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

STARS v2.2

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 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:

Yes, the University has a CSA called the Howdy Farm (http://tamuhowdyfarm.weebly.com) that sells locally grown items at the Brazos Valley Farmers Market each Saturday. Chartwells at Texas A&M University no longer is able to host Farmers Markets on campus each semester due to the University's Concessions rule that does not allow outside vendors to sell items on campus. We are currently working with Administration to get this reinstated as soon as possible.


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:

Yes, we support and purchase from these SMEs:
Slow Dough https://www.slowdoughbreadco.com/
- Providing for these locations on campus: 2 Houston Street Subs locations, Rev's American Grill, Pavilion Grill, Creekside Market, Azimuth Cafe, and Vet Med Cafe/
- Scarmardo's: local produce vendor for campus-wide dining outlets. https://www.scarmardofoods.com/
- Kolache Rolf's http://www.kolacherolfs.com/
We purchase local kolaches from this business for these locations: Azimuth Cafe, The Market at Lamar Street, 41st Club, Vet Med Cafe, Pavilion Grill, and all 3 Dining Halls (Commons, Sbisa, & Duncan)


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
24

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:

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.
We also serve Impossible Meat & plant-based protein options (Portobello mushrooms, falafels, etc.) at these locations: all 3 dining halls, Rev's American Grill and Rev's Express, Pavilion Grill, and two Houston Street Subs.


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.
We have Menu Identifiers inside Dining Halls and on retail menus to label Vegan items. Students can also use the Dine On Campus app to check ingredients for vegan labeled items across campus.


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:

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 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:

Yes, we have worked with Twin City Missions to donate left over food on campus https://www.twincitymission.org/. Because the Food Recovery Network student group is no longer a part of campus, we are working with Twin City Mission to set up a regular pick up program that will qualify this next year for Food Recovery Network.


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:

Yes, we work with Brazos Valley Recycling utilizing yellow barrels to collect post-consumer food waste that can be converted to animal feed.
https://www.bigcompany.com/waste-recycling/


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. For this past academic year, we've met our goal of having 30% of our total paper products be composed of biodegradable materials.


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 all 30+ retail outlets, 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 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.


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

Kosher food is made available to our students.
Our dietician, Chanika Moses, works with the University's dietician to host 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.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs 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.