Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.69
Liaison Elizabeth Drake
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Swarthmore College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Aurora Winslade
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

Swarthmore supports the local farmers market by programming scannable student ID cards to allow cash-free shopping. The CSA at Swarthmore College functions through the Swarthmore Co-op. The Co-op strengthens the local food system by supporting local producers and distributers, which Swarthmore College supports through a partnership that permits accessible student shopping at the Co-op.


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?:
Yes

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

At the end of each semester, the dining hall donates unused food products to nearby soup kitchens and/or salvation armies. Every fall semester, the dining hall puts on a Harvest Dinner meal where all food products are from local producers/vendors and minimally processed such that all meals are essentially prepared from scratch.


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:

The most widely promoted low impact dining event by the College's Dining Services is the annual Harvest Dinner, which sources all products from local vendors.

The Sharples Dining Hall (the main dining hall on campus) has a bar with daily vegetarian options and signage to indicate vegan/vegetarian options. Items are also promoted if they are local/organic/sustainably-sourced (ex: bakery rolls, dessert cookies, tofu in the salad bar, catfish for fish tacos).


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:

Dining venues offer a full vegan protein at every meal. There is a serving station which is vegan/vegetarain in Sharples Dining Hall, as well as vegan foods available on other serving lines.


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:

Signage in the dining hall is present about vegan, vegetarian, locally based, and organic foods.


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:

Food waste is diverted from incinerators via our partnership with a commercial composter who picks up pre and post-consumer food waste twice a week.


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?:
No

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

A trayless dining option is being explored for our dining hall renovation, to be completed in 2023.


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:

Surplus food is donated to CityTeam Ministries in Chester, PA and the nearby Salvation Army. We have very minimal food waste because of streamlined production records, but will donate surplus perishable food products at the end of each semester.


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:

We have a contract with Waste Oil Recyclers who collect and convert our cooking oil. Food materials are also diverted from the landfill/incinerator for industrial compost use.


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:

We are contracted with Kitchen Harvest in Middletown, PA. They pick up food waste including fruit/vegetable scraps and coffee grounds from the kitchen, snack bar, and coffee bars. The pre-consumer compost is picked up along with post consumer approximately twice a week. All reusable wares at cafes and vendors around campus are compostable as well.


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:

Our partner Kitchen Harvest picks up food scraps and all compostable content from dorms, academic buildings, dining halls, and on-campus cafes. Additionally, all student food waste and napkin waste from the dining hall is collected for compost prior to the tray return


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:

We use melaminse plates and cups, ceramic mugs, and stainless flatware for dine in services.


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:

We have also rolled out a pilot program of the Ozzi reusable containers in the Spring 2020 semester (with 60 student participants) that has students swipe their IDs in exchange for a takeout container. To return the container, the student would then exchange the dirty container, swipe their IDs to process the return, and then be able to swipe in again for a new clean reusable takeout container or regular dine-in meal. At orientation, each student is also gifted a set of reusable bamboo utensils, cups, bowls, and plates that they are encouraged to use throughout their time at the institution.
All other single-use ware on campus is 100% compostable (hot drink cups, cold drink cups, plates, cup lids, straws, utensils).


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:

We offer a discount for using a reusable mug or glass at any of our cash operations centers. Individuals who bring their own reusable cup or mug at Kohlberg and Science Center coffee bars receive $0.10 off beverage purchase.


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

We sometimes work with Health Service and Athletics to support outreach for healthy eating. Our student-run late night cafe uses 100% compostable ware and has eliminated single-use straws in exchange for reusable metal straws.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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This data was assembled by representatives at the Office of Sustainability

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.