Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 38.83
Liaison James Vollrath
Submission Date Dec. 16, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas State University, San Marcos
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 James Vollrath
Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

• Committing to Cage-Free: Our internally owned procurement company, Foodbuy, partners with suppliers who are able to implement and adhere to our cage-free policies for both shell eggs and liquid eggs.
• rBGH-Free Milk and Yogurt: As part of our collective commitment to health and wellness, Compass Group USA only buys milk that comes from cows that have been certified to be free of the artificial growth hormone rBGH (also known as RBST).
• Reducing Antibiotic Use in Poultry: Compass Group USA is proud to lead the food service industry with groundbreaking policies that reduce the use of antibiotics in chicken, turkey, and pork. Our contracted suppliers only provide products that adhere to specific criteria developed in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund.
• Sustainable and Ecological Coffees: Compass Group USA partners with suppliers who provide certified sustainable coffees. This ensures that fair trade and other eco-certified coffee is readily available in our supply chain.
• Sustainable Seafood Supply Chain: In collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, Compass Group USA has developed purchasing standards for sustainably sourced seafood.


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:
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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:

Texas State Dining hosts a farmers market two to three times a year during the university's Market Days event in the Quad. We have also donated and served food and beverages during the largest campus community service event, Bobcat Build.


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?:
No

A brief description of the vegan dining program:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
No

A brief description of the low impact dining events:
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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 year we host an Earth Day event encouraging students and faculty to try a plant-based meal/lifestyle.


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:

Our purchasing commitments and locally sourced farms are listed and labeled in Commons, Harris, and Jones dining centers.


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:

Every April, during Earth Month, our team reaches out to several on-campus student organizations that we partner with to engage students and educate on how they can positively impact the environment. In addition, Bobcat Blend's primary mission is education.


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:

Bobcat Bounty is a food distribution program on campus that hands out free food to low-income students and community members every Thursday. The program is run in conjunction with the Hays County Food Bank.


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:

Our dining services partners with Food Recovery Network to distribute unused food that is unsold to low-income communities at the end of each week. All of our internal retail concepts and our resident dining facilities participate in Waste Not, a food waste reduction and prevention program conducted in each respective kitchen.


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:

Our entire campus is trayless. We also only purchase and use Styrofoam free or compostable packaging in our internal retail concepts.


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:

At the end of every semester or break, any unused food that will go to waste during the off-period is donated to our local food bank or on-campus student pantry. We also partner with the Food Recovery Network Texas State chapter to collect and donate any unused food in our retail locations to local low-income communities.


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

Our dining services regularly purchases produce identified as Imperfectly Delicious Produce from our produce supplier. Imperfectly Delicious Produce is a program that utilizes non 'retail' Grade A fruits and vegetables that have slight cosmetic imperfections. This produce is typically left unharvested in the field or discarded but it would be perfectly suitable for cooking. Cosmetically perfect produce is not essential for food service operations. Our chefs slice and dice the produce so flavor and quality are most important. Through the program, we engage with our distributors and farmers to identify opportunities to rescue product from going to waste. We also utilize Restaurant Technologies to convert used cooking oil to biodiesel.


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:

Our dining services partners with an on-campus student organization called Bobcat Blend, which collects all of our organic food waste from our dining halls and converts it into compost. Bobcat Blend is an award-winning student education and composting operation at Texas State University Department of Agriculture. The project combines food waste and cardboard from campus dining halls, paper packaging materials, and invasive plant species gathered from the San Marcos River. Composting bins are located in dining areas near the waste bins. Serving as a model program for sustainable practices and organic farming, "Bobcat Blend" emphasizes education through lectures, tours, and volunteer opportunities.


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:

Our dining services partners with an on-campus student organization called Bobcat Blend, which collects all of our organic food waste from our dining halls and converts it into compost. Bobcat Blend is an award-winning student education and composting operation at Texas State University Department of Agriculture. The project combines food waste and cardboard from campus dining halls, paper packaging materials, and invasive plant species gathered from the San Marcos River. Composting bins are located in dining areas near the waste bins. Serving as a model program for sustainable practices and organic farming, "Bobcat Blend" emphasizes education through lectures, tours, and volunteer opportunities.


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:

All of our dining halls utilize silverware and plateware that are washed and reused after use.


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:

We also offer an Eco-To Go Container in Commons Dining Hall for students who want to take their meal to go.


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?:
No

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
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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 partner with RTI to convert used oil to biodiesel, reduce packaging waste, reduce carbon emissions from deliveries and disposal waste. We also partner with NuCO2 to install a larger CO2 tank to reduce the amount of deliveries for CO2 which will reduce the amount of carbon emissions from deliveries.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Info provided by Chartwells Dining - Texas State's dining hall contractor.

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.