Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.04
Liaison Thomas Adams
Submission Date July 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

National University of Ireland, Galway
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 Ann Duggan
Director of Commerical Services
Commercial Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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?:
Yes

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

There is an on campus organic growers project on distillery road which represents NUI Galways' urban agriculture project.

Website: https://socs.nuigalway.ie/societies/organicgardening


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:

Saol Cafe - see attached document.

Website: https://saolcafe.ie/about-us/


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?:
No

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:

Sodexo who operate An Bhialann, the largest restaurant on campus with capacity for 800, offer a dedicated vegan salad bar with daily fresh salad choices including items such as vegan sushi. Regular promotions are hosted to highlight sustainability and vegan options such as Meat Free Fridays and guest pop up counters including Veganuary where plant based vegan menus are served. Sample menus include Korean Spiced Boa Buns with shredded, sticky, sesame glazed pulled oats with crunchy veg and kimchi with vegan flapjacks available.


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:

Sodexo who operate An Bhialann, the largest restaurant on campus with capacity for 800, offer a dedicated vegan salad bar with daily fresh salad choices including items such as vegan sushi. Regular promotions are hosted to highlight sustainability and vegan options such as Meat Free Fridays and guest pop up counters including Veganuary where plant based vegan menus are served. Sample menus include Korean Spiced Boa Buns with shredded, sticky, sesame glazed pulled oats with crunchy veg and kimchi with vegan flapjacks available.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability labelling and signage in dining halls:

Our caterers ensure sustainability labelling is prominent in both kitchens and dining halls encouraging diners to end food waste. Students see signage encouraging them to only take what they can eat and staff are advised of alternative options to binning food such as three simple steps; wrap, label and freeze for staff. Menus incorporate sustainability credentials such as highlighting local meats and sustainable fish.


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:

All University caterers implement food waste prevention systems, the University has a target to reduce food waste by 50% by 2025 and the following are some examples of the commitment involved from the outsourced companies we partner with at NUI Galway. FoodSpace raises the sustainability bar by using only local , seasonal ingredients and aim to have zero-waste kitchens. Vegetable trimmings are turned into pickles and ferments, coffee grinds are used as soil fertiliser, waste milk is made into ricotta cheese and the resulting whey is added to pickling liquor, all activities of a highly motivated and environmentally aware kitchen. Sodexo incorporates CSR training as part of all staff induction to create positive change to create a Better Tomorrow. This includes implementing the Sodexo ‘Waste Watch’ programme which champions the reduction of food waste on their ‘watch’.


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?:
No

A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
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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:

Sodexo are our largest catering contractor, who support the WatseWatch Progam:
The WasteWatch powered by Leanpath Program prevents on average 50% of food wasted. Using the program, Sodexo teams can rapidly and easily capture food waste data, giving clear insights into what is being wasted in their kitchens and why. With this new understanding, teams can implement targeted operational and behavioral changes to help end avoidable food waste, whether food waste generated in the kitchen or consumer food waste. Sodexo incorporates CSR training as part of all staff induction to create positive change to create a Better Tomorrow. This includes implementing the Sodexo ‘Waste Watch’ programme which champions the reduction of food waste on their ‘watch’.

FoodSpace (second largest catering supplier) raises the sustainability bar by using only local , seasonal ingredients and aim to have zero-waste kitchens. Vegetable trimmings are turned into pickles and ferments, coffee grinds are used as soil fertiliser, waste milk is made into ricotta cheese and the resulting whey is added to pickling liquor, all activities of a highly motivated and environmentally aware kitchen.

https://www.sodexo.com/positive-impact/sustainability/responsible-waste-reduction/wastewatch.html


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:

Sodexo are our largest catering contractor, who support the WatseWatch Progam:
The WasteWatch powered by Leanpath Program prevents on average 50% of food wasted. Using the program, Sodexo teams can rapidly and easily capture food waste data, giving clear insights into what is being wasted in their kitchens and why. With this new understanding, teams can implement targeted operational and behavioral changes to help end avoidable food waste, whether food waste generated in the kitchen or consumer food waste. Sodexo incorporates CSR training as part of all staff induction to create positive change to create a Better Tomorrow. This includes implementing the Sodexo ‘Waste Watch’ programme which champions the reduction of food waste on their ‘watch’.

FoodSpace (second largest catering supplier) raises the sustainability bar by using only local , seasonal ingredients and aim to have zero-waste kitchens. Vegetable trimmings are turned into pickles and ferments, coffee grinds are used as soil fertiliser, waste milk is made into ricotta cheese and the resulting whey is added to pickling liquor, all activities of a highly motivated and environmentally aware kitchen.

https://www.sodexo.com/positive-impact/sustainability/responsible-waste-reduction/wastewatch.html


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:

Masterchefs Catering provide the 2GOCUP, Ireland’s first deposit and return scheme. To date the scheme has saved over 2,550,000 single use cups from going to landfill (Note: introduced January 2020, no internal stats due to University shutdown).

How it works:

a) Order your hot drink to go

b) Deposit of €1 for your 2GoCup

c) Return for your €1 or get a fresh 2GOCup

d) You receive a reusable lid with your first deposit, this is yours to keep!

e) Cup lasts a minimum of 3 years if used every single day. That’s 1,000,000’s of single use cups saved from landfill simply by switching to 2GoCup!.


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 cups/plates are manufactured using polylactic acid made from totally renewable resources like corns, potatoes and other plants. These compostable cups also use less energy, and release less harmful pollution than conventional plastic cups. For example, manufacturing bio-based plastic from corn takes only half as much energy as manufacturing conventional plastic from petroleum.

Crystallized Poly Lactic Acid, is a fully compostable cutlery made from corn starch which is heat resistant up to 85 degrees without deforming. At the end of their useful life, CPLA products can be either recycled or composted in industrial composting facilities. The range includes several colours, forks, knives and spoons.

Polybags' range of compostable bags are derived from natural, renewable resources to reduce the impact of the packaging on the environment. This renewable packaging is manufactured from sugar cane, potato starch and other renewable resources that can be converted into chemicals and polymers using conversion processes similar to those of traditional polythene. Ideal for collecting food waste, this ultra-green packaging is biodegradable and compostable, meeting EU compostability standard EN13432.


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?:
Yes

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

A take away coffee cup costs €0.10, whereas this charge is avoided if people bring re-fillable coffee cups.


A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
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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.