Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.34
Liaison Elida Erickson
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Clint Jeffries
Unit Manager
UC Santa Cruz Dining
"---" 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:
All UC Santa Cruz Dining locations have been awarded the Green Business certification by the City of Santa Cruz. We believe a successful business is dependent on a healthy environment and we are actively working to show our environmental responsibility. We utilize the Green Business certification requirements as a guiding policy.

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
Yes

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
The campus organic farm (first one in the country) grows produce specifically for dining. This includes potatoes, kale, strawberries, bell peppers, etc. that we utilize while in season. Every Friday at one of our five dining halls we promote farm produce with a Farm Friday dish.

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 campus farm hosts a farmers market four times per week at three locations. https://casfs.ucsc.edu/community/produce-sales/farm-and-garden-market-cart.html

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:
All dining halls offer vegetarian and vegan options daily for all meals. We have partnered with local plant based protein companies on increasing our vegan and vegetarian menu diversity. We have changed all mayonnaise to Just Mayo (vegan) offer vegan desserts, spreads, deli items, flat breads, etc.

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:
Farm Friday's highlighting local campus grown produce. Plant based meals offered on the hot line offered continuously during operation. We also have Fair Trade events.

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:
Farm Fridays, Sustainability themed "college" Nights. Local/organic tasting fair held during Earth Week. Office of Physical Education, Recreation and Sports (OPERS) Fest utilizes local and RFC focused ingredients.

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:
Cowell Coffee Shop for the Peoples, is a free retail outlet/pantry which gives dining donations, organic campus farm produce, locally produced organic meals, organic coffee etc. Also, Terra Fresca Restaurant, predominantly features local, organic, and sustainable 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:
All vegan items are labelled. We also label organic ingredients, farm ingredients, local ingredients, and have signage focusing on waste reduction.

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:
We have tabling events for Farm Fridays, general signage, dining website, and company and farmer profiles. We hold a local, organic, sustainable tasting fair once per year that the entire campus community is invited to attend. We also provide ongoing training to our staff and student employees.

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:
We have group of student ambassador's called "Foodies". Each of our five Foodie's have one of the following five foci: Health & Nutrition, Food Allergens, Vegan/Vegetarian, Sustainability and Cultural Food Diversity. We have a program that one of our Foodies created to bring more authentic ethnic dishes from around the world "Cultural Cuisine". We also offer Halal proteins at every meal at all locations including chicken and local sustainable beef. We offer Kosher style during Passover and are in the process of identifying ingredients we use that are Kosher since we are currently unable to have a designated Kosher kitchen. We just hired our first Nutrition Specialist to assist us in creating healthy sustainable options.

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:
We utilize our food management system to track how many portions of each menu item served. Our system then adjusts the projected production numbers for the next time this item comes up on the cycle at that location.

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 2008 the trays were removed from the dining halls, which has resulted in reducing overall waste by 35%, as well as reducing cleaning water usage by 1,000,000 gallons per year. We also promote taking samples of items to help reduce waste and conduct waste audits.

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:
Our retail locations donate all left over sushi, pastries, sandwiches, salads, etc. to the on campus pantry "Cowell Coffee Shop for the Peoples" daily. Our Catering Department donates left over items (pastries, hot food, sandwiches etc.) as well.

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:
Our waste fryer oil is turned into bio-diesel. Our compostable materials are run through an off site biodigester to create CNG prior to being wind rowed.

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:
Our composting partnership with Marina Waste Management helps us divert over 600 tons per year of both pre- and post-consumer food scraps from the landfill and turns it into nutrient-rich compost which is used to replenish the soil and grow more produce.

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:
Our composting partnership with Marina Waste Management helps us divert over 600 tons per year of both pre- and post-consumer food scraps from the landfill and turns it into nutrient-rich compost which is used to replenish the soil and grow more produce.

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:
All dine-in service ware is reusable in all five campus dining halls operated by Dining Services, including cutlery, plates and cups, bowls, etc. Dining's eco-club "to-go" program requires the purchase of a re-usable 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:
UCSC Dining initiated a reusable to-go container program in 2010-2011. Our retail locations use compostable to-go containers for to-go orders. https://dining.ucsc.edu/snack-to-go/index.html

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:
Our retail locations offer a discount for bringing their own mug for coffee.

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:
We work with our prime vendor and the University of California Office of the President strategic sourcing to ensure as little packaging is used as possible.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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