Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.47
Liaison Jenny McNamara
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Portland State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Amanda Wolf
Program + Assessment Coordinator
Campus Sustainability Office
"---" 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:

"Chartwells takes pride in our efforts to positively influence the global food supply chain, and support the local communities in which we operate. We've always been on the forefront of sustainability, and will continue to lead the way.

Some of the efforts we are most proud of include:
- Monterey Bay Aquarium partnership and our commitment to purchase only Best Choices or Good Alternatives from the Seafood Watch program.
- Availability of Certified Humane eggs.
- Our commitment to purchase only milk that is free of rBGH.
- Chicken and Turkey produced without the routine use of antibiotics.
Fair Trade Certified coffee and tea options.
- We are always working toward more sustainable purchasing initiatives which currently include never ever antibiotic turkey, FAD free tuna, and GAP certified chicken.
- We encourage local spend, and define local as within 250 miles of campus for dairy, produce, grain and meat purchases. We prefer local vendors with less than $5 million in annual revenue.
- We support Menus of Change, menuing plants more often and are putting meat in a supporting role on our menus for environmental and health reasons.

As a food organization, we are also responsible for resource management which includes reductions in food waste, solid waste to landfill, and efficiencies to minimize use of water and electricity. We have a wide variety of programs and tracking tools our units utilize to monitor processes, and implement efficiencies.

Some of our waste management stream solutions include:
- Biodegradable, compostable or recyclable paper and plastic for to-go products.
- Specialized equipment and programs for food waste management including digesters, pulpers, dehydrators to manage food scraps for composting, and Waste Not to capture and manage kitchen waste.
- Carbon Foodprint software that evaluates equipment and processes to quantify water and electricity usage, identifying opportunities to become more efficient.
- Food recovery solutions including Food Recovery Network, Feeding America and more to donate leftover edible food to those in need.
- Composting solutions and experience including on campus and off campus programs.
Our Imperfectly Delicious Produce program captures edible, nutritious produce from farms as a second harvest and diverts this edible food from landfill or till.
- Reusable containers, cups, and mugs are welcome in most of our dining operations across the country.

Chartwells' commitment to sustainability is further strengthened by the commitments and global resources of its parent company, Compass Group North America.


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:

Intermittently and in small amounts Smith Dining sources from campus garden beds around Smith Memorial Student Union. Cartwells is also working with the Learning Gardens Laboratory (a garden operated by the Graduate School of Education) in SE Portland to source salad greens in the spring and summer months.


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:

PSU hosts a weekly Saturday farmers market in the Park Blocks that is open to the entire community. We also host monthly Harvest Share events in which Oregon Food Bank (OFB) brings fresh produce to campus for students and community members to pick up and any leftover produce from Harvest Share is donated directly to PSU's food pantry. PSU Eats, in partnership with others, also helps fund the Learning Gardens Lab (LGL), an experiential learning based community and student garden in SE Portland. To additionally support LGL, PSU Eats and Campus Sustainability Office are hosting a film screening of Just Eat it: a food waste story, with any optional donations going to support the Learning Garden Laboratory. Finally, PSU Eats hosts a weekly pickup for students, staff and faculty of Imperfect Produce boxes, and any boxes that are not picked up are donated to the PSU Food Pantry.


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:

All dining facilities supply robust well-built vegan and vegetarian options, and options are labeled used "U Balanced" symbols on menus of Balanced, Vegan, Gluten Free, and Vegetarian options. Our institution received an 'A' rating from Peta2 for our work in this area.


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:

We do 'Bitchin' Kitchen' (cooking and food prep workshops) that teaches students meal prep with simple, affordable, and nutritious ingredients that also emphasize sustainability and minimization of food waste. Things that are local and seasonal are highlighted and at Victors Dining Hall we regularly feature seasonal entrees. Weekly or monthly ingredient highlights of seasonal and local products, included a monthly updated list of "local partners", for example Stoneboat Farm, Marsee Bakery, Hilltop Farm, etc.. Main dining hall features a descriptive mural highlighting local sourcing options, curated informative displays highlighting specific locally-sourced ingredients/produce, inforgraphics highlighting food waste reduction facts and methods, meals built around sustainable, plant-based, organic and/or local ingredients. 'PDX Local' concept that is voted upon and switched out each term centered upon and features sustainable ingredient and menu list.


