Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.85
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 11, 2020

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.10 / 6.00 Stephanie Denson
District Marketing Manager
Texas A&M Dining Services (Chartwells)
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of total annual food and beverage expenditures on products that are sustainably or ethically produced:

Percentage of total annual food and beverage expenditures on plant-based foods:

An inventory of food and beverage purchases that qualify as sustainably/ethically produced:
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 purchasing data for the last academic school year for Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. Due to the extreme differences in our overall annual purchasing due to COVID-19, we pulled data from a sample taking into account seasonal availability. This included both October 2019 and February 2020. Since we cut 90% of our operations in mid-March, analyzing these two specific months will provide a much more accurate representation of our purchasing for a normal academic year.

We obtained the raw purchasing data from our FoodBuy partners. We pulled reports for October 2019 and February 2020 each. We filtered the Item Category columns to only include Food & Beverage purchases (i.e. excluding uniforms, equipment, etc.) We then inserted additional columns of Sustainable Attributes, Third Party Verified, & Plant-Based Foods. We categorized each remaining item and researched a) if it had a specific sustainable attribute and b) it is was plant-based. After this system was completed, we calculated the Total Spend column in each spreadsheet to gather the total purchasing that is now attached to this submission.

Website URL where the institution’s validated Real/Good Food Calculator results are publicly posted:

Which of the following food service providers are present on campus and included in the inventory/assessment?:
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., regional or global brands) Yes Yes
Convenience stores Yes Yes
Vending services No No
Concessions No No

Total annual dining services budget for food and beverage products:
$10 million or more

A brief description of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchasing program:

For the Fall 2019 - Spring 2020 academic year, our dining program achieved the goal of having at least 30% of our paper purchases contain post-consumer recycled content.

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.

Website URL where information about the food and beverage purchasing program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.