Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 78.69
Liaison Lindsey Kalkbrenner
Submission Date Feb. 14, 2023

STARS v2.2

Santa Clara University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Harvey Smith
Resident District Manager
Dining Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or urban agriculture project, or support such a program in the local community?:

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

The Forge Garden is SCU's 1/2-acre organic urban agriculture project that functions not only as a living laboratory for applied learning about sustainability but also as a production garden. The Forge hosts a weekly donation-based farm stand featuring organic produce harvested on-site. It is open to both the school community and the public. The Forge is also a CSA pick-up site for a local, small-scale farm.

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?:

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:

All dining programs have sustainability components to them, as Dining Services is provided by Bon Appetit, which has a commitment to “Food Service for a Sustainable Future.”

Cellar Market, SCU’s on-campus convenience store, has a section devoted to featuring Real Foods.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor support disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through its food and beverage purchasing?:

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:

Farm to Fork is a company-wide initiative to buy locally from small, owner-operated farms and ranches within a 150-mile radius. 29% of food and beverage expenditures are local and community-based and/or third-party verified. Currently, Bon Apeitit works with 28 local farms and businesses to provide Santa Clara with ingredients that support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Some of the local SMEs include America Fresh, aggregate from four local and organic farms; San Francisco Fine Bakery, a local bakery; Vince’s Shellfish Company, mostly local seafood; Mary’s Ranch, a local chicken farmer; Mi Rancho Tortillas, a local tortilla producer; Hodo Soy Beanery, a local tofu producer located in Oakland, Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company, a local Fair Trade certified small batch coffee roaster, and Glaum Egg Ranch, a local egg distributor.

Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:

Dining Services by Bon Appetit promote plant-forward dishes by placing plants at the center of the dish with meat and fish serving as “strategic accents”. Vegan and vegetarian options are available at all dining cafes as well.

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?:

A brief description of the vegan dining program:

Dining Services by Bon Appetit prioritizes plant-based proteins in the cafes and a complete protein vegan option is available to the campus community at every meal served in our cafés. Dining Services communicates vegan options to diners using the Vegan Circle of Responsibility icon, on both online menus and menus in the café.

The Pacific Rim, Simply Oasis, and salad bar dining stations regularly offer vegan options for lunch and dinner. Additionally, vegan Acai bowls are available during breakfast and lunch service. At satellite cafes, nuts, fruits and vegetables are available for snacking.

Here is a list of common items served in cafes daily that are vegan.

Simply Oasis: A new option that provides a vegan option for each entree featuring meat.

Stacks: Vegan options include breads/wraps (sliced potato, marble-rye, gluten-free bread, sweet, sourdough, Dutch crunch rolls, tortilla wraps, and lavosh); meat & dairy alternatives (Yves deli slices, soy or rice cheese slices, Tofurkey) and spreads (sundried tomato, house-made hummus, avocado, cranberry sauce, vegan mayonnaise, mustard).

La Parrilla: Rice (rice, tomato, salt, canola oil), beans (beans, water, garlic, salt, canola oil, herbs, onion), corn tortillas and shells, and any marinated grilled vegetables (now grilled separately in the prep kitchen)

Globe: Daily comfort and global vegetarian/ vegan specials are served in addition to entrée sides that can be purchased separately (vegetables, noodles, rice, etc). Asian sauces are made from scratch and bases may contain fish/oyster sauce. Falafels are also a specialty that is available.

Farmer's Pantry
1. Breads - bagels, sliced sourdough bread, sliced potato, sliced marble rye, English muffins (whole wheat and regular), and dinner rolls are vegan. Gluten-free bread options are also available
2. Beverages - soy milk is available in a small dispenser near the cereal and/or the coffee machine.
3. Cereal, whole grains, lentils, beans, seasoned tofu, and avocado are provided as alternate protein sources.

Mission Bakery: Vegan alternative milk options available. Soy, almond, oat & coconut.

540: House-made local flour for pizza dough (with gluten-free options and house-made pizza sauce (simply crushed tomatoes and herbs) are vegan as well as sautéed vegetables (mushrooms, garlic, etc. are made with olive oil). A cheeseless personal pizza with a gluten-free crust may be ordered anytime and is an option.

Fire: Beyond Burgers are available as an option for plant-based eaters. It is not possible to cook items separately from other menu items (fried or grilled). Plain, gluten-free, whole-wheat, sesame buns are vegan.

Poke: Vegan options include choosing the marinated (vegan sauce) tofu (as an alternative to ahi and salmon). There are a variety of vegetable toppings including carrots, edamame, peppers, pineapple, onions, and seaweed salad. The soy sauce is gluten-free as well.

Penne: This pasta stand will have a vegan pasta sauce that is made from scratch as well as vegan and gluten-free pasta options.

Fresh Bytes: Small plates, tapas style, healthy fresh ingredients cooked from scratch. Menu changes quarterly. Coffee shop includes vegan alternative milks, fresh juice bar and vegan smoothies.

