Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.15
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas A&M University
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.52 / 6.00 Stephanie Denson
District Marketing Manager
Texas A&M Dining Services (Chartwells)
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on products that are third party verified under one or more recognized food and beverage sustainability standards or Local & Community-Based:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (expenditures on conventional animal products)? (If data is not available, respond “No”):

Percentage of total dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional animal products (meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, and dairy products that do NOT qualify in either the Third Party Verified or Local & Community-Based category):

A brief description of the sustainable food and beverage purchasing program, including how the sustainability impacts of products in specific categories are addressed (e.g. meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, dairy, produce, tea/coffee):

Texas A&M University Dining’s approach to social responsibility and sustainability is tied to our overall Balanced U and FYUL (Fueling Your Unique Lifestyle) wellness programming across campus. Through a variety of innovative programs and policies, we work closely with the communities we serve to reduce the impact our operations have on the world around us. Our focus on recycling, resource conservation, and waste reduction not only helps us operate more efficiently, but it also lets us ensure that the resources we use today will be available for future generations. Our Balanced U Sustainability approach addresses four basic tenets of sustainable and socially responsible business practices. In detail, Chartwells only offers Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) certified cage-free shell eggs nationwide. In December 2007, Chartwells implemented a cage-free shell egg policy. All units are required to only offer shell eggs that are certified by the HFAC program in partnership with the Humane Society of America. We only serve chicken and turkey that has been produced with the restricted use of these drugs, especially as a growth additive in the feed. Our contracted suppliers are required to provide products that adhere to specific criteria developed in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund. Chartwells serves only fresh, fluid milk and fresh yogurt from cows that have been certified to be free of the artificial growth hormones rBGH/rBST. Chartwells is committed to protecting the threatened global fish supply. In collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, we established a landmark purchasing policy in 2006 that removes unsustainable wild and farmed seafood from our menus. We train our managers and chefs to build relationships with local farmers and produce distributors. To ensure food safety and traceability of local produce, purchasing is done through an approved produce distributor. Chartwells supports global sustainability through local action. We support these communities by partnering with local produce suppliers and encouraging good agricultural practices to provide quality produce, economic growth, and local community development. Responsible coffee production methods are certified in a variety of ways, including Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Shade Grown, Bird Friendly, Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices, UTZ and organic. We encourage our units to offer a responsible choice based on client and guest preference, and availability.

An inventory of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchases that includes for each product: the description/type; label, brand or producer; and the category in which it is being counted and/or a description of its sustainability attribute(s):
A brief description of the methodology used to conduct the inventory, including the timeframe and how representative samples accounted for seasonal variation (if applicable):

Our current inventory represents our purchasing data for the last academic school year from Fall 2017 until Summer 2018 for Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. We obtained our raw purchasing data from our FoodBuy partners and other food tracking purchasing databases like from local partners at Scarmardo. Based on the previous technique of a tracking program in Excel spreadsheets, we used the color-coding system. For example, the green color indicates our third-party verified purchasing, non-colored relates to purchases that would not apply to our STARS percentages calculations, the blue indicates that the purchases are local, and the yellow refers to other standards that are the third party verified with off list verifications like Non-GMO, B-Corp, RSPO Certified Palm Oil and rBGH dairy. After the system was completed, we calculated the inventory that is now attached to this submission.

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food A (0-100):

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food B (0-100):

Which of the following food service providers are present on campus and included in the total food and beverage expenditure figures?:
Present? Included?
Dining operations and catering services operated by the institution No No
Dining operations and catering services operated by a contractor Yes Yes
Student-run food/catering services No No
Franchises (e.g. national or global brands) Yes Yes
Convenience stores Yes Yes
Vending services No No
Concessions No No

A brief description of purchased food and beverage products that have other sustainability attributes not recognized above :

We have purchased thousands of dollars worth of product from B-Corporations and from companies whose products are certified by the NON-GMO project and grass fed or organic. We have included those purchases on the list because they add sustainable value to the dining experience.

Additional percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional products with other sustainability attributes not recognized above (0-100) :

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

We had 2 additional documents that we were not able to upload. Let us know how we can upload the additional inventory documents. Please contact Stephanie Denson, densons01@tamu.edu. Information for this section was supplied by Chartwells, a third-party contractor for Texas A&M University Dining.

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.