Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.69
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date July 31, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Raritan Valley Community College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00 Susan Dorward
Sustainability and Energy Coordinator
Facilities and Grounds
"---" 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:

See http://www.culinartgroup.com/sustainability/

Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. CulinArt’s approach to sustainability is based on an active commitment to continuous innovation and growth. Our sustainability mission enables us to meet the diverse needs of our clients while simultaneously addressing the challenges of a rapidly changing food landscape: Our mission is to constantly innovate and evolve our culinary, social, environmental, and business practices in our venues (along our supply chains, and within our communities), exceeding the expectations of our clients, partners, and people, every day. We have established a Sustainability Framework that is built on three pillars: Food, Stewardship, and Experiences. Across these focus areas, our work is guided by these principles:

We are committed to preparing delicious, innovative, high-quality food that meets the current and ever-changing needs of the marketplace;
We build strong relationships with our clients and communities by being responsive, transparent, and responsible;
Our sustainability programs are based on a continuous cycle of research, reflection, improvement, and communication;
We prioritize the well-being of our clients, team members, partners, communities, and the environment.
What do these principles mean to CulinArt? They mean that as a company, CulinArt is committed to researching, understanding, and incorporating emerging best practices in procurement, facilities management, and health and wellness. They mean that while we understand that preparing delicious food that delights the senses is the core of our business, we also need to be financially, environmentally, and socially responsible. And, they mean that we recognize and work with the different needs, capabilities, and resources across different geographies and clients. We both learn from and lead clients every day.

How do these principles translate into sustainability practices? Our sustainability practices range from establishing purchasing standards to improve the sustainable profile of the goods we purchase, to assisting our clients in meeting their own goals for sustainability – whether it be reducing water and energy usage, to growing herbs and vegetables on company or campus grounds, eliminating use of Styrofoam, or composting kitchen scraps, among other things.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
No

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
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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:

Vegan and vegetarian options are offered and are usually marked, exceptions being the salad bar, pizza, and sandwich stations.

Vegan salads (including legumes), roasted vegetables, and vegan sandwiches are available daily.

Vegan soups are offered 2x/week, entrees 1x/week, and tofu, salad bar, and sandwich station are offered daily.


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:

For sustainable events such as Earth Week events and sustainability-related conferences/seminars, Culinart provides vegan-only dishes, often specially developed for the event. They will work with the event organizer to provide only compostable paper items and compostable utensils and not offer bottled water or other beverages in plastic bottles.


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:

Culinart has developed and served special vegan menus in the cafeteria for Earth Day.


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 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:

Vegan and vegetarian menu items are labeled and there is a sign explaining the labels in the cafeteria. There are signs for discounts if you bring a reusable mug/thermos.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
No

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:
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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:

Culinart works with the Office of Multicultural Affairs to offer culturally-diverse food options in the cafeteria for certain events. They also label healthy and gluten-free meals.


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:

We trained our kitchen staff to separate their organic waste into dedicated bins, which are emptied into the campus organics collection bins and taken (by our waste hauler) off-campus for composting. Culinart has a mandatory Waste Not program, requiring waste buckets at each serving station so that food waste can be tracked and managed.


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?:
No

A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:
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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:

The college runs a campus food pantry that accepts donations. Vegetables from the green roof are donated to food pantry patrons. Culinart can donate trays of food to the food pantry when it is open, and otherwise it can donate to the Foodbank Network of Somerset County which has a warehouse in Bridgewater and accepts donations Monday through Friday.


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:

Cooking oil is collected for recycling/reuse.


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:

In all food preparation, CulinArt disposes of food waste and organics in separate organics collection containers. This waste is collected by our waste management service and taken to an off-site composting facility.


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:

RVCC has implemented a post-consumer food waste composting program. Numerous organics collection bins are located in the cafeteria, cafe, and lounge areas across campus.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:
No

A brief description of the reusable service ware program:
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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)?:
No

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
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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:

At both the cafeteria and the cafe, CulinArt offers a 15 cent discount on drink purchases to customers who use their own reusable containers rather than disposable ones.


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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