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-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Stephanie Denson
District Marketing Manager
Texas A&M Dining Services (Chartwells)
"---" 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:

Our published sustainable dining policy can be found on our website at www.dineoncampus.com/tamu/ under the Sustainability tab.

https://www.dineoncampus.com/tamu/sustainability


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:

At this time, our company is not able to source food from a campus garden/farm out of concern for health risks associated with unprotected farms/gardens.


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?:
Yes

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

Chartwells at Texas A&M University regularly hosts a Farmer's Market at least once per semester with an emphasis on local vendors.The Farmers Market event became an annual initiative on the campus in front of Sbisa Dining Hall. This event is bringing local farmers and retailers together to the Texas A&M campus for students. Chartwells at Texas A&M University regularly hosts a Farmer's Market with an emphasis on local vendors. The most recent market took place on March 21.


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:

Our website lists all available vegan options broken up by each dining facility on campus. To be labeled as Vegan, foods do not contain any animal products at all. This includes honey, eggs, dairy products of any kind, chicken, seafood, beef, ham or any other animal stock or base. There are no calorie or other nutrition limits on these foods. You may use recipes from any source for these foods.
In our dining halls, we have provided “Webtrition Kiosks”. These are an Online Compass tool our guests use for nutritional and dietary information on the menu being served. A guest has the ability to walk up to these tablet kiosks and view all nutritional information for each item on the menu. They can also see the items containing allergens, vegan and vegetarian items, as well as “better for U” recommended items. From there, they have the ability to build their menu by choosing the portion of each item they will be placed on their plate. The kiosk will then summarize total nutrition facts for the meal that they have built and any allergens they may have chosen. Students can also use the Dine On Campus app to check ingredients for items across campus.


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:

We host Superfood Tuesdays weekly in our Dining Halls that highlight composed salads containing the superfood of the month (pumpkin, applies, beets, avocado, etc.) These do not include meat.


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:

Every Thursday we are doing "Fresh Market Thursdays" where we are offering local and seasonal produce in our dining halls. This includes watermelon, butternash squash, and more.


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 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:

Chartwells has incorporated large oversized infographics, posters, and sustainability-focused digital screens that are dedicated to educating our students about low impact food choices and sustainability practices. On our waste dispensers, we have also created graphics that teach students the difference between recyclable waste, compost materials, and trash (MSC Food Court).


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:

Our Project Clean Plate campaign allowed students to learn and interact with our team to learn about food waste. Also, our Farmers Market allows local vendors to interact with the student body about sustainable eating.
Love Food No Waste campaign is composed of four key areas of waste related to food service: Food Waste, Water, Energy, and Packaging. Each area addresses ways that our staff and guests can impact the amount of waste they produce by encouraging them to change their behavior. Love Food Not Waste will not only bring attention to the environmental concerns but also to the costs that can be saved by making a few simple changes.
Since fall 2017, Texas A&M University is maintaining the status of Fair Trade Campaigns university. That means that we have at least two Fair Trade Certified purchasable items at our dining locations. Fair Trade Campaigns recognize universities who maintain Fair Trade practices, equity in trade, and create opportunities for economically and socially marginalized producers. We also hold 4 educational events about Fair Trade each semester.


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:

Kosher food is made available to our students.
Our dietician, Chanika Moses, works with the University's dietician to host weekly health & wellness events. We also partake in the University's Health & Wellness Fair, give away samples of sustainable and healthy food options, as well as providing educational opportunities throughout the year.
We promote sustainable dining at Texas Arbor Day in November on the campus and Campus Sustainability Day in October.
In order to educate students about Fair Trade practices, we host multiple Fair Trade events throughout the academic year at dining halls. We serve Fair Trade Certified coffee.


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:

Project Clean Plate is a campaign that helps students to set food waste reduction goals in the dining hall on campus and provides proven cause-and-effect solutions. Communications materials in the dining hall speak to students about portion control and their part in addressing the problem of food waste. Food waste from students is collected in the dining hall, weighed on a scale, and is assigned a value. Project Clean Plate is once a semester for 3 days in Sbisa Dining Hall. Chartwells also uses a program called Waste Not to track waste throughout campus.


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:

In 2008-2009, Chartwells’ resident dining operations instituted a trayless dining program to reduce waste and conserve energy. All halls are tray-free.


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:

Partners with Food Recovery Network to donate leftovers to Twin City Missions weekly at Duncan Dining Hall.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
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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:

Chartwells has recyclable and compostable disposables to minimize the impact our disposable products have on the environment. When choosing disposable products, Chartwells considers two issues: source and biodegradability. We offer biodegradable consumer food packaging, plates, and utensils made from compostable materials such as bamboo and corn. We help support client efforts to establish capture systems by partnering with sustainable waste management and/or recycling service companies. Units must properly identify receptacle so that the compostable disposables are properly disposed of for the collection of composting.


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:

-We help support efforts to establish capture systems by partnering with sustainable waste management and/or recycling service companies. Units must properly identify receptacle so that the compostable disposables are properly disposed of for collection for composting. We utilize Waste Not for composting as well.


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:

In Rev's and Smashburger, we provide reusable baskets to our customers. In the dining halls, reusable service ware is used.


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:

In places that are more "grab and go" such as Copperhead Jack's and the MSC food court, we offer biodegradable consumer food packaging, plates, and utensils made from compostable, plant-based materials such as bamboo and corn.


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:

At Einstein's bagels, customers are awarded a discount if they bring their own coffee mugs. Our contractors like Starbucks offer discounts on reusable cups that students may choose to bring to stores.


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:

We work with our grab & go vendors to utilize sustainable packaging for our Jack & Olive program.


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