|Submission Date||March 3, 2023|
OP-8: Sustainable Dining
|2.00 / 2.00||
Associate Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
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:
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
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:
We continue to donate unused food product to nearby soup kitchens and the Salvation Army. In our Dining Center and campus retail locating, we purchase several products from local vendors. The College's catering policy also supports local small businesses, including minority and women-owned enterprises.
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:
The New Dining Center serves several plant-forward options during all meal periods. On a daily basis we serve vegan and/or vegetarian options at our dedicated vegetarian service platform. Additionally, there is a daily vegetarian option at the soup, pizza, grill and allergy-free platforms.
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 venues offer a full vegan protein at every meal. Vegetarian pizza, soup, and entrees are served at several platforms. The "Verdant and Vegan" service platform is our dedicated Vegan/Vegetarian station in the Dining Center. There are vegan meal options available daily from this location.
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:
Signage in the Dining Center 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?:
A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
We continue to compost food waste. In the Dining Center, we have a Pulper which extracts water from food waste and grinds it to a compostable material
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:
The new Dining Center is trayless.
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:
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?:
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?:
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 processed through a pulper, and picked up along with post consumer approximately twice a week. All single-use 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?:
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?:
A brief description of the reusable service ware program:
We use melamine serviceware and stainless steel 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)?:
A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
All take out containers are compostable, To-go silverware is made from wood. We continue to provide reusable take out containers for all students who are interested. Beginning in 2023 we will be going to all reusable take out containers.
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:
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. Students who participate in our reusable takeout container receive 2 free takeout containers for their use free of charge.
A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
We sometimes work with Health Services and Athletics to support outreach for healthy eating. Employees can also make appointments with nutritionists.
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:
This data was assembled by representatives at the Office of Sustainability and the Dining Services team.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.