Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.30
Liaison Nicholas Liu-Sontag
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

New York University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Nicholas Liu-Sontag
Manager
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:

NYU Eats makes it a priority to implement programs and practices that are healthier for the campus community and the environment. Creating a more environmentally friendly dining program means diners are provided with choices that will help them minimize their impact on the environment.

NYU Eats purchases foods from local farms and vendors to help support the NY community, provide fresher foods, and reduce pollution due to shorter transportation. NYU buys nearly 20 percent of their food from local vendors and serves locally produced milk at all of their locations. NYU also works to help the larger global community. All NYU Eats dining locations proudly serve Fairtrade coffee and tea. Additionally, NYU procures produce from ‘Imperfectly Delicious Produce’ which sells products appropriate for consumption but has physical imperfections rendering it unusable in commercial stores.

All residential and retail locations on NYU's campus serve organic products and hormone-free meat, which also helps to reduce use of pesticides and chemicals that can enter the environment. All of the chicken served at NYU is hormone and antibiotic free. NYU only offers milk and yogurt from cows that have been certified rBGH/rBST free as well as Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) certified cage-free shell eggs. NYU is committed to protecting the threatened global fish supply. In collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, Chartwells established a landmark purchasing policy in 2006 that removes unsustainable wild and farmed seafood from its menu, and NYU Eats is proud to adhere to this policy.

More about these sustainable dining policies can be found in NYU’s Dining Guide:
https://www.nyu.edu/content/dam/nyu/campusServices/documents/Chartwells/Final%20-%20Approved%208.19%20NYUDiningGuide-AP12%20(1).pdf


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:

NYU Eats grows in-house herbs with two Farmshelf units. Farmshelf units are compact and transparent, allowing for the growth of herbs for use in weekly menu cycles while also engaging guests with new and innovative sustainable urban farming ideas. The units currently grow: mint, sage, amaranth, basil, chives, parsley and thyme. These units reduce dependency on long-distance transportation from outside of New York City for flavorful herbs.


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 NYU farmer's markets feature local and seasonal produce. Each month, produce is selected that is in season and from regional/local vendors. Many of the vendors are farmers that educate and answer questions regarding their farm and products. Paper bags are provided to customers for the purchase of produce and all left over products are cycled into NYU's weekly menus in the dining halls. Periodically, NYU Eat's uses the farmers market to promote environmental initiatives, such as World Vegan Month in November by featuring vegan recipes that can be made with the produce purchased in the market. NYU also created a Root to Stem guide which aims to minimize food waste by showing customers how to use every part of featured produce sold in October.


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:

NYU Eats residential all-you-care-to-eat locations feature "Rooted" stations that feature fully plant-based items. These stations are inspired by the Culinary Institute of America’s Menus of Change Platform, which aims to integrate nutrition and environmental sustainability into delicious globally inspired meals. All vegan and vegetarian foods are clearly marked at all NYU dining halls as well as the online menu. NYU Eats offers many plant-based alternatives such as Beyond Burgers at our grill stations at select locations, soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk. Each month NYU features a plant or grain based superfood such as oats, mushrooms or kale.


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:

Every week, NYU Eats participates in SuperFood Tuesdays which feature hearty and nutritious plant-forward dishes at the center of our menu options. This event is to highlight that nutritious meals can be made with plant-based ingredients. In honor of Stop Food Waste Day, for the month of April NYU Eats draws attention to the global food waste epidemic and outlines impactful solutions through community engagement and activism. As a part of Stop Food Waste Day, NYU Eats promotes the Clean Plate Challenge which features simple tips to reduce the amount of food wasted at each meal such as tasting food before taking a larger portion.


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 Market Thursdays are weekly menu features that allows each NYU Eats location to work with their local providers to highlight local and seasonal produce. During World Vegan month NYU Eats collaborated with Chef Aarti Sequeira to host a cooking class in which guests were taught about plant-forward cooking that incorporated Indian ingredients.


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:

Lipton dining hall has the majority of sustainable and healthy eating initiatives. It is conveniently located in Lipton residence hall that is home to over 700 first year students. This location features both the "Rooted" and "Global Bowls" stations which feature sustainability inspired menus and plant-forward meals on a daily basis. Lipton also supports the management of the two Farmshelf units, which are used to grow a variety of herbs for the dining hall as well as for other locations on campus. Sidestein Market in Weinstein Residence Hall also features seasonal and local produce. At this location NYU has enhanced the selection of produce by offering a larger vegetable variety from local farms available everyday.


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:

All vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and balanced menu options can be identified using a standardized labeling system across all NYU Eats locations. These labels are located above the menu item as well as on digital screen displaying menu items for the day and meal period. Additionally, all labels are prominently placed on online menus. All menu items featuring produce from NYU's farmshelf grown herbs include labels as well. Fair Trade-certified products, including coffee and chocolate products, sold in NYU's convenience stores are identified by Fair-Trade labels.


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:

In collaboration with NYU's Office of Sustainability and the student run group Open Kitchen, NYU Eats provides support for Eco-fair events by donating ingredients used to teach guests about how to cook sustainable and nutritious meals on a budget. Additionally, for these events the Sustainability Team hosts a compost demonstration to educate guests about how to reduce food waste by building a manageable kitchen compost bin.


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:

NYU Eats’ in-house dietician provides free dietary counseling to guests as well as a variety of events aimed at educating guests on how to eat well. The most influential of these events includes Teaching Kitchens which is hosted every month. In each Teaching Kitchen, the NYU Eats' dietician provides free cooking classes for 10-14 guests. Additionally, the dietician collaborates with campus offices, such as the Student Health Center and athletics department to educate guests on how to eat for a specific lifestyle or dietary need.


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:

NYU Eats uses Waste Not, a back of house waste tracking system to track production waste, overproduction waste and wasted out of date inventory. Areas of improvement within the waste stream are identified and these goals are improved upon after discussion and collaboration with culinary and operation teams at each dining location.


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 residential dining halls are trayless. Additionally, in alignment with official dietary guidelines, NYU Eats market locations serve portion-controlled meals.


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:

NYU Eats donates leftover food from three dining locations to the NYU student-run club, Two Birds One Stone. Two Birds One Stone volunteers redistribute untouched leftover food from NYU Eats' dining halls to the NYC homeless through a partnership with the Bowery Mission. 1,478 lbs of cooked meals were redistributed in the first semester of this program alone.


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:

NYU Eats' used cooking oil is picked up by A&L Recycling and is converted into biodiesel fuel.


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:

Action Carting Environmental Services collects organic food waste from NYU dining locations. All organic food waste collected by Action Carting is diverted from landfills.


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:

Action Carting Environmental Services collects organic food waste from NYU dining locations. All organic food waste collected by Action Carting is diverted from landfills


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 residential dining locations, including: Lipton, Third North, Palladium and Downstein utilize reusable plates, cups, and utensils 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:

Compostable to-go containers and hot/cold cups are purchased from Eco products, Graphic Packaging, Earth Choice, and Greenware. All compostables comply with ASTM standards, are BPI free, 100% renewable, and produced from reclaimed materials.

NYU Eats partners with Seastraws, a proud member of the American Sustainable Business Council, to provide all dining locations with paper straws that are 100% backyard compostable. This partnership teaches guests about the benefits of paper instead of plastic, and fosters a connection to the ocean.


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:
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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:

NYU Eats partners with City Baking for bread and bread products which are delivered in reusable totes. This eliminates cardboard boxes that bread would usually come in from NYU's waste stream.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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