetit has a coffee cart in the art building that serves all Fair Trade/Equal Exchange Coffee and Tea drinks in completely compostable cups.
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?:
A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
Bon Appétit's Farm to Fork program requires that vendors be small (under $5 million revenue), local (within 150 miles) and owner-operated. Organic certification isn’t required, because we believe that small, owner-operated farms, where the owner is involved in the day to day operation of the farm operate much differently than large mono-cropped farms. Locally Crafted, a program within Farm to Fork, was created for locally owned businesses creating artisan food products (such as tofu) from local or third party certified ingredients. Farm to Fork vendors have been visited by members of the Bon Appétit team in person; some during the enrollment process and some on a more regular basis. You can read more about Farm to Fork requirements at http://www.bamco.com/timeline/farm-to-fork/.
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?:
A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:
When Bon Appétit started our Low Carbon Diet program in 2007 — making us the first restaurant company to connect food and climate change — it was with specific targets in mind for how much carbon emissions we wanted to lose over five years. And we did it, meeting our goals and resulting in reductions of the equivalent of approximately 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide each month.
After a few years of happily maintaining our weight, we decided it was time to mentally move from a time-limited diet aimed at a quick reduction to a long-term, sustained way of living. Enter the Low Carbon Lifestyle, a new set of commitments that we can live for the foreseeable future and continue our dedication to reducing the climate-changing impacts of our food choices. We consulted with food and climate change experts across the country, from the Environmental Working Group to the Union of Concerned Scientists and Rainforest Alliance. We settled on these four focus areas: Prioritizing Plant-Based Proteins, Preventing and Reducing Food Waste, Trimming Transportation, Decreasing Deforestation.
We host a number of low impact dining events, including an annual Eat Local Challenge, Earth Week, and an annual National Farmworker Awareness Week. Through educational materials on each table, and in signage throughout the café, we share information about the benefits of prioritizing plant-based proteins for one’s health and the environment, and offer plant-forward meals multiple times per week in each café.
We inform guests about low impact food choices and sustainability practices in many ways. On guest tables and in signs around the cafe, we share information about pressing sustainability issues and relevant policies, including antibiotics use on animal farms, animal welfare issues such as gestation crate use, sustainable seafood, and farmworkers rights. Using our Circle of Responsibility (COR) program, we communicate sustainability attributes of ingredients through our online and in-café menus. Menus are labeled with COR icons that denote the following (and more):
- if the dish includes local ingredients, and which farm they are from
- if the dish includes animal products from a farm with a third party animal welfare certification
- if the dish includes seafood rated as Green or Yellow by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program
- if the dish is vegetarian and/or vegan
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:
Bon Appetit provides vegetarian and vegan meal options at each one of the six stations in the Cafe Mac cafeteria (open 19 meals a week), as well as Celiac friendly options. Vegetarian and vegan options are always available at each of the food outlets on campus as well.
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability labelling and signage in dining halls:
Menu Icon Legend
Vegetarian: Contains no meat, fish, poultry, shellfish or products derived from these sources but may contain dairy or eggs
Farm To Fork
Farm to Fork: Contains seasonal, minimally processed ingredients from a local farm, ranch, or fishing boat.
Locally Crafted: Contains products crafted by a small, locally owned food business using socially and/or environmentally responsible practices.
Vegan: Contains absolutely no animal or dairy products.
Humane: Contains humanely raised meat, poultry, or eggs. Must be certified by a credible third-party animal welfare organization.
Made Without Gluten-containing Ingredients
Made without Gluten-Containing Ingredients: Due to our open kitchens that handle gluten, we cannot guarantee that items made without gluten-containing ingredients are “gluten-free,” as defined by the FDA. We make every effort to avoid gluten cross-contact; however there is always the potential for cross-contact with other gluten-containing food items, particularly in our self-serve facilities. We encourage guests to speak to the chef or manager regarding any questions about ingredients.
For Your Well-Being: Contains foods illustrating this month’s Food For Your Well-Being topic
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:
Bon Appetit makes all their food in small batches as needed to prevent having leftovers. Food will be prepped in large quantities and cooked on an as need basis so the prepped ingredients can be used again in different meals. When large amounts of food do end up being leftover from large events, the prepared foods are donated to Second Harvest Heartland, a local hunger relief organization.
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:
The dining hall hosts has removed all trays from the cafeteria to reduce water usage and food waste in 2012.
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:
When large amounts of food are leftover from large events, the prepared foods are donated to Second Harvest Heartland, a local hunger relief organization.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:
A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
Beginning in 2009, food that cannot be donated is diverted to a pig farm, Barthold Farms.
Bon Appétit has long believed that wholesome, excess food should feed people, not waste bins or landfills. We follow the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy, which recommends best practices for how to sustainably prevent and manage food waste, meaning we make sure our accounts are actively preventing waste at the source and donating leftovers to local hunger relief organizations, in that order.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:
Items that cannot be donated or sent to the pig farm are but into the College's industrial composting stream.
Bon Appetit switched all wares – for food produced and packed on-stite – to compostables; this effort includes to-go options and catering wares. Bon Appetit also invested in reusable catering services to make events Zero Waste.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:
With the supply of all wares switched to compostables, post-consumer composting throughout campus was made easier for everyone.
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:
The Dining Hall offers only reusable dishes. At some made-to-order stations, reusable service ware can be requested for dine-in meals; all other wares are compostable. During covid-19 we have implemented a take-out only approach to dining. We are using 100% compostables, and implementing a reusable to-go container initiative this fall to reduce waste further.
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:
All take out food is served in compostable dishware.
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?:
A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
Bon Appétit offers discounted coffee in reusable mugs. We are piloting a reusable container to-go program for students this fall.
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:
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.