Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.33
Liaison Gener Abdon
Submission Date July 31, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

San Diego State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Paul Melchior
Director of Dining Services
Aztec Shops
"---" 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:

Aztec Shops encourages all its vendors to attain Green Restaurant Certification. We also have policies banning styrofoam.

By planning our meals well in advance, we purchase as many fresh, organic and locally produced ingredients as possible.

SDSU Dining Campus Grown includes two dirt gardens in the center of campus plus 55 Aeroponic towers with 44 growing slots per tower.

Most of the food served at The Garden, UTK and Faculty-Staff Club, as well as many of our grab-n-go items at the Aztec Markets are prepared from scratch, on campus, using fresh ingredients without any preservatives.

Our overall philosophy is to limit sourcing and production to only what we can sell in order to minimize waste. Waste is managed by donating edible leftovers to people, diverting food waste towards composting, and recycling what we can prior to land fill waste.

https://www.aztecshops.com/sustainability


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:

SDSU Dining is committed to sustainable, locally sourced gardening. We utilize two campus gardens (the Hello Garden and the Faculty-Staff Club Herb Garden) to source plant-based menu items that we consistently use in our kitchens. Ingredients harvested in these gardens and enjoyed by our campus community customers include tomatoes, sugar snap peas, corn, bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, basil, and eggplant. SDSU also recently added 55 Aeroponic towers growing a variety of lettuces on the the campus.


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 weekly SDSU Farmers' Market began in September 2009 with only eight food vendors. It has since blossomed, with more than 16 vendors offering a variety of culinary delights from across different cultures. The Farmer’s Market has become an on-campus entertainment destination with live music from KCR campus radio and “Arts Alive” presentations from SDSU art students.

The SDSU Farmers' Market has partnered with the on-campus student group “Slow Food, USA” and is committed to providing all students, faculty, staff as well as the surrounding community with local, organic and sustainable food options. Our market promotes ecological, economic and a sustainable food supply and our vendors do not use styrofoam, plastic bags, or plastic bottles

Associated Students stocks and hosts a food pantry two days per week on campus.


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:

Every dining location has vegan options available and clearly labeled.

SDSU Dining employs a student plant based ambassador promoting
communication within the vegan community.

SDSU has a vegan only restaurant called Plant Power open to meal plan and
general public acceptance.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:
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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:

Halal Shack and the Market salads use Halal certified chicken and beef

Plant Power is a 100% vegan restaurant


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:

All Campus Grown harvests are labeled as grown on campus.


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:

Aeroponic garden tours


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:

Halal Shack, Market salads, and Plant Power


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:

The campus also closely tracks the amount of food consumed daily to prevent as much waste as possible.


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:

SDSU does not provide trays to any of its all you care to eat buffet dining areas.


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:

SDSU donates excess food to various local San Diego programs included, St Vincent De Paul church, Feeding America, AS No Waste, and Ronald McDonals House to name a few.


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:

Buster biofuel picks up cooking oil and reuses it to make biofuel. Another company named Filta filter there oil which extends the life of the oil.


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:

As part of our green initiative, SDSU Dining collects pre-consumer food waste in special bins at all dining locations on campus which are then taken to a composting site where the food waste is mixed with yard waste to create compost. This effort reduces the amount of organic material going into the waste water stream or landfill. SDSU Dining began a composting initiative campus wide in 2008. We divert around 350 tons of food waste from landfills each year.

Compost is a sustainable process that diverts "waste" food from the landfill and puts it back into the soil. Compost is the decomposition of organic material, specifically of nitrogen (from food waste) and carbon (from branches, leaves, anything "brown" – dry and from nature), to produce a natural, rich organic fertilizer. Decomposition is a natural process; composting is merely speeding up this process. There are many different methods of composting, but the key elements are carbon and nitrogen. Once you combine these, the compost naturally heats up (accelerating the decomposition process.) The only further attention needed is to mix the compound periodically to allow the elements to break down and create compost.


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:

We do post-consumer compost diversion at both of our all you care to eat
restaurants.


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:

At multiple dining areas, they use reusable plates and silverware.


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:

At the UTK dining area SDSU can provide reusable containers that they lease for $5 that they can use for the entire year.


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:

We charge $0.75 for to-go containers as an incentive for in-unit consumption.


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:

We switched from plastic straws to PLA straws and took them away from self-
serve locations. We also removed plastic utensils from self-serve locations, thus
reducing overall consumption.


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