Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 64.57
Liaison Sherri Mason
Submission Date June 14, 2023

STARS v2.2

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.60 / 2.00 Sherri Mason
Director of Sustainability
School of Science
"---" 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:
The student garden. The garden, just north of Smith Chapel, has used a community-supported agriculture model, with members funding seed purchases and supplies in exchange for a portion of the harvest. Produce from the garden has also been donated to the Emmaus Soup Kitchen and used by Dobbins Dining Hall on campus. The Erie Garden Coalition. This network of Erie County-based AmeriCorps VISTA members and community leaders from local nonprofits and government organizations works to support gardens across Erie, and encourages gardeners to donate excess produce to the Emmaus Soup Kitchen.

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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
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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:
Yes, Penn State tracks disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs. Specifically, we support minority, women-owned, and SMEs with the percent breakdown found in the additional documentation.

Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
22.60

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
No

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:
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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:
Penn State dining services offers both meatless and vegan options for every meal at all dining commons on campus. Over 50% of the vegan entree recipes meet the "healthy" parameter (600 calories or less per serving, maximum 10% of calories from saturated fats, 0 g trans fat, 600 mg or less of sodium). An advisory board meets once a semester to ensure that the offerings of meatless and vegan options are meeting the expectations of the vegetarians on campus. Every day we aim to have at least one vegan soup, one vegan entrée, and at least one vegan side on the menu. We have an extensive salad bar with a variety of vegan items, such as tofu, choice of bean, grain salad, choice of roasted vegetable; a fruit selection is also available. Additionally, we offer daily the following: veggie burgers, 3 flavors of soy milk, 2 flavors of almond milk, rice milk and vegan yogurt. We promoted the Whole Grains Council for a special event.

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?:
No

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

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
Leanpath is on a mission to make food waste prevention and measurement everyday practice in the world’s kitchens Leanpath believes front-line foodservice workers are the real change agents in the global fight against food waste and empowers them with technology and coaching to have a meaningful impact on the environment, at the same time they improve their kitchen’s efficiency. Leanpath-empowered culinary teams have prevented over 90 million pounds of food from being wasted. Leanpath invented automated food waste tracking technology in 2004, and provide a complete food waste prevention solution, including data-collection tools, cloud-based analytics, and expert coaching. We are in thousands of kitchens around the world. https://www.leanpath.com/about/

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:
Campus dining facilities have been trayless since 2016. Penn State Food Services has reduced the size of the plates used in the dining halls, which encourages smaller portion size and less food waste. More recipes have converted to 'buffet style' portion sizes to reduce post consumer waste.

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:
From 2013 until 2019, Behrend had a "Waste Not" program that involved student volunteers, largely from the Fraternities and Sororities, picking up food that would have been thrown away and delivering it to a local city mission, but that program provide unsustainable and was terminated in favor of LeanPath (to reduce food waste) and composting (of food waste).

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:
Contract with HeroBX for conversion of used cooking oil to 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:
Contracts with Conservation Compost for composting.

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:
Within the cafeteria-style dining hall (Dobbins), consumers place all dishes on conveyor belts and food service staff scraps all food waste into compost buckets for addition to our contracted Conservation Compost collection totes.

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:
Dobbins cafeteria defaults to china and silverware as the first position of service.

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:
Students may obtain, for a $5 deposit, an eco-friendly, reusable Green2Go Box, which can be used at any of the five Dining Commons on campus. The box is used for to-go meals, and then either rinsed and reused by the student, or rinsed and exchanged for a carabineer that can later be exchanged for another Green2Go Box. The success of the program has been mixed, however, and compostable containers are currently under consideration.

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:
All retail dining facilities have reusable coffee mugs and water bottles available for purchase. When individuals bring these reusable beverage containers back, they receive a discount on their purchase. At many of the locations, a person can bring their own mug and receive the same discount.

A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
RHEAL stands for Residential Healthy Eating and Living, a program designed to point out healthy options in the dining halls. Menus and entree curds are marked with a carrot icon to indicate items that meet the RHEAL criteria. http://foodservices.psu.edu/rheal

Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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