Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.94
Liaison Elaine Goetz
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

Ohio University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Erin Robb
Purchasing Specialist
Dining 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:

WellWorks, the University's employee wellness program and community wellness center, hosts a Produce Buying Club (formerly called a Community Supported Agriculture) program each summer as an effort to provide University employees, students and affiliates with access to locally grown Non-GMO produce. The WellWorks CSA program began in 2011 with Shade River Organic Farm serving as the provider. In 2018, the program transitioned to a Produce Buying Club where shares are made up of an aggregate purchase of produce from various local farmers through the Chesterhill Produce Auction. The Produce Buying Club is organized and hosted by WellWorks, with management from Rural Action, a community organization. There are two on-campus pick-up sites for the 22-week buying club program. The program has seen significant growth in the past 3 years. In 2018, 22 participants opted into the program and in 2018, 36 individuals participated in the program. A maximum of 90 participants will be able to participate in 2020. https://www.ohio.edu/wellworks/community-supported-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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:

To promote and increase the purchase of products from local companies, Culinary Services has also designated space in its Jefferson Marketplace for Neighborhood Local produce that features produce from farmers within a 100 radius of the main campus.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:

The University purchases from Silver Bridge Coffee, which is EDGE certified.


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
0.25

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:

Hosted the following events: Apple Fest to promote locally sourced apples, promote Neighborhood Local Foods with signage. Neighborhood Local Food is grown, raised and processed 100 miles from campus. Promote Local Foods with signage. Local Food is grown, raised and processed 250 miles from campus. Most Neighborhood Local and Local Foods are plant based. Local Tofu (Cleveland Tofu) tasting and promotion.


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:

Ohio University recently received a "B" grade from the 2019 PETA2 survey.

OHIO makes providing healthy and diverse dining options for students a priority. All dining guests can choose from a wide range of Vegan options, including: black-bean wraps, vegan ravioli, Tofurky sandwiches, and vegan cheesecake. A variety of Vegan selections are always offered at each dining court/hall on the Athens campus. In fall 2018 we began offering a vegetarian/vegan hot bar at Shively and have increased the number of grains available at our salad bars across campus.

Students, faculty and staff with special dietary needs are accommodated on a regular basis, and we are constantly adapting to the diners' demands. Culinary Services has a registered dietitian to assist with this growing need.


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:

Culinary Services has an extensive labeling program to inform students of the attributes of their food choices, including Neighborhood Local Food, Local Food and vegetarian and vegan signage. https://www.ohio.edu/food/menus/diets.cfm. In addition, signage (static & electronic) throughout our venues educate students specifically about many sustainable topics including: Neighborhood Local Food, Local Food, and the importance of reducing post-consumer food waste


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:

The menu planning and forecasting software used by Culinary Services (Food Pro) helps ensure that pre-consumer food waste is kept to a minimum. Our current pre-consumer food waste is 48% below the national average. Culinary Services has also developed signage (static and electronic) to educated students about post-consumer food waste. In addition, all residential dining venues have gone trayless as of 2017, in an attempt to reduce post-consumer food waste.

Culinary Services also used a centralized production model, which means that most food products served at the University are made from scratch. Because we purchase raw ingredients, we can ensure that food waste during production is kept to a minimum. For example, we make our own chicken broth from products that are left over from other meal preparations.


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:

Culinary Services implemented the Trayless Dining Program in May 2017. According to a student-led study the program is projected to save 440,000-gallons of water and 88,442-pounds of food waste annually. All of our dining hall concepts are self service and we have educational material encouraging students to take only what they can eat.


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:

Throughout the year, Culinary Services donates excess food items to the Southeast Ohio Food Bank. Additionally, students enrolled in our Flex Meal Plans may utilize their unused meals to purchase non-perishable food items and place them in donation bins located within our Campus Markets. These donation bins are regularly collected by an Athens County food bank. Left over food from the dining halls that can be safely donated but not saved for reserving in the dining hall is donated to a local Athens Food Rescue organization. Extensive and comprehensive Move-out and Winter Break Food-Drives from the residence halls. During a designated week fall and spring semesters students may donate up to three of their meals to a meal bank. Meals in the meal bank are given to students who are food insecure. Food insecure students may apply for meals at www.ohio.edu/student-affairs/dean-of-students/bobcats-helping-bobcats/meal-bank


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

Used cooking oil is diverted for use in bio-fuel. Food waste is composted and used by Facilities Management to beautify campus grounds.


