|Gold - expired
|Feb. 15, 2018
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
OP-8: Sustainable Dining
|2.00 / 2.00
Associate Director for Business Operations
Dining and Hospitality Services
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
UCCS transitioned to in-house food service in 2014 in order to pursue more sustainable food options as well as student employment opportunities and greater flexibility.
Menus of Change was launched in 2012 by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in collaboration with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In August 2016, Dining and Hospitality Services joined a small, distinguished list of universities as a member of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative. The Vision: To collaborate on research and education in support of culinary-centric, evidence-based food systems innovation within and beyond universities. Recommendations from MOC are based on the best available environmental and nutritional evidence from subject matter experts.
UCCS Dining and Hospitality Services (DHS) is proud to highlight our ongoing commitment to the Menus of Change initiative. DHS is committed to serving food that is delicious, nutritious, sustainable, and tells a story. Recognizing that our own health and the health of the planet are paramount, we focus on plant-forward cooking, with an emphasis on ingredients that are locally grown, humanely-raised, and environmentally and socially responsible.
Sustainability Practices at DHS
From the Latin sustinere to hold up, maintain, support, or endure, sustainability is one of the core values at DHS. We are committed to making well-thought out, strategic choices in our purchasing and operational decision-making with the goal of not compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
These are some of the highlights of how we operate:....
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
UCCS has both a traditional farm, greenhouse, and a rooftop garden that provides fresh sustainable produce to the Food Next Door dining platform, catering, and Clyde's gastropub. The farm produces roughly 3000 pounds of food yearly.
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?:
A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
UCCS hosts a small in-house farmer's market during the summer that is open to the community. The Farm collaborates with Food Next Door during these markets in order to show customers how some of the produce can be cooked and used in dishes.
In 2017, the UCCS Lane Center also was drop off point for a local CSA and provided nutritional education at the drpo-off locations.
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:
Multiple vegan options including complete-protein vegan options are available at each dining location during each dining period. Food options are indicated with a vegan symbol option on the food cards. UCCS dining has earned a grade A on peta Vegan report.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
A brief description of the low impact dining events:
Food Next Door serves protein flip (50% meat, 50% grains and veggies) burgers and locally sourced food in the Roaring Fork Dining Hall once per week. They provide education to students in housing about the impact of beef on the environment and provide some alternatives. They have also managed a similar outlet 2 days per week in Cafe 65.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:
Local harvest meals are celebrated in the student dining halls in the beginning of the fall semester. Additionally, The Roaring Fork in housing hosted Chef Barton Seaver to campus for an event that focused on the Marine Stewardship Council. The event and meal was attended by the campus as well as surrounding community.
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:
Food Next Door is a student-run platform that provides sustainable and local food. They highlight vegetarian and protein flip burgers as well as produce from the campus greenhouse and local foodshed.
Both the Food Next Door platform and Allergen-free stations are located in both dining halls.
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:
Digital displays, static clings, and food identifier cards are used to display this information at the stations.
Menus are available daily for each of the dining locations. Students can enter in filters such as gluten friendly, soy, free, vegan, vegetarian, MSC Certified, etc. to find entrees that they would like.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:
The program Sustainability Wellness and Learning, SWELL, is a collaboration between Dining and Hospitality Services, Health Sciences, UCCS Recreation and Wellness, and the Office of Sustainability. The connection between academic integration and promotion of health and wellness through food service transition began to solidify in an overarching inter- and transdisciplinary framework, now called Sustainability, Wellness & Learning or SWELL. SWELL leverages the emerging synergies when health promotion and sustainability (e.g., economic, environmental, social) are integrated. An example of this synergy is found in Food Next Door.
The SWELL Initiative focuses on connecting health and sustainability through local food. The goal is to promote wellness through hands-on learning and skill building in sustainability practices to regenerate human health, cultivate a mindful society, and protect Mother Earth.
The SWELL Initiative emphasizes the following areas:
1. Creating a sustainable food community through UCCS' self-operated Dining and Hospitality Services (DHS)
2. Providing campus jobs in DHS linked to sustainability and health.
3. Growing food in campus gardens and greenhouses.
4. Making it easy to eat well at UCCS.
5. Supporting a physically active lifestyle, by integrating UCCS's surrounding nature, trails, and events.
6. Thinking holistically about health and wellness, reconnecting to UCCS's history as the Cragmor Sanatorium.
7. Providing learning opportunities in sustainable food systems (e.g. from seed to plate experiences, academic programs, community courses).
8. Participating with the Colorado local food community, and particularly the Southern Colorado food shed to create a sustainable food network.
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)?:
A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:
UCCS dining is part of the Colorado Proud program that allows us to use the Colorado proud labeling on Colorado Products. We participate in wellness programs with RDs and grad students. UCCS is MSC certified to serve sustainable fish.
There is a permanent global station for featuring foods from all over the world in the Roaring Fork Dining Hall. Additionally, events are held each year to highlight foods from selected regions and cultures.
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:
U.S. EPA Food Recovery Challenge. Dining and Hospitality Services works with the Office of Sustainability and several classes to conduct food waste audits and provide feedback to DHS. Food waste is low due to practices such as trayless dining and "all you care to eat" practices that allow students to come in whenever they want for meals.
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:
Trayless dining is in all dining locations
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:
Yes, we donate and document donations in the cbord system.
Perishable food is donated to the Colorado Springs Food Rescue. Much of the food is delivered by volunteers to a variety of local organizations utilizing bike trailers.
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)?:
A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
We work with Filta to micro filter our fryer oil extending usable life. Filta recycles the used oil and turns into biodiesel. All dining operations compost either on- campus or through commercial operators. Dining also recycles all materials such as cans, cardboard, plastics, and glass.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:
Yes, pre-consumer receptacles are in each kitchen. Coffee grind waste goes to our in-house compost program. Most of the pre-consumer compost goes to the on-campus farm.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:
Yes, compostable post consumer receptacles are placed in each dining area. UCCS has regular weekly service from its waste provider to collect compost for wind row composting.
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:
Yes, meals are served on real dishes with silverware in
In Cafe 65, there are times when the utensils are compostable when they get low on reusable flatware.
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:
UCCS started the OZZI reusable containers program for Cafe 65 and Clyde's in 2015. The program is known as Green2Go. In these locations, customers have the choice of washable dishware, reusable to-go boxes, or compostable boxes. We are still looking at ways to move more customers over from the compostable boxes to the reusable boxes.
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?:
A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
Yes, all coffee shops give a $.30 discount if a mug is provided. OZZI/Green2Go participants are given a $.50 discount.
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)?:
A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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 or simply email your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.