Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.58
Liaison Derek Nichols
Submission Date Dec. 14, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University at Buffalo
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jeff Brady
Assistant Director of Dining Services
Campus Dining & Shops
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
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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:

Wellness Education services is partnered with Becker Farms to offer their CSA program. Shares offered in a small or large quantity are dropped off on our North campus at Furnas Hall, weekly.

In addition to the CSA program, our Residence Hall Association hosts an annual farmers market which promotes healthy eating, sustainability and community.


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:

Campus Dining and Shops offers meals at all dining facilities that are labeled vegan and vegetarian. We also employ a rotating menu featuring different food themes with each day of the week, Indian themed meals are largely vegan and vegetarian.


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:

The 'Clean Platters' and 'Waste Less' events are a couple examples of UB low impact dining initiatives on campus. We also have an ugly vegetable and produce event to show students that Quality B foods are still good to eat,


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:

We have a number of Local Harvest events featuring New York State food growers, producers and manufacturers. More information about our local food sources can be found at www.myubcard.com/sustain.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:

There are four 'Made In/Grown In' vending machines on campus. These machines feature only New York State grown, produced, or manufactured products. These products can also be found in several places across campus labeled with our 'Made In/ Grown In' icon.

Additionally, Seasons in the Center for the Arts offers breakfast, lunch and healthy snacks which all feature organic produce. Seasons also offers fresh pressed juices made from organic fruits and vegetables.


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:

In three of our larger dining halls we have large signs representing all of our local New York State food providers. These sources are listed and also shown on a map to visualize different origins around the state. There are also signs in the buffet-style halls advocating for students to "eat with your stomach, not your eyes".


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:

'Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab' is a research group through the School of Architecture and Planning that has a scope within and beyond the immediate Western New York region. Focusing on issues of inequality in the Global South (more specifically, South Asia (India)) and how they are related to community health and food systems.


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:

Each October, UB participates in the New York Campus Crunch. The Campus Crunch is a state-wide celebration of local food on college campuses. Students, faculty and staff across New York State take a bite out of a New York State-grown apple to affirm their commitment to food that is healthy for people and the planet. This fun event takes place in the Student Union, on the assigned day, and a countdown occurs to ensure the "big crunch" simultaneously occurs at 12 pm.


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:

UB Campus Dining and Shops uses Food Service Suite (FSS). Similar to Lean Path, FSS offers food management through data tracking. We can manage ingredients and recipes, track food allergens, production schedules, and track all food waste.


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 Residential Dining Centers are trayless.


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:

Campus Dining and Shops which operates all food operations on campus support the Food Bank of western NY with perishable food items that would otherwise go to waste.

Campus Dining and Shops also partners with Student Engagement for non-perishable food collection from students.


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:

Used cooking oil is recycled into biodiesel by a local company, Buffalo 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:

UB collects all pre-consumer food waste from Campus Dining and Shop facilities.

In 2010, UB Campus Dining & Shops launched an aggressive composting strategy designed to reduce food waste from dining centers.

Today, about 60% of all on campus food waste is processed by two on decomposer machines which transform everyday refuse—onion skins, egg shells, chicken bones—into a soil amendment for gardening.

The remaining 40% of food waste is sent to Natural Upcycling--a local processor.


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:

UB collects post-consumer food waste in most dine-in facilities.

Today, about 60% of all on campus food waste is processed by two on decomposer machines which transform everyday refuse—onion skins, egg shells, chicken bones—into a soil amendment for gardening.

The remaining 40% of food waste is sent to Natural Upcycling--a local processor.


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:

Reusable china, glassware, and silverware are used at dine-in eating locations.


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:

Many resident and retail dining locations use paper based tableware, UB has eliminated Styrofoam from all UB-operated dining locations on campus.


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:

We offer a 10% discount on a soda or coffee refill made in a Campus Dining & Shops mug.


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)?:
No

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Information provided by Ray Kohl

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.