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:

Ohio University is home to the largest known in-vessel composting system at any college or university in the nation. Food is collected from Central Foods Facility and all Athens campus dining halls six days per week. Near 100% of both pre- and post- consumer waste is collected. Please view the Soil-to-Soil Cycle video at www.ohio.edu/food/sustainability

Food is collected from the Central Food Facility and all Athens campus dining halls. Close to 100% of both pre- and post- consumer waste is collected and composted.


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:

Ohio University is home to the largest known in-vessel composting system at any college or university in the nation. Food is collected from Central Foods Facility and all Athens campus dining halls six days per week. Near 100% of both pre- and post- consumer waste is collected.Please view the Soil-to-Soil Cycle video at www.ohio.edu/food/sustainability

Close to 100% of all post-consumer food waste is collected from residential dining and composted


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 dining halls use reusable service ware (plates, glasses, bowls, knives, forks, etc.) for all dine-in operations. To-go options and operations at our Student Union use compostable options on all items packaged in house (plates, clamshells, knives, forks, dressing ramekins, napkins, hot and cold cups including lids, etc.). We have a comprehensive on-campus composting facility.


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:

All disposable to-go containers and utensils in residential dining are compostable.

In addition, we have a reusable to-go container program.


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:

Culinary Services offers discounts to customers utilizing reusable mugs at all five campus cafés and our primary food court located in the campus student center. The regular cost of a 16 oz coffee at a campus café is $1.75. Use of a reusable mug discounts this price to $1.25, for a recurring savings of .50 cents per visit. In our Dining Hall students pay a one time fee of $5.00 to purchase a reusable to go container to use the entire time they are a student at OHIO. Students who do not participate in the reusable to go container program pay $0.50 every time they use a compostable to go container. Information and video on how this program works may be found at www.ohio.edu/food/reusable-container


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

WellWorks is the University's employee heath and wellness program and it has extensive health and wellness initiatives that are open to the entire campus and community. WellWorks employs the only registered dietitian in the region, who offers regular classes and coaching sessions on sustainable, healthy diets. https://www.ohio.edu/wellworks/

Additionally, campus and community members are invited to purchase produce grown on the University's farm at the Atrium Cafe Market on Wednesdays when in season. The market features diverse organic produce options at competitive prices.

Culinary Services provides nutritional information for all food offerings, and displays signage (static & electronic) to educate students about healthy food choices. That signage is created in partnership with our in-house dietitian.

Culinary Services also offers a variety of culturally diverse options in all of our dining venues. We have a green for green program in all of our campus markets. Students receive $.05 for each reusable bag they use in our markets. We charge $.05 for each plastic bag we have to provide. The money from the plastic bags goes to support a sustainability initiative on campus. At the beginning of fall semester each student who lives on campus is provided with a reusable bag.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Inclusive and local sourcing data provided by Erin Robb on 3/30/2020. 80% of the food purchased for board dining and retail operations is procured through a formal bidding process that does not include disadvantaged status as a significant evaluation criteria. This procurement approach is aligned with state of Ohio rules and regulations surrounding procurement.

Sustainability-themed outlet data provided by Kent Scott, Associate Director of Auxiliaries Operations, on 6/8/2020.

Entered by Sydney Hutchinson.

Ohio University is proud of its on-campus food variety and works hard to provide the campus community with robust menu offerings. Through customer feedback and a close monitoring of the latest trends, our selections are continually updated and new recipes are being added to our menus each year; it is part of our commitment to providing students with the nourishment that they need in order to thrive in their collegiate pursuits.

All Data was provided by Rich Neumann and Annie Laurie Cadmus on 2/28/2020.

Health and Wellness and CSA data provided by Jenn Bennett

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.