Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.77
Liaison Andrew Porter
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Cincinnati
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
1.88 / 2.00 Daniel Hart
Sustainability Coordinator
Planning + Design + Construction
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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?:
Yes

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:

Student leaders and Student Government have organized pop-up farmer’s markets on campus, beginning in the spring of 2017, and taking place at least once during the academic year. This student led initiative, known as UCFM (University of Cincinnati Farmers Market), works to provide local vendors with an outlet to sell fresh produce and artisanal made goods on campus. Urban Agriculture Project:

The UC Office of Sustainability facilitates an educational, organic agriculture located at 3310 Ruther Avenue. The site is multi-functional, as it is a site for building biodiversity and supporting urban ecology, an educational site, as UC Office of Sustainability staff facilitate environmental education with children at the adjacent Early Childhood Learning Center, and the produce from the site goes to the Bearcat Food Pantry, UC's food pantry for students, staff, and faculty who may be food insecure. More information about this site can be found via this link:

https://www.uc.edu/af/pdc/sustainability/campus_initiatives/landscape/uc_garden.html
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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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
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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?:
Yes

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:

As indicated in the inventory uploaded for OP7, $8,632 was spent last year on purchases from WBE's. UC does also prioritize relationships with vendors that are local SME's, but was not able to quantify the volume of those purchases for this year's submission.


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
10

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:

Two of our dining centers have a Vegan Station that exclusively serves plant-based meals; including a protein, grain, vegetable, soup, and dessert. We also host Meatless Monday’s at MarketPointe featuring an additional vegetarian item. Lastly, each year we host Earth Week in our dining centers. This event celebrates plant forward dining and sustainable dining practices- includes activities like DIY herb gardens, fruit kabob making, scrape your plate, vegan chocolate desserts.


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:

We have 2 vegan stations in our dining centers on campus. We have received an A+ on the PETA report card the past 2 years. We take an extra step to identify all vegan options in the dining centers on digital menu boards to ease the process of finding vegan items.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability labelling and signage in dining halls:

Our digital menu boards identify vegetarian and vegan options. We also have digital messaging on reducing waste in the dining halls.


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:

UC uses Lean Path technology in all three of our residential dining locations to measure pre-consumer waste. We have installed customer facing Lean Path signage in our dining centers for students to view as well. Also, we have hosted a scrape your plate event in the dining centers to help students understand the impact they can have to post consumer waste.


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:

We do not use any trays in our dining facilities and we use data to accurately predict production needs in order to minimize waste.


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:

The University has a food pantry where food that would go to waste is give to students and individuals in the community that may be food insecure. Additionally, University Food Services partners with local charity organizations in the community to donate food.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:
No

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
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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:

In Market Pointe and On the Green Dining Halls where back of the house composting takes place, all of the food that is prepped for serving that doesn't get served (i.e. tops of peppers, parts of lettuce) is composted by UC Food Services Staff.


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:

UC currently diverts food waste from the landfill through composting in the back of the house at On the Green and Market Pointe Dining Halls. This is done through at partnership with Go*Zero. Essentially, post-consumer leftovers from plates that are returned are put through a pulping and dehydrating system that then is composted. Additionally, the UC Office of Sustainability staff facilitates composting of spend coffee grounds from all of the various cafe locations on campus. The spent coffee grounds are then composted at UC's Surplus site with yard waste from main campus. This compost is then used on main campus when topsoil is needed and in the UC Garden. In 2019 this related in the composting of 27,560 tons of coffee grounds.


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:

UC has reusable plates, silverware, and cups in an effort to reduce wast for dine in meals.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
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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?:
Yes

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:

We have a reusable coffee mug initiative at all of our Starbucks, Tim Horton’s and Café locations. Discounted coffee and tea when students use their own reusable mug.


A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:

The Food Focus Committee is a venue where all members of the campus community can participate in making the food and dining initiatives at UC more culturally diverse, healthy and/or sustainable.

UC also has a dietitian on site that promotes plant-based eating, sustainable dining, and nutrition. Available for counseling for students and hosts campus wide events centered around health & wellness.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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