Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.57
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date Dec. 20, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Oregon State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Tara Sanders
Registered Dietitian
University Housing and Dining 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:

University Housing and Dining Services (UHDS) is a campus leader in sustainability, pioneering innovative programs that have reduced waste in their facilities. Learn more about how UHDS holding themselves accountable to action and operating responsibly with their resources today, to ensure their best possible future.
https://uhds.oregonstate.edu/food/food-sourcing
http://uhds.oregonstate.edu/dining/sustainability-initiative


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 Food Forest is a mix of fruit, vegetables and flowers created by University Housing and Dining Services in partnership with the departments of horticulture and crop and soil science to offer educational and volunteer opportunities for students and to provide organic produce for some of UHDS’ restaurant and retail food operations. In FY18, they expanded the garden to include more perennials such as pears, apples and cherries.
http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ncs/lifeatosu/2015/food-forest-brings-organic-produce-to-the-heart-of-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 campus organic farm produces a weekly CSA box during summer and early fall. The project is completely student run.


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:

Vegan Options
OSU recognizes that many of their students and other guests choose to eat foods that are vegan, vegetarian and gluten free for a variety of health, ethical, faith-based, and other reasons. OSU's online menus and touch screen nutrition kiosks allow students to filter for dietary preferences and allergens:
http://uhds.oregonstate.edu/menus/nutrition


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:

UHDS hosts a monthly Harvest of the Month event featuring local produce in all the dining units.


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:

In addition to the Harvest of the Month event, UHDS features local, seasonal produce on daily specials at a Northwest themed restaurant, Five Four One.


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:

Five Four One is centered on locally sourced foods and vegan and gluten free options. Some of the fresh, organic produce is grown on the campus garden, the Callahan Food Forest.


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:
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:

UHDS partners Horticulture and Crop Soil Sciences with their campus gardens and Harvest of the Month events to highlight foods that are affiliated with OSU and local farms.


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:

Yes, UHDS highlights options that are healthier with a Better Bites symbol:
http://uhds.oregonstate.edu/sites/uhds.oregonstate.edu/files/special_dietary_consideration_notice_24x36_updated_make_cents_price.jpg
Additionally, UHDS has a very diverse student base and they offer a wide variety of culturally relevant offerings. UHDS also labels for items that are Halal and contain pork or alcohol for the guests that practice a Halal diet.


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:

OSU's three dining centers and OSU Catering (operated by UHDS) donate rather than discard any eligible food to our local food share. We also repackage leftover food and resell at a reduce rate of $3.50 per meal. Some students who identify as food insecure are eligible to receive these meals for free.

Our three dining centers keep records of the amount of food that is wasted (spoiled or otherwise unusable) as well as the amount of food donated to the local food share. This information is reported to upper management (who can then address issues with staff) and inventory/ordering adjustments are made as needed. UHDS also annually reviews recipes to insure proper portioning. In Winter term 2019 we implemented a waste tracking program called Lean Path in all of our dining units to better track and prevent waste. To date we have reduced our weight in waste by 27%.


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:

No campus eateries provide buffets or "all you can eat" options; all charge per item in an à la carte style.

Campus restaurants offer many items in multiple sizes to accommodate different appetites (3 portion options for salad bars, half or full sandwiches, small or large wraps, small or full pastries, etc.).

When a dining center hosts conference attendees (attendees from a conference held on campus who receive a meal card as part of their registration), trays are removed so attendees are restricted to only what they can carry by hand.


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:

OSU Housing and Dining Services provides all leftover products to Linn-Benton Food Share. In addition, OSU provides a Food Pantry for students in need. Residents with a meal plan can donate dining funds to the "Full Plate Fund": https://studentlife.oregonstate.edu/hsrc/food-security/food-assistance-funds/full-plate-fund


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:

There is an oil recycling program in place and a robust composting program for pre and post consumer waste.


