Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.85
Liaison Amy Butler
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Michigan State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Carla Iansiti
Sustainability Officer
Culinary 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:

Copied from the Sustainable Food and Procurement Guide:
"MSU seeks to build an evolving infrastructure into its supply chain, procuring responsibly sourced food that is safe, seasonal, nutritious and fair market priced. To this end, MSU Food Stores utilizes the following protocols in its purchasing consideration:
MSU Grown: MSU considers its own production capabilities before looking off-campus
Local: Food sourced within either the State of Michigan or surrounding states within a 250-mile radius of East Lansing, Michigan.
Regional: Food sourced within a surrounding-state radius of 600 miles of East Lansing, Michigan.
Responsibly Produced: Products grown and produced demonstrating responsible safety, environmental, conservation and fair worker practices, verified by 3rd party certifications, agencies or transparent operational practices, subject to review
We believe that responsible sourcing will only be successful within a mutually beneficial and transparent partnership between MSU, our manufacturers and distributors, and the farmers and producers that help keep our campus community fed."


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:

"The Student Organic Farm (SOF) sells produce to three or more dining halls on campus weekly. Annual planning meetings are held at the beginning od every year to commit to weekly amounts or produce or specific purchases.
The Bailey Hoop House and Urban Farm also sells honey, tea, herbs, and some vegetables to certain dining areas on campus. "


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 Student Organic Farm (SOF) provides a CSA for the MSU community. The CSA is dropped off by a farm crew member across campus, and there is also a CSA stand that is operated by students in the center of campus during the fall. The CSA program is year-round.
Case Dining Hall purchases several CSAs and receives them weekly to provide seasonal and interesting dishes in a regular basis."


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:

The dining halls are grouped in clusters called neighborhoods. We have 9 full service dining halls and 6 neighborhoods. Please follow link for visual. https://liveon.msu.edu/neighborhoods.  We have various menus in each neighborhood for students to have access to a variety of options.  The menus are displayed at each food station. The food items that are listed on the menus are clearly marked vegan with a green circled VG along with the word vegan. Please visit  https://eatatstate.msu.edu/campus-dining.  Attached menus and descriptions attached.  


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:

"Culinary Services works with several student groups and classes to promote sustainable efforts and events. 
1. Student chapter of SLOW food does an event in partnership (menu attached). Several events hosted include:
Ark of Taste. Promotion of a seed biodiversity project.
Documentary screenings
Volunteering at farms
Cooking classes
Skill workshops
Community outreach and education
https://msugreenalliance.wordpress.com/orgs/orgslow-food/
2.  HNF Dietetics plans events with the Culinary  around healthy and sustainable options. Students from this class are required to participate in volunteer hours at Clean Plates at State or at the Student Organic Farm.
3. ""Clean Ingredients"" featured for allergies,  menu attached. "


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:

Local/Regional events are hosted. Examples are Michigan birthday day with local/ regional events. Meals written around Healthy options, Identified the States Apple crunch day, Support the Real Food initiative.


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:

"Culinary Services works with several student groups and classes to promote sustainable efforts and events.
1. Student chapter of SLOW food does an event in partnership, helping to serve sustainability-grown food for a dinner in Brody. Locally grown food is served and diners learn about organic, local, and sustainable foods.
2.  HNF Dietetics plans events with the Culinary  around healthy and sustainable options.
3. ""Clean Ingredients"" is a featured theme for allergies (menu attached).
4. Case hall is designed exclusivly for local and regional foods."


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:

Consistent logos, branding of local and regional foods, social media, table tents and web pages. Additionally, dining halls have posters describing food sourcing and sustainable dining. 


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:

Operational and academics partner on class projects involved in food systems with Residential and Hospitality Services, the Bailey Hoop House and Urban Farm, and the Student Organize Farm. These partnerships are formalized independently through each department and case by case. When food from campus is served, signs inside dining halls promote that dish. During trayless dining days, posters, flyers, and pamphlet are displayed, and culinary employees encourage diners to skip a tray. MSU student group Slow Foods has partnered with other MSU student groups to promote awareness for sustainable dining. They have events with food workshops where students learn new and innovative ways to make their diet more sustainable.


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:

"Health4U is a department on campus whose full-time team members offer counseling, health, ad food-related events, and help staff explore healthy food options.  
Our MSU chapter of SLOW Foods is very active on campus, and hosts many events and info sessions to educate their peers on food sourcing and sustainable food choices.
Food@MSU is an initiative from Agriculture and Biology Research in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Food@MSU aims to educate the MSU community about food and connect them with those who grow and produce it. Food@MSU hosts Our Table panel events open to the campus and community to educate attendees about current food issues and works to find solutions.
https://www.canr.msu.edu/food/index"


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:

MSU Donates both perishable and non perishables foods to area food shelters, including Feeding America and food banks. Over 80,000 lbs lbs per year is donated . Annual donation reports attached OP-8 Food Donations
Campus commitment to a pre and post consumer food waste programs. Please see OP8 for current Sustainable food programs.


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:

All halls are set up for trayless opportunites if desired. As the dining halls are renovated, they are designed trayless. A whole new desing of trayless designed dishes are intergrated into the halls. Trays are only availabe upon request All food service areas ( expect Salads) are designed for full service. Provides portion controls.  


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 MSU Food Bank is regularly donated to and is run by students for the student community at MSU. In the course of one year the MSU Student Food Bank serves over 4,000 students, many with families, and distributes over 35,000 pounds of food. The Food Bank has a formal partnership with the Greater Lansing Foodbank in order to better serve those in the community who need it.
http://foodbank.msu.edu/index.html"


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:

"Food scraps from MSU dining locations are diverted from landfills in three ways.
The food that does not come into contact with dining hall patrons is gathered,, pulverized, and send to the campus Anaerobic Digester. The digestor turns organic waste into energy; the leftover materials not used to produce this energy are repurposed: the solids are composted and the liquid is seasonally applied to campus land and nearby farms as carbon-rich fertilizer.
Pre-consumer food scraps are gathered at certain dining halls and add to compost at the student organic farm. All other food waste (such as post-consumer and food waste gathered during dishing) is send to a local composting company called Hammond Farms.
https://www.egr.msu.edu/bae/adrec/"


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:

Brody dining  has a pulper and post consumer waste is transported to the campus Digester.


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:

Brody Square dining hall, which serves 7,000 meals per day, has a Somat Pulper in the dish room and an extractor that captures all post consumer waste.

A portion of the material is being used and evaluated for vermi-composting program at the MSU student Organic Farms and an on-campus anaerobic 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:

All halls are set up for trayless opportunites if desired. As the dining halls are renovated, they are designed trayless. A whole new desing of trayless designed dishes are intergrated into the halls. Trays are only availabe upon request All food service areas ( expect Salads) are designed for full service. Provides portion controls.  


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:

Culinary does offer a limited take out program. All  take out items are made of compostable or recycle ware materials


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:

Due to a bill passed through the university's student government, Associated Students of MSU (ASMSU), the university stopped using and buying plastic bags in 2017. There are also sustainable materials available at dining halls and at selective Sparty's locations.


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.