Cellar Market: SCU's on-campus mini market is a fantastic resource for vegan/vegetarian guests, with a wide range of products for preparing in room or eating on the go.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labelling and signage in dining halls?:

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

Dining Services by Bon Appetit informs guests about low impact food choices and sustainability practices in many ways. On guest tables and in signs around the cafe, they share information about pressing sustainability issues and relevant policies, including antibiotic use on animal farms, animal welfare issues, sustainable food choices, etc. Using their Circle of Responsibility (COR) program, they communicate sustainability attributes of ingredients through online and in-cafe menus. Menus are labeled with COR icons that denote the following (and more): if the dish includes local ingredients, and which farm they are from; if the dish includes animal products from a farm with a third party animal welfare certification; if the dish includes seafood rated as Green or Yellow by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program; if the dish features ingredients from the Farm to Fork program; if the dish is vegetarian or vegan.

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?:

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:

Dining Services by Bon Appetit prepares food from scratch, especially their sauces and soups, and practices "batch-cooking" in order to not prepare more food than needed. Dining Services by Bon Appetit has partnered with our campus chapter of the Food Recovery Network to donate leftover food to Martha's Kitchen, a nearby soup kitchen in San Jose.

They closely follow the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy and have been named to the USDA U.S Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion list, pledging to take tangible steps to reduce waste by 50% by 2030. Additionally, Bon Appetit estimates that their teams divert approximately 40 percent (by weight) of what remains of their food waste from landfills.

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?:

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

Dining Services by Bon Appetit has implemented trayless dining. Many meal stations also serve customers directly, allowing them to dictate if they would like smaller portions or not be served an item they will not eat.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:

A brief description of the food donation program:

SCU established our chapter of Food Recovery Network (FRN) in May 2014. Multiple times per week, volunteers pick up excess food from Dining Services' kitchens and then drive it to a local food bank, which later redistributes to multiple food banks and soup kitchens. As of May 2019, SCU's FRN has recovered 39084 pounds of food for donation.

Food has also been donated to the food pantries on campus to feed on-campus students who are food insecure.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

Mission Trail, SCU’s compost hauler, takes a portion of all collected food waste and converts the scraps into dog food.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

Beginning in 2009, a multitude of compost collection bins have been placed throughout the kitchen prep spaces and behind cafe counters, with additional bins being added or moved as needed to support the staff. Extensive signage regarding proper waste diversion is posted above disposal receptacles.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

Compost collection bins at the dish return make it simple for students to sort their waste, as well as throughout the dining hall and campus cafe areas.

Compost bins are provided adjacent to all recycling and landfill waste containers in SCU's dining hall, all academic buildings, and all residence halls. Residence halls have compost collection bins for paper towels in their restrooms, and students can receive a free in-room compost collection container. Personal compost pails are also available for students wishing to compost food scraps in their residence halls.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:

A brief description of the reusable service ware program:

Students are encouraged to dine-in with reusable serviceware. Reusable, washable dishware is available at the main dining hall.

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)?:

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:

If students need to take their food to-go, they have a variety of compostable options available including clamshells and salad to-go wares which are BPI-certified compostable. Dining Services by Bon Appetit also offers single-use BPI-certified compostable drink cups and service ware. All compostable to-go ware can be disposed of at compost collection bins campus-wide.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor offer discounts or other incentives to customers who use reusable containers instead of disposable or compostable containers in “to-go” food service operations?:

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:

A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:

Bon Appetit's commitment to purchasing sustainable food and beverage is highlighted in our Flavor First Purchasing Strategy. The three objectives outlined in the strategy are as follows;
1. 100% adherence to our Circle of Responsibility (COR) Initiatives and Food Standards - which outline our sustainability initiatives regarding chicken, turkey, ground beef, shell eggs, fish and seafood, milk, and yogurt;
2. Buy 20% of our food from vendors enrolled in our Farm to Fork program;
3. For all other purchases, buy preferred products through preferred suppliers.

Our kitchen principles highlight our food standards that have been created to assure the highest level of food quality for our guests:
• Menus are written based on seasonality and availability of regional fresh product. Whenever possible, these are produced locally using sustainable and organic practices.
•Turkey and chicken are produced without the routine use of antibiotics as a feed additive.
•Our ground beef is Certified Humane from cattle raised on vegetarian feed with no antibiotics or added hormones.
• Milk and yogurt are from cows not treated with artificial Bovine Growth Hormone.
• Shell eggs are produced cage-free and are certified by Humane Farm Animal Care, Food Alliance or Animal Welfare Approved.
• All seafood purchases, wild and farmed, follow the sustainability guidelines of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. Seafood should be purchased fresh when available locally or frozen at the source to ensure quality, and never air-freighted.

Food waste reduction: The Center for Sustainability regularly conducts "Scrape Your Plate" to measure food waste in our dining hall. Students measure all food waste from four meals each quarter. Participants learn about why food waste is a climate change issue, help collect data on SCU food waste, and help change student behavior.

The Center for Sustainability also incentivizes sustainable dining practices with our Playbook badges that reward students for practicing personal sustainability such as the “Waste” badge.

Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.