Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 34.71
Liaison Kristina Bryan
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Saint Louis University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Evelyn Shields-Benford
Director of Business & Auxiliary Services
Student Development
"---" 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:

Environmental sustainability is a fundamental part of our mission, guiding how we operate. We reduce our environmental impact through practices that enrich and support the natural environment.Through Green Thread, our environmental sustainability platform, we bring innovative and efficient solutions to life. We are passionately focused on reducing the environmental impact within our operations. We continuously improve our own practices, while offering expertise and practical solutions.


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:

As part of our commitment to sustainability, we operate an organic farm on campus with a comprehensive composting program. By integrating the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics undergraduate and graduate student practicum experiences and dietetic internship rotations in the café with chefs committed to sustainable food systems, we create an environment that fosters unique experiences for student development and professional growth. DineSLU now has a contract with the organic farm on-campus to provide products for residential halls and catering operations. This partnership with be expanded to include more products in upcoming years and will bolster DineSLU’s commitment to sustainable purchasing.


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:

Fresh Gatherings Harvest CSA Program is a community supported agriculture (CSA) program that partners with local farmers to supply quality, local produce. Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. A share consists of a crate of produce harvested weekly by local farmers. The variety and amount available each week depends on seasonality and the farmers' yield. Keep in mind that the idea of this program is to support local farmers who practice agriculturally sustainable methods. Shareholders hand-select their produce from our farmers’ market shelf at Fresh Gatherings Cafe weekly. Shareholders will be given a small sheet outlining what was gathered that week and where it came from. Any non-claimed CSA produce will be donated to a local charity - such as Campus Kitchen.


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:

At Fresh Gatherings, vegan and vegetarian options and gluten-free alternatives are available during every meal. The entire menu is designed to feature local and sustainable foods and vegetarian foods receive equal billing. There are 52 weekly menus designed to reflect seasonal availability; each menu features meat and meat free choices in entrees, soups and side dishes equally. All soup and salad bar options are coded to indicate whether they are Vegetarian (V), Locally Sourced (L) and/or Gluten-Free (GF). We market our daily menu options via an email to the Doisy College of Health Sciences community, by posting it on the Fresh Gatherings Facebook page, and by writing it on our chalkboard menu.

Aramark locations: Vegan and vegetarian options are available throughout the all-you-care to eat dining hall facilities, with a designated station highlighting the option(s) at lunch and dinner. At this station, a vegan complete plate solution is available, which includes protein, carbohydrate, and at least one vegan-friendly vegetable. A salad bar, which including fresh fruit, is also provided at lunch and dinner. Students may also view online menus for vegan, vegetarian and other healthier options. Vegan and vegetarian options are distinguished using Just4U(R) nutrition highlight message leafs signage.
http://slu.campusdish.com/EatWellContent/NutritionHighlights.aspx

Outside of the residential dining halls, national chains and proprietary brands retail locations offer a variety of vegan/vegetarian options. """"Greens to Go"""" propriety brand promotes salads as a healthy lunch alternative. At P.O.D market locations throughout the campus, students can also use Flex dollars to purchase soy milk, fresh produce, and a variety of other Grab n' Go, a local vendor, vegan, vegetarian, and other healthy meal/snacking options. Flex dollars can also be spent at national chain brands locations that offer vegan/vegetarian options (e.g. Panera, Einstein Bagels, Qdoba). Campus dining program (DineSLU) nutritionist is available on campus to help verify information. Contact information can be found on the slu.campusish.com home page.


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:

During Weigh the Waste events, signage announces the event and students keep track of how much food waste is created within a period of time to raise awareness on impact students can make on the environment. (i.e. lunch, 11-1:30). We also have trayless dining in residents halls and retail locations, which serves to decrease water and energy consumption on campus.


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:

Farm to Fork events bring in products from local farmers and are used to create a specialty dish my residential chefs. These meals occur at least biennially and cultivate conversation around the importance of supporting local, sustainable food in the community.


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:

Fresh Gatherings Café in Saint Louis University’s Doisy College of Health Sciences is operated by the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a dining option that provides a locally grown and healthy dining option on campus. Additionally, Grand Dining Hall in Grand Hall is now Green Dining Alliance certified.


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:

Our menu screens emphasize local products and vegetarian/ vegan-friendly dining options. A sustainability wall located in Grand Dining Hall, near the dish return, is available for students to see current sustainability efforts and figures.


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:

DineSLU supports the Nutrition and Dietetics organic farm on campus by purchasing seasonal products that in term supports the learning about sustainable foods in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics. DineSLU also holds sustainability events that provide educational materials to Saint Louis University students, faculty and employees.


