Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 84.41
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 26, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.65 / 6.00 Richard Miller
Office of Environmental Policy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on products that are third party verified under one or more recognized food and beverage sustainability standards or Local & Community-Based:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (expenditures on conventional animal products)? (If data is not available, respond “No”):

Percentage of total dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional animal products (meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, and dairy products that do NOT qualify in either the Third Party Verified or Local & Community-Based category):

A brief description of the sustainable food and beverage purchasing program, including how the sustainability impacts of products in specific categories are addressed (e.g. meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, dairy, produce, tea/coffee):

Local dairy to include but not limited to: milk, cream and eggnog, feta, goat, and cheddar cheese.

•Local farmers to include but not limited to: strawberries, blueberries, honey, cider, apples, maple syrup, cucumbers, squash, onions, peppers, eggplants, peaches and tomatoes, tofu, turnip and green beans.
•Local/regional ice cream to include but not limited to: Tofutti, Gifford’s ice cream and UCONN Dairy Bar Ice Cream.
•Local/regional fish to include but not limited to: cod, blue fish, lobsters, scallops, flounder and chad.
•Local UCONN eggs/regional eggs to include but not limited to: whole eggs, cage free eggs and liquid eggs. All eggs now come from CT.
•Local/regional meats to include but not limited to: pork, ground beef, beef, bacon, ham, and chicken.
•Local beverages to include but not limited to: Hosmer soda, Lyman Orchard Cider, Maple Lane Black Current Juice,

Bigelow Tea, UCONN Spring water, Honest Tea and Omar Rainforest Coffee

We at University Dining services feel it is our responsibility to maintain and utilize sustainable practices whenever possible. Below are examples of standards and certifications we abide by.

*100% of all our coffee is Rain Forest Alliance Certified
*UConn dining has received Green Restaurant Certification for all 8 of our Residential Dining Hall’s, the first public university nationwide to receive Green Restaurant 100% of their dining halls. Green Restaurant Certification takes into account:
1) Water Efficiency
2) Waste Reduction and Recycling
3) Sustainable Furnishings and Building Materials
4) Sustainable Food
5) Energy
6) Disposables
7) Chemical and Pollution Reduction

*Our fishery program is 100% sustainable-we have worked with our prime vendor to ensure that all fish used on campus meets sustainable standards. (Example: Hook and line caught / SFP-Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, Caught in USA /ETC. Our goal is to achieve sustainability in all our seafood sources that includes wise management of the fishery and concern for the fishing communities that depend on these resources. Our new partnership with Red’s Best out of Boston, MA captures a fully sustainable program. (These programs include purchasing local CT based seafood, (Stonington, Ct), Bombster Scallops, flounder, Noank Oysters and Bluefish)
*Our institution is the largest user of locally grown produce in the State of Connecticut.
* University of Connecticut are members of Connecticut Farmland preservation-The main objective of the farmland preservation program is to secure a food and fiber producing land resource base, consisting primarily of prime and important farmland soils, for the future of agriculture in Connecticut. We try to accomplish this by preserving active farms that are clustered with other farms, therefore stabilizing a viable farming region.
Members of Slow Food –Slow food’s primary goal is to make agriculture local again, increase sustainability, and promote local businesses (farmers).
Members of “the Real Food Movement” –Uniting students to just and sustainable foods.
CT 10% Pledge-We pledge to support Connecticut Farmers by spending 10% of our food and gardening dollars locally. www.Buyctgrown.com

$16,852,155.94 spent on food and beverage
$2,755,884.69 spent on Third Party Verified
$5,732,194.60 spent on Local and Community Based
$6,154,755.42 spent on dairy, meat, poultry, eggs, seafood
$2,004,662.12 spent on animal products that are Third Party Verified
$1,709,401.13 spent on animal products that qualify as Local and Community based

Revised STARS Data:
Percentage of expenditures on third party verified/local & community based= (2755884.69+5732194.60)/16852155.94= 50.37%
Percentage of expenditures on conventional animal products= (6154755.42-2004662.12-1709401.13)/16852155.94= 14.48%

An inventory of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchases that includes for each product: the description/type; label, brand or producer; and the category in which it is being counted and/or a description of its sustainability attribute(s):
A brief description of the methodology used to conduct the inventory, including the timeframe and how representative samples accounted for seasonal variation (if applicable):

It begins with bid writing with our vendors and establishing expectations up front with our signed contracts. An inventory is provided by our vendors. Third party certifiers come at an additional cost. We have built a data base within our food operating system (Food-Pro) and identify items in our inventory that meet the criteria of sustainable food and beverage.
In working with the various vendors we have direct conversations about seasonal opportunities. Please realize that because we are in the Northeast-specifically in Connecticut that our seasonal window is not when school is in session. Many times are we buying local produce in the summer and forced to flash freeze it in order to provide items that would normally be out of season to students all year round.

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food A (0-100):

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food B (0-100):

Which of the following food service providers are present on campus and included in the total food and beverage expenditure figures?:
Present? Included?
Dining operations and catering services operated by the institution Yes Yes
Dining operations and catering services operated by a contractor No No
Student-run food/catering services No No
Franchises (e.g. national or global brands) No No
Convenience stores Yes Yes
Vending services No No
Concessions No No

A brief description of purchased food and beverage products that have other sustainability attributes not recognized above :

Dining Services purchases blended burgers from Grateful Burger. The blended burger is 60% beef, 35% mushrooms, and 5% herbs and spices. The beef in the burger is raised without antibiotics, and the burger is 50% lower in fat, calories, and cholesterol, and also uses 45% less water to produce than an all-beef burger.

Additionally, the University of Connecticut purchases its chicken from Coleman Natural Foods. Coleman chickens are raised using an all-vegetarian feed in a humane environment that allows them to be free of antibiotics.

Other Products with Sustainable Attributes:
● Bigelow Tea
o Reduced shipping miles by 50,000 miles a year since 2008
o Installed solar panels at headquarters to provide 10-15% of the facility’s power demand annually
o Diverts 94% of its solid waste
o Member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, which works with farmers to ensure sustainable farming methods and fair business practices

● Silk Almond, Soy, and Coconut Milk
o Non-GMO Project Verified
o 900 more gallons of water to produce a half gallon of conventional dairy milk than to make Silk Original soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk
o Producing a carton of Silk generates 47% fewer greenhouse gases than producing a carton of dairy milk

● Cedar’s Hummus and Mediterranean Salad
o Non-GMO Project Verified

● Beyond Meat Pea Protein Beef Alternative
o Non-GMO Project Verified
o Uses less water and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than beef production

Additional percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional products with other sustainability attributes not recognized above (0-100) :

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

UConn Dining has received an A rating from PETA for vegan food in 2015.

All 8 of UConn's Dining Halls are Green Restaurant Certified.


In response to AASHE audit:
New total of Local & Community Based:
$5,732,194.60 - $25,932.79 (amount spent on Bigelow Tea) = $5,706,261.81

Total of Third Party Verified:
$2,755,884.69 - $68,987.02 (amount spent on Silk) - $17,125.39 (amount spent on Beyond Meat)- $61,755.94 (amount spent on Cedar’s) = $2,608,016.34

New percentage of purchasing from Local & Community Based/Third Party Verified:
$5,706,261.81 + $2,608,016.34 = $8,314,278.15 / $16,852,155.94 (total spending) = 49.3%

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 stars@aashe.org.