Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 35.51
Liaison Sarah Mittlefehldt
Submission Date March 2, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Northern Michigan University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.38 / 2.00 Sarah Mittlefehldt
Co-Chair, Sustainability Advisory Council
Earth, Environmental & Geographical Sciences
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
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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:

NMU dining has partnered with the NMU Hoop House, NMU’s solar greenhouse, in order to serve locally grown produce on campus. Dining Services provides Hoop House with food scraps for composting and coffee grounds for soil. In return, NMU dining receives fresh produce year round when available.


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:

A survey was recently conducted by the University's Wellness Committee to gauge interest in having some kind of institutional relationship with a local CSA. This is something the University may pursue in the future.


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:

Menus in all dining halls are tagged with vegan options. Vegan options are available during every meal, and designated stations are operated which serve vegan options exclusively. These options are indicated on menus, food cards, and mobile or online at the NMU My Menu resource.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
No

A brief description of the low impact dining events:
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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:

Annually, NMU dining hosts a local harvest dinner at all dining halls. Many of the items made during this event are made with locally sourced product. Food offerings that are made using locally sourced product are highlighted with Local Item food card. Additionally, the food card showing the dish that is being served lists the items in the dish that were locally sourced and the city from which the food came.


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:

Located downstairs of the Learning Resource Center, Sundre Snack and Supply Co. offers items that aim to curate a life inspired by balance. Sundré encourages a healthier you by offering products that are Non-GMO, USDA Organic, Recycled, Fair Trade Certified, Local, Green-packaged, All Natural, Clean Label, Vegan, Vegetarian and more. This location also has a unique line of glass jar salads that are healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free dining options. The program also allows the glass jars to be returned for a deposit so that they can be reused.


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 dining halls include signage indicating NMU's practice of sourcing all eggs used in the dining halls from a local, cage free, grass fed chicken farm. Additional signage shows all local vendors used by NMU and indicates where they are located on a map of the state of Michigan. Additionally, all menus and food cards in dining halls indicate those food options that are either vegan or vegetarian.


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:

NMU has a Registered Dietitian on staff who hosts a series of presentations in dining halls related to our food choices which often involve sustainability-related aspects of dining. For example, one presentation highlighted facts on bottled water and provided guidance to diners about bottled water quality and the negative impact of plastic bottles on our environment. Another presentation presented vegetarian-based protein as an alternative to meat, and showed the nutritional advantages of non-meat sources of protein. These presentations are held on numerous occasions throughout the course of the semester.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:
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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:
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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 dining halls at NMU are trayless dining locations. NMU dining has also started incorporating “small served plates” at several of our dining stations in one of our dining locations. These plates are portioned to a nutritionally appropriate serving size for students to grab and eat.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
No

A brief description of the food donation program:
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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:

NMU Dining partners with Sanimax to remove and recycle oil used during the food preparation process. Sanimax removes this oil from the NMU dining halls and recycles it to be used in marketable products. Please see below for more information on Sanimax:

http://www.sanimax.com/


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:
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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:
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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 service ware used for dine in meals is reusable. In the NMU dining halls, all plates, silverware, cups and mugs are brought to a conveyor by the guest and then washed and reused.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
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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:

All dorm residents receive a free reusable mug and can get discounts and advantages for utilizing the mug on beverage at locations throughout campus, such as reduced price coffee at Starbucks. Commuters, faculty and staff can also purchase these BPA-free reusable mugs to take advantage of the same discounts/incentives.


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:

NMU Dining partners with BSB farms to provide all our shelled eggs locally. In this partnership BSB farms provides eggs to NMU Dining in reusable plastic trays. Once eggs are used these trays are collected and returned to BSB farms to be reused for future orders.


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