Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.35
Liaison Mo Lovegreen
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Santa Barbara
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jewel Snavely
Campus Sustainability Coordinator, TGIF Grants Manager
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:

We have UC systemwide policy on Sustainable Foodservices (http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3100155/SustainablePractices) which states that "each campus and Medical Center foodservice operation shall strive to procure 20% sustainable food products by the year 2020, while maintaining accessibility and affordability for all students and Medical Center foodservice patrons."


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:

The Gaucho U Farmers Market, originally started by a group of staff (and still run by volunteer staff and students) is an avenue for staff, students, faculty, and the local community to access fresh, locally grown produce and artisan goods. We will bring together all facets of sustainability, helping to educate the UCSB community on healthy eating and living.


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:

UCSB Dining Commons offers students complete-protein vegan options. Our mission is to promote a healthy lifestyle and increase an innovative variety of high quality, fresh, and seasonal plant-based meal options to our students. In order to assist students with dietary preferences, the University uses NetNutrition. NetNutrition is an online dietary tool that allows individuals to view nutritional information about items and filter food-based dietary preferences, such as vegan or vegetarian, by dining location. For those pursing a vegan diet, there are vegan options for every meal in all on-campus dining commons.
UCSB's NetNutrition:
http://netnutrition.housing.ucsb.edu


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:

Residential Dining Services offers Green Mondays at three of our all you care to eat dining commons. During Green Monday, a vegetarian menu is served all day at one dining common. Green Mondays rotate to a different dining common each month and only one dining common is offering a Green Monday menu at a time. See more at: http://www.housing.ucsb.edu/dining/nutrition-blog/green-monday#sthash.4nZL9Xjk.dpuf


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:

Our dining services sponsors several annual events focused on sustainability and nutrition education including: Earth Day, Green Mondays, Nutrition Week, Sustainable Seafood Day, and Sustainability Week.


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:

Root 217 is UCSB's sustainable food unit on campus; it focuses on food made from local, fresh and natural ingredients.


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:

We have signage/labels in our dining commons for local and organic food choices.


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:

One of the ways the dining commons engage in outreach efforts is with its Dining Commons Internship Program. Student interns participate in several outreach projects; some of them include Sustainability Week, a week-long celebration focusing on sustainable efforts where tablers in the dining commons educate students about sustainable food initiatives; Seafood Day, a program where students are educated about the Dining Service's sustainable seafood program and importance of purchasing sustainable fish; and Earth Day, a program where students learn about a climate-friendly diet.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:
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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:

To reduce food waste, UCSB cooks from scratch and also purchases in bulk, but it ensures that the items are used before their expiration date and that too much food is never bought too far in advance. When possible, ingredients are used in multiple meals. For example, chicken bones and vegetables trimmings are used to make stocks. UCSB also composts all of its pre-consumer food waste, ensuring that it is not sent to the landfill but is re-purposed as compost instead.


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:

In fall quarter of the 2009-2010 school year, Residential Dining removed trays from all four dining commons. The dining commons on campus are each labeled as a "Trayless Dining Facility" and do not provide students the option of using a tray. Since removing trays from dining facilities, UCSB has seen a 54% reduction in post consumer food waste and a 37% average savings of total waste overall. There has been a reduction of approximately 2,400,000 pounds in solid waste. The amount of wasted food found on trays also went from 6 oz down to less than 3 oz. Further reductions included saving ~1,000,000 gallons/year of water, and chemical use from washing trays was also reduced substantially. Additionally, all trays were donated to various facilities, including schools, the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, and UCSB Life Science and Biology labs. The total number of trays donated was 3,952. Food cost savings have allowed new sustainable programs to be implemented. Residential Dining was able to implement the purchasing of 100% Certified Fair Trade Coffee and 100% Certified Humane Cage Free Eggs in all Dining Commons.


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 University of California, Santa Barbara, Residential Dining Services actively donates leftover and surplus food products to local food banks and the Rescue Mission. UCSB also has an on-campus food bank, Associated Students Food Bank.


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:

Residential Dining Services diverts used cooking oil from the landfill. Used cooking oil is picked up weekly and used to create 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:

The University of California, Santa Barbara's Residential Dining Services composts 100% of pre-consumer food waste in all dining commons. Approximately 36,000 pounds of food waste (pre and post) is composted per week. On the academic side of campus, the UCen operations composts all pre-consumer food waste, and post-consumer compost is available to the UCSB Community near the food service entities.
In response to the large amounts of pre-consumer and post-consumer food scraps generated at UCSB, as well as the recent introduction of compostable foodservice ware, UCSB worked diligently with MarBorg Industries and Engle & Gray to establish a new waste stream on campus for compostables and food scraps. All of the UCen’s eateries participate in this program, as well as several of the leased tenants. Post-consumer compost receptacles are strategically located throughout campus and are serviced by Associated Students Recycling.


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:

The University California, Santa Barbara's Residential Dining Commons composts 90% of all post consumer waste. Additionally, 100% of the waste oil (all frying oil used in cooking) is purchased by a biodiesel company, Biodiesel Industries, and converted into cleaner burning biodiesel fuel used in vehicles.
In response to the large amounts of pre-consumer and post-consumer food scraps generated at UCSB, as well as the recent introduction of compostable foodservice ware, UCSB worked diligently with MarBorg Industries and Engle & Gray to establish a new waste stream on campus for compostables and food scraps. All of the UCen’s eateries participate in this program, as well as several of the leased tenants. Post-consumer compost receptacles are strategically located throughout campus and are serviced by Associated Students Recycling.


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:

The University Center (UCen) staff has made a campus-wide policy that all food entities leasing space from the UCen must provide compostable food service ware. This mandate was added to the contracts for tenants interested in leasing and only applies to new, future contracts.
Additionally, dining commons at UCSB provide reusable service ware for "dine in" meals, with the exception of trays, which the University no longer provides. For to-go meals (offered at one dining commons), the dining common provides a reusable container.


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:

The University of California, Santa Barbara provides diners with reusable containers for to-go food at the Courtyard and Coral Tree Cafes. Diners can buy the Eco-Clamshells Reusable Containers in place of styrofoam containers with their meal and subsequently exchange rinsed, used containers for sanitized ones with the next meal purchase. Customers who use the Eco-Clamshells also receive a $0.10 discount on their meal. Additionally, the University Center offers reusable containers for to-go food. No discount is provided at this time.


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:

The University of California, Santa Barbara provides diners with reusable mugs at the University Center. Diners using reusable mugs receive a twenty-five cent discount. Customers can also bring in their own drinking vessel and receive a 10 cent discount. Additionally, Residential Dining Commons permit and welcome reusable mugs brought in by customers.


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:

UCSB's Dining Services minimize waste through the following practices:
- Practicing tray-less dining to reduce food waste, water waste, and energy use
- Recycling all cooking oil waste for use as biodiesel fuel
- Cooking from scratch in small batches to reduce waste
- Buying in bulk to reduce waste from packaging and minimize the frequency of product deliveries
- Creating a paperless environment by providing up-to-the-minute information through the DigiKnow network
- Promoting Zero-Waste events for Special Events Catering & Concessions.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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