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:

Aramark has a health & wellness logo program called Just4U® which includes leaf-like symbols highlighting dishes that are local, vegan, and overall "better-for-you". For the criteria guide: https://drive.google.com/open?id=17LIS1yoa6xbIB3t3GLvX4uH38zr-XytG


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:

With the opening of Grand Dining Hall came also a new state-of-the-art food disposal system designed to expel waste ideal for composting. Soiled dishes are placed on a conveyor belt and travel to the dishwasher attendant. The attendant "rinses" the dishes in a constant flow or recycled water that carries the food waste to the pulper. The pulped food travels up pipes and to a separate room where it is dumped in compostable liners for pickup. As the food waste travels along the pipes and into the room, water is squeezed out and rerouted to be used to "rinse" the plates. The cycle continues. A third-party contracting company picks up the compostable waste.


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:

Aramark has implemented trayless dining in the resident dining halls on SLU’s campus. Eliminating trays is in line with Aramark’s overall Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, and it is what our customers have come to expect. The benefits of going trayless are not only environmental, but economic and humanitarian as well. Going trayless enables us to better allocate our resources while helping the environment and addressing the current food crisis. Aramark also trains employees to prepare food in ways that reduce food waste, and this practice is monitored through the Food Management Program. Preconsumer waste is collected in buckets and analyzed with staff to ensure proper trimming, thus reducing unnecessary waste.


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 Campus Kitchens Project is a student run service organization that turns unused food from campus cafeterias and grocery stores into nourishing meals for hungry members of the community. Each year the Campus Kitchen at Saint Louis University delivers thousands of meals and snacks to organizations such as the Salvation Army, Council Tower, Grandview Tower, Our Lady's Inn, Fr. Dempsey's Home, and the YWCA. In the course of a week, CKSLU serves up to 400 meals to around 200 clients. In addition to providing food, CKSLU volunteers use the food deliveries as an opportunity to offer companionship to clients, many of whom are homebound and do not have much contact with the outside world. The kitchen also partners with educational programs that promote health and nutritional knowledge.


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:

Facilities Services uses Grease Masters to recycle 100% of used cooking oil. Grease Masters uses the oil in a variety of products, ranging from soaps, cosmetics, high energy feed supplements and renewable fuels—including bio-diesel and the generation of synthetic gas.


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 composted at most of the dining facilities on campus and is in the process of being streamlined to all facilities.


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 food at Fresh Gatherings is served on fully compostable plates, cups, bowls, etc. Beverage cups are compostable (both hot and cold). The garden program utilizes seven compost tumblers, one large industrial sized tumbler, and a vermiculture system for management of both pre- and post-consumer food waste.


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:

Aramark provides reusable service ware, including plates, cups and silverware, for all "dine in" cafeterias. Napkins are made of 100% recycled content. To-go containers are compostable and recyclable. Fresh Gatherings purchases napkins made of 100%, non-bleached recycled content. Used napkins are incorporated into the compost operation. All food at Fresh Gatherings is served on fully compostable plates, cups, bowls, etc. Beverage cups are compostable (both hot and cold). The garden program utilizes seven compost tumblers, one large industrial sized tumbler and a vermiculture system for management of both pre- and post-consumer food waste.


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:

In the continual effort to reduce disposable packaging at its source, Aramark commits to implementing a reusuables program whenever possible. Reusable to go containers, cups,and mugs offer customers a hands-on opportunity to lighten their personal footprint and make a positive impact on their environment. Aramark's reusable water bottles continue to be popular on campus. In an effort to reduce impact on the environment, Aramark offers reusable ecoClamshell containers to encourage patrons to forgo disposable containers. The sustainable ecoClamshell program allows students to purchase a reusable container for a one-time fee of $5 at either Griesdieck or Reinert Dining Hall. Participants may use the container to take their meals to go, and exchange their used container for a clean one at the next meal.


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:

"Aramark currently offers a couple of refill options for students. There is a 30 cent discount on refills on reusable drink containers. Aramark also offers reusable water bottle and hot/cold liquid mug. Students, faculty, and staff can purchase a reusable, plastic, recyclable, and microwave-safe clamshell for $5 and use it to take a purchased meal to go.

Fresh Gatherings has a reusable insulated mug for sale at cost. Customers can fill at the "refill" price, which is $0.99 for any size reusable mug up to 32oz."


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:

Aramark implements educational programming in the area of waste stream management to further draw attention to waste diversion and the potential impact of taking small steps on campus. Programming and collaboration with Saint Louis University will and has included events for Sustainability Month, Earth Day, RecycleMania and America Recycles Day. Aramark also partners with Campus Kitchen, a food recovery organization, in Reinert Dining Hall.


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