Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Julie Newman
Submission Date Oct. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 MIT Office of Sustainability
Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

MIT’s student dining vendor, Bon Appetit, has a number of policies for sourcing sustainable food. These include: pork comes from sows that live in group housing; never support use of antibiotics or growth promoters; ground beef is humanely raised; no foie gras or crate-raised veal; eggs are certified cage-free; turkey and chicken are raised without routine antibiotics; milk and yogurt come from cows not treated with rBGH; and vegetarian/vegan options should be offered every meal. Bon Appetit has a new Low Carbon Lifestyle commitments in four focus areas to reducing the negative impact of food on climate: Prioritizing Plant-Based Proteins; Preventing and Reducing Food Waste; Trimming Transportation; and Decreasing Deforestation. Bon Appetit also has a commitment to purchasing: Fair Trade Tea. Bon Appetit believes that farmworkers should not only be recognized for their contribution to the food system, but should be able to enjoy the same rights and protections as employees in other occupations. The chefs strive to purchase at least 20 percent of their ingredients from small (under $5 million in sales), owner-operated farms and ranches located within 150 miles of their kitchens.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
Yes

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:

MIT Dining with its contractor Bon Appetit operate a rooftop garden program at McCormick House. The rooftop garden currently has 80 boxes growing fresh vegetables and features an automated irrigation system.


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?:
No

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

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:

MIT Dining/Bon Appetit prioritizes plant-based proteins in the cafes and a complete protein vegan option is available to the campus community at every meal served. Bon Appetit communicates vegan options to its guests using the Vegan Circle of Responsibility icon, on both online menus and menus in the café.


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:

MIT Dining offers a number of low impact dining events, including Earth Week, and an Annual Farmworker Awareness Week.


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:

MIT Dining hosts a number of sustainability themed meals throughout the year, including an annual Eat Local Challenge with 100% local ingredients to create excitement around regional foodsheds and local agriculture.


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:
---

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:

MIT Dining/Bon Appetit informs guests about low impact food choices and sustainability practices in many ways. On guest tables and in signs around the cafe, Bon Appetit shares information about pressing sustainability issues and relevant policies, including antibiotics use on animal farms, animal welfare issues, sustainable seafood, and farmworkers rights. Using its Circle of Responsibility (COR) program, Bon Appetit communicates sustainability attributes of ingredients through online and in-café menus.


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:

MIT DIning/Bon Appétit engages in numerous outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems. One example is through a Bon Appetit Fellowship program, where recent graduates from Bon Appetit campuses join the company for 1-2 years to learn about the food system; do outreach to connect Bon Appétit campus communities with where their food is coming from; and perform research to inform future purchasing policies and commitments as a company.


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:

Sustainability and well-being is at the heart of the MIT Dining/Bon Appetit experience. For example, a monthly Well Being Wednesday educates guests about a variety of healthy eating topics, such as healthy fat and whole grain consumption. Also, Bon Appetit always make culturally diverse options available.


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?:
No

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
---

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:

Dining halls are trayless in the all-you-care-to-eat café located in campus residential dining halls. All servers are trained in portion control in order to minimize post-consumer food waste.


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:

Daily leftovers are saved and frozen for weekly pick up by a food rescue organization in Cambridge, Mass.


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:

Newport Diesel collects leftover cooking oil and converts it to other resources.


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:

The MIT Recycling program manages the collection of pre and post consumer food waste from MIT's dining facilities. Bins for food waste and compostables are placed in every prep and kitchen area of the dining halls and collected by MIT Recycling.


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:

The MIT Recycling program manages the collection of pre and post consumer food waste from MIT's dining facilities. Bins for food waste and compostables are placed in every prep and kitchen area of the dining halls and collected by MIT Recycling.


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:

MIT Dining has resusable silverware and dishes in all dining halls for dine-in meals.


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:

MIT Dining provides green recycleable clamshells for students to sign out.


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?:
No

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
---

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:

MIT Dining reduces waste in its supply chain by purchasing through Bon Appétit’s Imperfectly Delicious Produce program – a program that was developed to create markets for cosmetically imperfect produce that would otherwise go to waste on farms and in processing.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.