Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.64
Liaison Rachael Wein
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Smith College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Andy Cox
Director of Dining Services
Dining Services
"---" 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:

On October 24, 2016, Smith College signed the Real Food Challenge, committing us to purchasing 20% real food by 2020. The Real Food Challenge outlines purchasing guidelines, which Dining Services is following.

Additionally, Smith College Dining Services follows these guiding principles:

Why We Care
Smith cares about local and sustainable food:
• to provide better tasting, better looking, better quality foods to our students
• to support local farms and the local economy
• to reduce the amount of energy and carbon emissions associated with the transportation of food from farm to fork
• to increase transparency in purchases and think critically about our buying power as a food service institution
• to support a more conscious food culture at Smith College and cultivate a deeper respect for farmers and the production structure of our foods
How We Are Sustainable

• We choose to buy local whenever it is seasonally available and financially feasible
• We actively compost and recycle
• We have tray-less dining
• We want to more actively engage with our consumers, the students
• We are allies in educating and expanding awareness of local food use on campus
• We provide first-year students with a water bottle at Central Check-In
• We have eliminated paper products and bottled water


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:

Smith College's Community Garden is not large enough to provide a significant supply of food to Dining Services. The garden is used more for student education.


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:

Smith Dining offers vegan and vegetarian meals three meals a day, seven days a week. One of our dining locations (Gillett) is dedicated to vegan cuisine and provides multiple options every day.


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:

Yes, Smith Dining has a meat free dining hall (Gillett) and this semester we switched lunches M-F to all Vegan.

We also hold meatless meals each year around Earth Day. In Spring 2017 we have a special event with Humane Society, which will feature a plant-based diet, and we have a plant strong menu planned for Spring semester 2017.


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:

Yes, Smith Dining hosts a convocation barbecue, Food Day, Parent’s Weekend Brunch, Earth Day and an end of year barbecue all with a local sustainable food focus.


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:

Smith College has a dedicated vegan/vegetarian dining hall, which focuses on a low carbon and plant-based diet. Environmentally active students gravitate toward this kitchen because it provides them with a diet with low carbon impact.


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:

Ecologically sound food purchases are highlighted on the entree line at the point of service. Information about other food sources is available online.


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:

Dining has both managers and staff on the student run organization, Smith Students for Food Justice. Smith hosts events with sustainability minded chefs and organizations to feature entrees or host speakers on ecologically sound food choices, including the Humane Society, butcher Adam Danforth and Chef Jehangir Mehta.


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:

Smith Dining co-hosts an International Student day, partnering with students to create authentic cultural cuisines from around the world. The most popular versions are scaled up to be featured in the dining halls either on specific regionally focused days or added to the cycle menu. Smith Dining offers a build your own entree with whole grains, multiple vegetable choices and lean proteins daily at the dining hall located near the Wellness Center and the Athletics facilities.


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:

Dining Services encourages chefs to batch cook and cut down on food waste. Extra food is used creatively on the salad bar or incorporated into new dishes.

Smith also has a student-run chapter of the Food Recovery Network. Students in this group work with some chefs to package or freeze excess food, and the students collect it and deliver it to community food pantries in neighboring communities.


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:

Smith Dining residential has always been trayless. Half size reusable trays are offered at the campus center cafe with a la carte food options.


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:

Smith Dining has been a partner with the Food Recovery Network for four years. They operate out of 7 kitchens on campus. For the first time this year they are also offering pick-up at large scheduled catering events.


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 recovered for rendering.


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:

Smith College has both pre-consumer and post-consumer food composting at 100 percent of its student dining halls (which excludes our retail operation - the Campus Center Cafe, which has pre-consumer food composting only). Two student housing co-ops on campus (which house about 20 students each) prepare their own meals and also collect both pre- and post-consumer food waste, which is collected by the Facilities Management department and delivered to a farm in Westhampton, Massachusetts where it is composted in windrows.


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:

Smith College has both pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste composting at 100% of student dining halls. Two student housing co-ops on campus (which house about 20 students each) prepare their own meals and also collect both pre and post consumer food waste. The pre and post consumer food waste is collected by our Facilities department and brought to a farm in Westhampton, MA where it is composted.


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:

Regular china, flatware and glasses are used in the dining rooms because they can be washed and reused. Many catered events also use china, flatware, and glasses, which are washed and reused. Both the Center for Community Collaboration and the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design and Sustainability have purchased their own reusable dining ware, which is washed and reused when hosting lunches and other events where food is served.

Many events across campus are now organized as zero waste events. At these events the waste generated is minimized as much as possible, and all items given to guests are reusable, compostable, or recyclable. To do this we utilize either reusable dishes and utensils or compostable dishes and serviceware, with the appropriate collection bins. We also work with Smith catering and external caterers to plan menus that minimize waste and eliminate potential waste items such as individually packaged foods.


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:

For the past five years, at Central Check-In, which opens the academic year, Dining Services has distributed reusable water bottles to incoming students. Dining Services discontinued bottled water at the "Grab and Go" dining location and installed additional water spigots. The college encourages students to bring their reusable water bottles to this and other dining locations to fill up.

Compostable goods are offered for all outdoor dining events and composted through a third party. The paper products vary across campus as composting is not available outside of dining halls.


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:

In both of the to-go dining halls on campus, students are required to bring their own reusable mugs, as none are provided. At the Campus Center Cafe, customers may fill their own mug with ice water or hot water free of charge, and receive a discount on other beverages for having their own reusable cup/mug. Students are encouraged to use their own containers and hot/cold plastic reusable cups if they wish to take food or beverages out of the dining rooms.


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:

Dining Services has produce delivered in heavy-duty cardboard boxes that are returned to them for reuse.

Reusable cleaning cloths have replaced disposable ones in the dining rooms and kitchens.


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