Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.52
Liaison Gina Talt
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Princeton University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Sarah Bavuso
Sustainability Manager
Campus Dining
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
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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:

Seasonal produce from a student-run garden located on University property is purchased by Campus Dining.


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:

Since 2007, the student-led Princeton University Farmers Market takes place every spring and provides the opportunity for members of the University and local communities to purchase fresh locally grown produce and other goods from area farmers and businesses that use sustainable practices. Vendors provide a range of items including organic fruits and vegetables, artisanal cheese, locally sourced honey, cold-pressed juice, nut butters, locally made breads, organic sandwiches and salads. Campus Dining showcases local partners through sampling and demos at each market.


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 entrée options are offered daily at every meal at all the residential dining halls and retail locations on campus. Signage for each prepared dish is coded as meat-containing, vegetarian, or vegan.


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:

We host events such as Flexitarian Nights in dining halls as well as Teaching Kitchens featuring local and seasonal items, Wellness Tables – both in person and via social media -- that highlight healthy and sustainable food options such as overnight oats and cauliflower pizza. At some meals, students in the campus Greening Dining group have a table with fun facts and surveys related to sustainable dining.
Forbes College hosted a Flexitarian Night menu at dinner on November 8, 2017
featuring:
Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Lemon & Leeks
Kale, Mushrooms & Rice Bowl with Tomato Jam
Butternut Squash & Black Bean Taco
Red Curry Thai Tofu
Bucatini with Swiss Chard & Garlic Bread Crumbs
Potato & Cauliflower Masala
Chia Seed Pudding & Acai Smoothie Cups


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:

Campus Dining hosts Origins dinners several times each year –frosh orientation, parents’ weekend, food day, earth day and around our Food & Agriculture Initiative. Origins is a dinner based on a concept created by students designed to tell our culinary story and highlight our culinary philosophy. We serve beef/mushroom blended burgers, Sea2Table seafood, our locally-raised, humanely treated chicken raised without antibiotics, our local, artisanal pasta, hot vegan entrees in addition to vegan composed salads, seasonally available Jersey Fresh local vegetables, whole grains, local fruit, vegan desserts with reduced sugar, whole grains, and local fruit. We do not serve any processed foods or out of season vegetables. We create sample plates to demonstrate appropriate serving sizes and reinforce a low impact plate with animal proteins as an accompaniment to vegetables and grains. We also encourage food waste reduction and encourage dialogue with our staff. Marketing includes individual pieces related to each of the principles we are highlighting as well as local purveyors and students involved in our program.


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:

Café Vivian in the Frist Campus Center offers organic, sustainable and local food in a relaxed environmentally conscious atmosphere. The café also houses an indoor vertical garden available for student research.


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:

Menu tags list items as vegan and vegetarian. In addition, online menus include designations for earth-friendly items and the carbon impact of items. Items sourced from local farms are highlighted with the farm name and location.


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:

Campus Dining has launched the Food & Agriculture Initiative. The Initiative seeks to ensure that Princeton takes an active leadership role in educating and engaging students on food and agriculture as a subject of critical inquiry and applied knowledge.
With growing populations, the word faces increasing challenges related to food production and consumption. Princeton Campus Dining believes that it has a responsibility to think globally and contribute to generating solutions and best practices for the University, the community, the country, and the world.
Sitting at the nexus between academics and administration, Campus Dining believes that it can be the practical application of food-related research conducted by University faculty.


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:

Campus Dining’s menus offer halal menu items daily. We feature culturally diverse menu items during Heritages Months (Latin, Filipino, Native American, black history, Eastern Europe, Asian American & Pacific Island). We have a monthly calendar of wellness tabling supporting our culinary philosophy.


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:

Campus Dining uses “Food Pro,” a food procurement and ordering program that uses historical data and yield-tested recipes to forecast quantities and servings that limits the daily amount of food wasted in dining operations. The historical data includes the time that the recipe was cooked in the last year, how much of the recipe was cooked, and how much of the recipe was taken by students or remained as leftovers that were later composted, repurposed or frozen for later use. The program uses an algorithm to analyze these numbers to create new recipes that prevents cooking too much food.


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:

All dining halls have been tray-free since the 2011-12 academic year.


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:

Campus Dining has partnered with the Food Donation Connection to divert edible food to people in need. Currently, two dining halls are part of the program with plans to expand to all dining units.


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:

Fryer oil is collected and taken to a local plant for biodiesel production.

Since the 2015-16 academic year, all food waste from the dining halls and Frist Campus Center have been sent to a local facility to be processed into compost and animal feed.


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:

Since 1997, all food scraps from dining halls as well as back-of-the-counter food preparation at Frist Campus Center have been used as animal feed or compost in the region.


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:

Graduate Students living in University apartment complexes have the option to compost, while students who live in the Town of Princeton in non-University housing can participate in the municipal curbside organic program.

Since the 2015-16 academic year, all post-consumer food waste from the dining halls and campus center food gallery have been sent to a local facility to be processed into compost and animal feed.


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 residential dining halls transitioned to china plates with a maximum 9” round diameter. Smaller plates and bowls are also utilized. The Frist Campus Center retail operation has options for taking away and dining in. The dining in option is a reusable plate or basket.


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 campus eateries that offer dine-in meals provide reusable plateware and silverware for use. Additionally, Catering Operations offers reusable, recyclable, recycled content, and compostable plateware and silverware for use.

All campus eateries that offer to-go options use third-party certified compostable containers. Additionally, students who eat at Café Vivian, the organic, sustainable eatery on campus, can elect to participate in its reusable container program. The program, called ‘Go Viv!’ allows students to purchase a token which they exchange for a reusable container at checkout.


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:

Anyone can provide their own coffee mug or bottle at campus eateries to receive a 25¢ discount on hot and cold beverages.


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:

The Undergraduate Student Government owns and operates a “free food” listserv for students, staff, and faculty. Any member of the campus community can advertise to this listserv when free food is available, including extra food leftover from group or campus meetings. This provides an effective means of advertising when and where extra food is available so that interested individuals can eat the food and limit the amount of food waste produced by Princeton’s campus.
In addition, Prospect House, a dining facility on campus, started a program called “Waste Not” – proprietary to Restaurant Associates. They collect waste, weigh and record it. The platform “has been proven to reduce food waste by 5%”.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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