Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.66
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.80 / 2.00 Sue Fassler
Sustainable Facilities Manager
Facilities
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

Pre-pandemic, ESF's student governance group, the Undergraduate Student Association (USA), sponsored a farmer's market on Saturdays. In addition, two additional farmers markets/craft events were held at the Syracuse campus, hosted by USA.

https://www.esf.edu/calendar/event.asp?EventId=12393

The Syracuse area also has a vibrant farmer's market -- the Central New York Regional Market -- and the College has many examples of encouraging use of this market by employees and students, and supporting its mission. One example is that USA worked to develop a car-pooling/car-sharing option for students to get to the Market on the weekend. This program needs to be reinvigorated post-pandemic.

https://www.cnyregionalmarket.com

In addition, an ESF alumna operates the Brady Farm (part of the Brady Faith Center) in Syracuse where ESF students have done Saturday of Service projects and capstone projects.

https://magazine.esf.edu/city-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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
Yes

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

In the Fall Trailhead Cafe hosts an International Week with food from around the world featuring at least one plant-based option for each culture of the day.

The Cafe also offers vegetarian and vegan options every day of the week, both as part of its set and special/rotating menus.


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:

Vegan and vegetarian options are offered every day. Items are clearly identified on daily menus for students to see.


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?:
Yes

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

- Fair trade coffee
- Composting, pre-consumer and post-consumer
- Napkins made of 100% recycled content; other compostable packaging
- Vegetarian and vegan dining options every day


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:

- ESF students founded the Syracuse chapter of the "Food Recovery Network".
- ESF's dining hall (Trailhead Cafe: https://www.facebook.com/ESFtrailhead/?fref=ts ) participates in pre and post consumer composting. Trailhead has two 64 gallon compost totes in their trash room, which get picked up 3 times a week by a private compost hauler. The majority of Trailhead's to go containers and products are compostable.
- ESF participates in Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) and began reporting on food waste diversion during the 2021 competition.


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:

The Trailhead Cafe serves food in reusable cups, bowls and containers when customers opt to "eat in". Food is not self serve, and portions are controlled by Trailhead employees. "Dine out" options are served in compostable clamshells, cups and bowls.


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:

- ESF students operate an award winning food recovery and donation program, in partnership with Syracuse University students


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

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

- ESF's dining hall (Trailhead Cafe: https://www.facebook.com/ESFtrailhead/?fref=ts) participates in pre and post consumer composting. Trailhead has two 64 gallon compost totes in their trash room, which get picked up 3 times a week by a private compost hauler. The majority of Trailhead's to go containers and products are compostable too.
- ESF participates in Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) and began reporting on food waste diversion during the 2021 competition.


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:

- ESF's dining hall (Trailhead Cafe: https://www.facebook.com/ESFtrailhead/?fref=ts) participates in pre and post consumer composting. Trailhead has two 64 gallon compost totes in their trash room, which get picked up 3 times a week by a private compost hauler. The majority of Trailhead's to go containers and products are compostable too.
- ESF participates in Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) and began reporting on food waste diversion during the 2021 competition.


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:

- ESF's dining hall (Trailhead Cafe: https://www.facebook.com/ESFtrailhead/?fref=ts) participates in pre and post consumer composting. Trailhead has two 64 gallon compost totes in their trash room, which get picked up 3 times a week by a private compost hauler. The majority of Trailhead's to go containers and products are compostable too.
- ESF participates in Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) and began reporting on food waste diversion during the 2021 competition.


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:

ESF's "Save-Plate" program allows individuals, both staff and students, to borrow dishware, mugs, cups and utensils from the Trailhead Cafe for up to 40 people for events on campus free of charge.

Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, Trailhead offered "dine in" options to customers. This decision enabled the continued use of reusable plates, cups, bowls, utensils, and mug.


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:

- It has been a long tradition that all new students are issued an ESF mug to use at college events as part of the "Lug a Mug" program. Students are also given reusable to go containers as part of their orientation.

The vast majority of Trailhead to-go containers and items are compostable. The files section below outlines what items are compostable vs trash.


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?:
Yes

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

Students and staff using their own mug receive a discount on beverages


A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
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Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
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Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.