|Submission Date||March 4, 2021|
University of California, Berkeley
OP-8: Sustainable Dining
|2.00 / 2.00||
Environment Initiatives Coordinator
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?:
A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
The UC Gill Tract Community Farm is a collaborative community project between the University of California Berkeley and the local community, focused on issues of food justice and urban farming. It is located in Albany, CA, at the corner of San Pablo Ave and Marin Ave. It is an urban farm where you can come and harvest food for yourself and your family in exchange for help with weeding, planting, and watering; it aims to supply fresh organic food to anyone who lacks access to it in our East Bay communities.
The UC Gill Tract Community Farm is one of the increasing number of urban agriculture and alternative sustainable food systems worldwide that exist to develop innovative local solutions to social, environmental and economic injustices. Community members are working with representatives of UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources to create a stewardship council that will jointly govern the land as we learn about, research, and address food needs in the East Bay region and beyond.
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 support disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through its food and beverage purchasing?:
A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
When possible, we prioritize working with small businesses that are women or minority- owned. We started to track this spend within our annual reporting. Some examples of companies are Mi Rancho, SF Soup, Californa Lavash, Monsoon Kitchen and Coke Farms
Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:
Hosted plant- forward recipe challenge to promot plant- forward options and challenge chefs to creating delicious plant- forward recipes. Internal goals encourage plant- forward menu development.
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 inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labelling and signage in dining halls?:
A brief description of the sustainability labelling and signage in dining halls:
Carbon emissions labels indicate recipes that are low, medium, and high carbon. Icons were added to dining hall and online menus.
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 Replate, 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, Replate, to pick up overproduced foods after each meal. Last fiscal year, we donated over 30,000 pounds of food to people in need. We prioritize having our donations delivered to the campus food pantries.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:
A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
We recycle used cooking oil to biodiesel.
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 work with a large vermicomposting bin student project on campus and provide them with pre- consumer food scraps. Other scraps are collected with the post- consumer waste with the campus compost program.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the post-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 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.
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.
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?:
A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
We offer a 50 cent discount if you bring your reusable mug. We also have a stamp card program in which your fifth coffee in a reusable mug is free.
A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
The information in this field was provided by Cal 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.