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:

Republic Services of Corvallis had the first facility in Oregon's to be permitted to accept all food waste including meat, bread and vegetable products. This facility is called the Pacific Region Compost Facility (PRC) and it handles the large majority of compost for the OSU campus. The facility is about 10 miles from OSU, reducing transportation costs and fuel use. A few smaller, on-site composting sites also exist on the OSU campus. Here are the programs to collect pre-consumer organic waste:

1) Pre-consumer food waste is composted at the three dining centers of OSU Housing and Dining Services and one Memorial Union restaurant (Pangea). The 3 dining centers and Memorial Union (from Joe's Burgers and Panda Express) recycle used cooking oil and grease. All campus coffee shops collect used grounds. This pre-consumption waste is sent to the PRC.

2) OSU offers a Department Compost program for kitchens and break rooms. The material collected is a mix of pre- and post-consumer organic material and it is sent to the PRC for processing. Some of the departments are set-up with worm compost bins to manage their own waste, if requested.

3) In FY18 OSU ran a residence hall compost program, offering compost to residents in 4 residence halls. The material collected is a mix of pre- and post-consumer organic material and it is sent to the PRC for processing.

4) A compost system located near Wiegand Hall collects food scraps and coffee grounds and is utilized as a teaching tool for soils classes.

Note: Most dining facilities not only sort and collect curbside recycling and compostable material, but also recycle used cooking oil, cooking grease, and film plastic.


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:

OSU's post-consumer food composting is similar to our pre-consumer programs listed above.

1) Post-consumer food waste is composted at all three of the dining centers of OSU Housing and Dining Services (2 of these 3 centers have trained staff sorting in the kitchen, resulting in a very high recovery rate). This waste is sent to the Pacific Region Compost facility (PRC).

2) OSU offers a Department Compost program for kitchens and break rooms. The material collected is a mix of pre- and post-consumer organic material and it is sent to the PRC for processing. Some of the departments are set-up with worm compost bins to manage their own waste, if requested.

3) A compost system located near Wiegand Hall collects food scraps and coffee grounds and is utilized as a teaching tool for soils classes. It may also process post-consumer food waste.


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:

Five cafés and five Memorial Union restaurants do not offer reusable dishes for dining in. However, all three University Housing and Dining Services dining centers and retail locations (Bing's at Weatherford, Cascadia Market and Off the Quad) along with one Memorial Union restaurant (JavaStop) offer all reusable dishes for dining in. One (of the mentioned above) cafes (Java II) offers reusable mugs for dining in. All residence halls host a bin for students to return reusable dishes from the dining centers, reducing the need to buy additional, new durable dishes.


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:

University Housing and Dining Services dining centers provide reusable to-go containers and have eliminated disposable to-go boxes, in favor of this new near-zero waste option. Containers are designed and manufactured locally and a collection system throughout campus brings the containers back. The program eliminated more than 400,000 disposable containers. 60 fewer tons were hauled from the compactors outside dining centers to the landfill over the same period. If the single use containers that were diverted were placed end-to-end they would form a line 100 miles long! Close to 30,000 Eco2Go containers were put into circulation over that period. More info about our Eco2Go program: http://uhds.oregonstate.edu/eco2go

All University Housing and Dining and MU Retail food service eateries, have eliminated the use of plastic straws. If students want a straw they are encourage to bring a reusable one or use the compostable straws.


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 University Housing and Dining facilities serving coffee or tea, offer a 25 cent discount of drink purchases using a customer-supplied reusable mug. Memorial Union retail food service, offer a 35 cent discount. Several locations offer the same discount for fountain drinks filled in customer-supplied reusable cups.


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:

To discourage bottled water and sugary beverage purchases, all campus eateries provide tap water as a free beverage option. Several locations offer water flavored with real fruit and herbs, along with reusable cups, as a free beverage option.

All eateries on campus have implemented a required recycle training course for all new hires. This helps to ensure recycling and compost efforts are done correctly.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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All ground beef is grass fed, Oregon product
Chicken breasts are antibiotic & hormone free, vegetarian fed
We have adopted Monteray Bay Seafood Watch standards to guide seafood purchases.

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.