Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.59
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Irvine
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.64 / 6.00 Liz Mascarena
Marketing Manager
UCI Dining
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of total annual food and beverage expenditures on products that are sustainably or ethically produced:
11.01

Percentage of total annual food and beverage expenditures on plant-based foods:
32.71

An inventory of food and beverage purchases that qualify as sustainably/ethically produced:
A brief description of the methodology used to conduct the inventory, including the timeframe and how representative samples accounted for seasonal variation (if applicable):

UCI has provided the food and beverage purchasing inventory for January 2019 – December 2019. Calculations are completed by compiling a list of yearly food and beverage purchases and determining whether each item is considered sustainable or conventional. 

Through Aramark’s new Open Fields system, invoices for all dining locations can be selected and scanned for classification under any of the AASHE STARS 2.2 list of applicable third-party verified products. A report is generated summarizing the percent and total spend of sustainable products that are either sustainably/ethically produced or plant based, to meet this year’s criteria. Any products not recorded in the generated report are deemed conventional and are used toward the sum of total spend. Each item generated on the list is verified by our Sustainability Coordinator by researching the product’s list of sustainable certifications and list of ingredients, if potentially plant-based.


Website URL where the institution’s validated Real/Good Food Calculator results are publicly posted:
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Which of the following food service providers are present on campus and included in the inventory/assessment?:
Present? Included?
Dining operations and catering services operated by the institution Yes Yes
Dining operations and catering services operated by a contractor Yes Yes
Student-run food/catering services No No
Franchises (e.g., regional or global brands) Yes Yes
Convenience stores Yes Yes
Vending services Yes No
Concessions Yes Yes

Total annual dining services budget for food and beverage products:
$5 million - $9.9 million

A brief description of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchasing program:

- UCI Dining/Aramark has expanded the number of plant-based and plant-forward menu items to accommodate the estimated 3,600 students (~10% of UC Irvine’s campus) who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. As a result of our efforts, 200 new plant-forward dishes have been added to our current menu, and 30% of our menu items are vegan/vegetarian-friendly. 

- Planteatery, a new dining location on campus, is located near the university’s busiest areas for students in order to provide accessibility to even more plant-based offerings; while continuing to purchase and provide certified organic produce to meet the university’s criteria for all residential dining salad bars.

- We collaborate with produce vendors to source local foods from within 250 miles of the campus. Our Produce Company (our primary produce vendor) sends us a weekly list called a “hot sheet” that indicates what produce is locally sourced. Our Executive Chefs, sous chefs and teams then work these items into our menu mix where appropriate.

- All seafood purchases meet the Monterey Bay Aquarium guidelines for sustainable seafood.

- We are proud to be the 51st Fair Trade university in the nation! All coffee products purchased for Residential dining and our Java City Coffee locations are Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance certified, organic or a combination of two or more of these categories.

- All eggs served on campus are cage-free and have been since 2010.


Website URL where information about the food and beverage purchasing program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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UCI has provided the food and beverage purchasing inventory for January 2019 – December 2019.

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.