Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.32
Liaison Andy Mitchell
Submission Date July 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Illinois Chicago
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.40 / 2.00 Cynthia Klein-Banai
Associate Chancellor for Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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?:
No

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
No

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

UIC Dining Services introduced the Exclusively Vegan station in our three All-You-Care-To-Eat locations. Here our guests can take comfort in knowing that among the many options found throughout our locations, this station has been dedicated as an isolated location to feature our hot vegan entrees and sides in the hopes of making it easier for our vegan-conscious diners to locate options without question as to what is and is not vegan-friendly.

Every meal period includes at minimum of one protein-complete vegan option. Examples of some of these dishes offered during the past semester include: Vegan-Hoppin John (Black eye peas, rice and caramelized tomato and Cajun spices),Vegan-Green Split Pea Soup, Vegan-Hominy Squash Stew, Vegan-Chipotle Taco Salad, Vegan-Tofu Fried Rice, and Vegan SantaFe Chili.

In addition, the majority of our sides and starches are modified to comply with vegan restricted diets. Butter is eliminated in most cases with the exception of mashed potatoes and vegetable stocks are utilized as an alternative to chicken or beef bases in many situations. Vegan and gluten free veggie burger options are available in all locations for every meal by request and a salad bar option is available as well to address the needs of vegan restricted diets.

The dining menus are posted with the vegan and vegetarian dining options for every meal on the website and the meals are posted daily in the cafes. There is a wide array of vegan and vegetarian options.


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:

The dining services contractor provides information to customers via large cafeteria signs delineating sustainable food choices including seafood meeting Seafood Watch criteria, rBGH-free yogurt and milk, reduced antibiotic chicken, reduced antibiotic turkey, cage-free eggs, and Eco-Fair Trade coffee.


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:

UIC Dining Services participates in a program called TrimTrax, where staff weighs and tracks the pre-consumer waste in the kitchens to put controls on those sources of waste. In addition, Dining Services composts all prep waste and post-consumer waste from the dining facilities. Any food that can that can be repurposed is and anything that isn't repurposed or composted gets donated through Dining Service's food recovery network.


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:

Sodexo's trayless program began in November 2008 and based upon the feedback from the students, and a Weigh Your Waste event. All facilities in Dining Services are tray less, and signage throughout the facilities focus on only taking what you'll eat and coming back for me.


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:

A volunteer organization, the Student Recovery Network, collects donations of uneaten food from our food service provider, Chartwells. Over 100 pounds a week goes Franciscan House, about a mile west of UIC's medical district. This applies to food items whose food safety has not been compromised.

The dining services contractor runs a program to donate food and avoid waste. The Food Recovery Network helps the local community and our environment by putting less food into landfills and feeding community members in need.

https://today.uic.edu/food-recovery-network


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

UIC has a biodigester – we call it Stinky Bob in the kitchen at JST.


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:

Thanks to the support from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, back-of-the-house food preparation scraps at the dining hall in Student Center East are being collected and taken to composting facilities in Chicago.

Pre-consumer food waste, such as egg shells and vegetable scraps, is stored in sealable 5-gallon buckets to be collected by a student and delivered to a vermicompost program.


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:

Together with the prep area scraps, front-of-the-house waste from Dining Services generates a large amount of waste. The vendor, Chartwells is a willing partner, and the Student Centers administration has been a champion, pushing through the challenges to maintaining this program.

Dining services utilizes a local food-scrap collection company to implement post-consumer composting.


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:

Dining Service's does not participate in "to-go" meals other than "retail to-go"; in which compostable and biodegradable containers are used.

Napkins are the only disposable item used in dining services. Service ware, including plates, bowls, cups, and silverware, are all reusable.


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:

The UIC Bookstores, UIC Convenience Stores and the UIC Student Centers Board are proud to provide customers with the opportunity to help preserve the environment. Each year the UIC Convenience Stores’ customers use over 100,000 paper coffee cups and together they can better preserve the environment by reducing paper cup usage.

* All UIC Convenience Stores are equipped with Sustainability Donation Containers
* When the customer uses their UIC Sustainable Mug they receive 20 oz for the price of a 16 oz large coffee.
* They will also be given a 5-cent token at the registers.
* The customer then places the token in the Sustainability Container for the environmentally friendly and non-profit organization of their choice:

* UIC Hospital Prairie Garden Project
* The Chicago Wilderness Consortium
* National Wildlife Federation


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

Culturally diverse options, such as Halal and Kosher, are always provided by the dining services contractor.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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We go to great lengths to provide proper signage and identification through a color coded icon system both in the dining locations as well as the online menus so that our guests are aware of the vegan options available at any given time.

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.