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:

PSU Eats partners with Imperfect Produce to provide low-cost local, seasonal, and organic (optional) produce to students weekly. Those with demonstrable financial or food insecurity are provided with even lower-cost option. All unclaimed surplus is donated to the PSU Food Pantry.


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:

We highlight facts composting in Smith as well as Victors, and have signage promoting locally sourced items. Quarterly, Victor's also participates in No Scraps Left Behind, an program that helps educate consumers on post-consumer waste. This program includes signage with facts about food waste, as well as proving consumers with waste total for the week. We have compost in all of public areas and work to minimize food waste in all eating areas. Anything that is plant-based is labeled, as is vegan and vegetarian options.


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:

Community partnership events like PSU Eats hosting Winter 2017 Wasted food waste screening completed with panel discussion and tabling beforehand and in Spring 2018 Just Eat it: A food waste story. Also host Giving Tuesday and MLK service weekend charitable giving events. Additionally, No Scrap Left Behind is a post-consumer waste program that PSU dining services and the Campus Sustainability Office collaborated on to provide education and raise awarenss about consumer food waste. This specific program provided education to students in Victors Dining Hall. For one week each quarter the food waste left on plates during the lunch time period at Victor's at Ondine was put into a visual "food waste buffet", and information was providing about portioning, food waste facts, and opportunities to get involved. Students also had the option to sign a pledge agreeing to waste less food, and at the end of the lunch period all the food was weighed and composted. Weights were also taken the week before and after and findings were shared on social media and online on our No Scrap Left Behind webpage. Volunteers also tabled for the week, engaging with students about food waste, portioning, and sustainable food options.


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:

Partner with SHAC to highlight our sustainability and health related options. Also highlight fresh foods and have a seasonal concept station (PDX Local) that rotates its menu based around student votes. Also have a meal planner on website and classify meals with icon system designed to help students select the best option for their health (vegan, balanced, vegetarian).


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:

Internal waste-tracking system 'Waste Not' tracks post-production food waste. Pre-consumer food waste is weighed and tracked at each vendor locations, then used to help track and determine improvements for food waste reduction in food prep and portioning. Partnership with Campus Sustainability Office also tracks post-consumption food waste 'No Scraps Left Behind' on a quarterly basis. Post-consumer food waste is displayed in the front of the dining hall for the lunch period to raise awareness, then weighed and composted at the end of service. Additionally, internal waste consultants from ReFED are also looking at improving our waste tracking capabilities.


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:

In September 2008, PSU Dining went tray-less in Victors Dining Hall in Ondine. Going trayless helps to conserve water, energy, and chemical cleaners used to wash trays, while also promoting healthy eating habits and smaller portioning. Students are provided with a plate, and are welcome to seek seconds as needed in the dining hall. Food court-style venue provides to-go packaging without tray. Students buss and drop off items at centralized trash, recycling, and composting.


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:

Food from partners is donated daily. Entrees from catering department are provided to Blanchett House, a transitional housing center, grab-and-gos are given to the student Food Pantry, along with the pastries and fruit provided by franchise partners.


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:

All food scraps from pre-consumer food preparation and post consumer waste are composted, and robust donation programs are in place to reduce amount of food going to landfill or compost. Fryer oil is collected by Sequential Biofuels from three locations on campus: Smith Memorial Student Union Viking Food Court, Victor's at Ondine, and University Place Hotel Lincoln Grill.


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:

All pre-consumer food waste is collected in the kitchens 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:

All post-consumer food waste from Victors Dining is composted by dining hall staff behind tray return. At Smiths Kitchen Food Court, there are four centralized waste collection areas for students to use, all of which have a compost collection green bin as an option. Students in residential halls can also compost, a program was started in December 2014 and any student can participate. Food waste in most departmental spaces is also composted, and many public areas include Campus Rec have a publicly accessible compost location.

Food waste in many department break-rooms is collected for composting.


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:

Durable china is used in Victors dining hall and industrially compostable service ware is used in Smith's Kitchen food court area. PSU Eats is in beginning stages of providing reusable, individual to-go food containers.


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 containers are provided in Victors Dining, and Smith's Kitchen is looking to add a reusable washable to-go containers for the salad bar in the food court.


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:

If students have their own reusable mugs, they are charged at the small rate no matter what size the mug is as a discount.


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)?:
No

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Information Provided by Charwells, aka PSU Eats

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.