Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.66
Liaison Enid Cardinal
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Rochester Institute of Technology
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.63 / 2.00 Enid Cardinal
Senior Sustainability Advisor to the President
Office of the President
"---" 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?:
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?:
Yes

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

The RIT wellness program has partnered with the Good Food Collective to offer a year-round CSA. Members can pick up their weekly shares in the Better Me Wellness office.


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 of our dining facilities offer vegan options. The simply eats station at Gracie's dining center also incorporates menu items that address all of the major food allergies: https://www.rit.edu/fa/diningservices/simply-eats


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:

In 2016, the University offered it's first ever local foods harvest dinner. The event was kicked off with a farmer's market earlier in the day and band played in the dining hall during the event.


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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:
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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:

Gracie's dining center regularly works with classes and faculty on sustainable dining challenges they face. This included their assistance to the NYS Pollution Prevention institute as they developed a state wide food waste audit program.


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:

RIT has a unique initiative called the Visiting Chef Program. The 3 largest dining facilities on campus have visiting chef station. They invite small ethinic restaurants from the community to serve food at that station. This enables the University to offer a wide variety of ethinic food operations and supports small, often minority-owned local businesses in the community.


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:

RIT is a participant of the EPA Food Recovery Challenge, and in fact was an EPA region 2 award recipient in 2015.


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:

TRAY-LESS FACILITY - Gracie’s , our largest resident dining hall, is a tray-less facility. This initiative is credited with approximately 30% food waste reduction.


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:

Recover Rochester, a chapter of the Food Recovery Network, works with Dining services to capture and redistribute excess prepared food at the end of every meal service to area meal centers and shelters.

At the end of the year, non perishable food is collected from students moving out of campus residence halls and is donated to the RIT FoodShare program as well as area food banks.


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:

In addition to the food recovery and donation efforts, the University diverts roughly 1.5 - 2tons of food from the landfill weekly when classes are in session. The materials are taken to an anaerobic digester that in turn produces electricity.


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:

Pre-consumer food waste is captured from 4 of the 6 major dining units on campus.


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:

Pre and post consumer food waste is captured from Gracies, the largest dining facility on campus.


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:

Brick City and Gracies utilize washable ware for dine in meals.


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:

The dining operations near the residence halls (Common's, Sol's Underground, and Gracies) all offer a reusable to-go container option. Gracie's dining center, the largest facility on campus, eliminated disposable to-go containers in FY2013, offering reusable to-go containers only. The program has since expanded to Brick City cafe.


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:

REUSABLE MUG PROGRAM – Guests using a reusable mug only pay the price of a small cup of coffee.


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 RIT FoodShare facebook group was created on December 3,2014 and to date boasts over 1781 members. The group is open to the public but the intended audience is the RIT community. Members can request to receive post notifications. Faculty, staff or students can post within the group to notify members through a push notification that there is food available somewhere on campus from a department or organizational event/activity. Posts generally include a picture of the food, quantity, location and time the food will be available.


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