|Submission Date||March 2, 2018|
University of California, Berkeley
OP-8: Sustainable Dining
STARS Assessment Fellow (ERG)
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
The UC office of the President's Sustainable Practices Policy (food policy listed in section H pg.24-26) is available at http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3100155/Sustainable%20Practices.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
The Clark Kerr Garden is comprised of six raised beds, four converted lawns and two orchards. The space is managed by full-time gardener Susanne Weisman along with the Cal Dining Sustainability Team Garden Coordinators and committed volunteers. Produce that is not delivered to the dining halls is donated to the Berkeley Food Pantry.
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?:
A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
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?:
A brief description of the vegan dining program:
We offer vegan options at all dining locations. Vegetarian and vegan options are provided at every platform serving meat. We participated in the Humane Society's Forward Food Culinary Training, and every person on our culinary team participated in a two-day intensive course.
Whenever possible, we try to infuse global flavors into our dishes. Many of the popular plant-forward menu options are globally- inspired. Some popular menu options include:
• Flipped plate, browns
• Heirloom bean bowl
• Tofu scrambles
• Mediterranean Bar, featuring a variety of dips and spreads with pita and vegetables • Kamut Jambalaya
• Fava Bean Pancakes
• Avocado Chocolate Mousse
• Vegan ‘crab cake’ sandwiches
• Veggie pizza
• Vegetable Chowmein
• Saffron scented couscous
• Roasted root vegetable blend
• Vegan Pozole Soup
• Lentil stew
• Black bean tacos
• Pasta with Lentil Bolognese Sauce
• Roasted Veggie Quesadilla
• Vegetable Vindaloo
• Vegetable wraps
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
A brief description of the low impact dining events:
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:
During most theme meals, we offer locally grown produce and plant-forward menus as standard practice. We promote plant-based dining and prioritize locally raised poultry when serving meat. Sustainability students sample sustainably sourced and plant-based foods. On food day and Earth Day, all ingredients we serve are sourced within 250 miles of the campus and we shut down stations with processed foods including the cereal bars and soda fountains.
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
Brown's California Cafe showcases Cal Dining's commitment to sustainable and local foods. Brown’s opened with the goal of serving food that is delicious, nutrient-dense and environmentally friendly. Over 80% of the ingredients are sourced locally from within 250 miles of the UC Berkeley campus and 90% of the ingredients used are either locally grown or certified by a third party for sustainable practices. By design, Brown’s menu encourages students to eat a more plant-forward, seasonal diet. For example, guests can order the “flipped plate” and will be served two portions of vegetable dishes and a smaller portion of meat. In addition, Brown’s has adopted a “roots to leaves” philosophy, utilizing as much of the ingredients as possible to reduce food waste. In addition, to cut back on waste as well as sugar, the only bottled beverages sold at Brown’s are 100 percent juice or milk. A hydration station offers plain or sparkling water.
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:
Mini chalkboards are present at every platform serving specific third-party certified ingredients.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:
The Cal Dining sustainability team provides peer-to-peer education throughout the dining locations. Tablings provide games, activities and sustainable food samples to draw students into learning about how their food choices can impact the planet. Our education and outreach efforts focus on fair trade, humane animal treatment, sustainable seafood, purchasing from small farms, labor practices in the food system, reducing food and solid waste, plant-based eating and more. A chalkboard at the entrance of each dining hall is updated weekly with a new fact about sustainability. We also have signage, interactive bulletin boards, prizes and Instagram messaging. The Clark Kerr Garden provides students with a space to learn how to grow their own food.
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)?:
A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:
We host special events in which we honor different cultures and holidays. We include information about mindful eating within our outreach.
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?:
A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
We use Copia, a service that picks up our overproduced food and donates it to local nonprofits. We donate our overproduced foods after every meal so we are able to get accurate weights on how much food is being overproduced. We track other spoilage and loss on paper logs and record the information in our menu management system, Eatec. We use the information to review our ordering and production practices.
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?:
A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:
We do not offer trays in the dining hall. We reduced the size of our plates and bowls to encourage customers to serve themselves less food.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
A brief description of the food donation program:
We use a food recovery service, Copia, to pick up overproduced foods after each meal. Last year, we donated over 30,000 pounds of food to people in need. We prioritize having our donations delivered to SPARR (Student Parent Association for Recruitment & Retention)'s pantry or to the campus food pantry. We have reduced overproduction by 35% since starting the food donation program.
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)?:
A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
We have a three-bin system in all of our kitchens in which we collect compostable food, paper and other organic waste. We have also implemented a pre-consumer food waste reduction initiative using the program LeanPath. Cal Dining’s LeanPath Pre-Consumer Waste Reduction System won a Best Practice Award at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. Employees use a scale and touch screen terminals to weigh and log information on food waste. The team uses data summaries to identify areas generating the most waste and can then work to reduce that waste. The program has enabled Cal Dining to cut down their pre-consumer food waste by 33% so far. Cal Dining also received a “Waste Reduction Excellence in Institutional Food Service” award from StopWaste.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:
We collect post consumer waste at the dish return and have the three-bin system including recycling, compost, and landfill available for customers at all retail outlets. Our policy is to compost all food waste and donate or reuse leftovers where possible.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:
Post-consumer waste is composted in bins located in each of the dining commons and outside of the retail facilities.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:
A brief description of the reusable service ware program:
We offer reusable service ware for the all-you-care-to-eat facilities but not for our campus restaurants.
Cal Dining’s “Chews to Reuse” team developed a program that lets students take food to-go in reusable containers. The team developed a system for students to dispose of their used containers and pick up clean ones and everyone from cashiers to dishwashers did their part to make the program work. During the pilot phase, 82% of those who took meals to-go used Chews to Reuse containers instead of compostable containers.
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)?:
A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
We prioritize packaging materials that are BPI certified compostable. We look for pulp-based products and use PLA products only as a back-up as our compost facility has a hard time breaking down PLA containers. We work with Cal Zero Waste to collect compost from all of our locations and deliver it to an industrial facility in Richmond. Our all-you-care-to-eat facilities offer a reusable to-go box option.
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?:
A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
We offer a 25 cent discount if you bring your reusable mug. We also have a stamp card program in which your 5th coffee in a reusable mug is free.
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)?:
A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
We build in waste reduction and packaging mandates into our contracts and bids. We prioritize using the largest pack sizes available. We work with vendors to switch products destined for the landfill i.e. we switched all of our tetrapak milk cartons to recyclable #2 plastic. We also worked with our produce supplier to apply for a grant to provide us with reusable pallet wrap and pallets.
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.