Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.41
Liaison David Tedder
Submission Date Sept. 30, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Kentucky
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Carolyn Gahn
Sustainability Manager
UK 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:

Local purchasing contractual policy:

The University’s local food program is comprised of a two-part key performance indicator written into the dining contract that dictates minimum purchases of Kentucky Farm Impact and Kentucky Food Business
Impact purchases. The combined Kentucky Farm and Food Business Impact (KYFFBI) is the sum total of all individual items purchased and classified within these metrics, with farm impact purchases as a subset of
that total.

Campus Strategic Plan 5 Year Goals:

-Increase student, faculty, and staff's knowledge of food and dining sustainability year-over-year.
-Establish channels for stakeholder input on local and sustainable dining offerings and initiatives.
-Measure and increase variety of sustainability certified food products offered on campus.
-Improve pantry and vending product selection to include, and market products with health and sustainability certifications.
-Develop and offer zero waste and localized catering options.
-Increase on-campus efforts to address food insecurity.
-Increase connections between UK and off-campus efforts to address food insecurity.
-Collect data related to food insecurity from UK community.


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 UK Organic farm is part of our Local Salad Bar Program that is a group of 6 farmers from within 100 miles of campus that are growing produce for our salad bar. South Farm provides lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, or peppers.


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 University of Kentucky supports the Kentucky Farm Share Coalition CSA buy purchasing 200 vouchers in the 2017-2018 school year (400 in the 2018/19 year and 800 in the 2019/20 year) for our employees to participate in a local farm CSA. The voucher gives each employee $200 off a CSA share for the season.


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:

Vegetarian Awareness Month is recognized in October and promoted by having vegan or vegetarian options available at each station in our residential dining halls.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
No

A brief description of the low impact dining events:

We focus on incorporating Plant-Forward menus.


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:

The Food Connection, part of the UK College of Agriculture, hosts First Friday breakfasts the first Friday of every month that has a sustainability-themed speaker (local farmer, local forest foods, local business owner, etc.) and has the staff Chef prepare a locally sourced meal. Throughout the month, The Food Connection hosts cooking classes focusing on topics of cuisine/ingredient-education. The class culminate in a community meal.


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:
---

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:

Our signage focuses on plant-forward, vegan/vegetarian, and locally sourced


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:

The Food Connection was created with the UK/Aramark contract. It is a learning kitchen that focuses on educating students on sustainable food systems. They have a full time chef and also a full time extension agent on staff who assists farmers in becoming GAP certified.


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:

Our dining service provider has a nutritionist on staff that focuses on healthy eating education and initiatives like plant-forward and seasonal vegetables.


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 are currently tracking our back-of-house wastes to establish a baseline of generated wastes. We provide instruction and training to our employees on proper forecasting, purchasing, storage, processing and production to keep unnecessary food waste to a minimum. Inventories are conducted weekly to determine what products are in-house and need to be used before expiration dates occur.

Any food leftover from the dining hall is donated to Campus Kitchens.


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 all dining facilities trays have been removed with exceptions made for certain franchise requirements as well as ADA compliance.
Weigh the waste events have been conducted to determine the amount of post-consumer wastes being generated in our residential dining facilities. Proper portioning is also emphasized in our employee training. Educational and promotional materials for the campus community are being developed on how individuals can reduce their own personal food wastes.


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:

Campus Kitchens, Big Blue Pantry, and God's Pantry are both food donation programs at UK.


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:

All cooking oil is recovered to become biodiesel.
at one location, we had a small composting program in partnership with a community nonprofit: Seedleaf.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

TBD - A program is being developed for launch in 2019


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

TBD - A program is being developed for launch in 2019


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:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 21, 2015) — This fall, University of Kentucky Dining is making the move to a greener, more environmentally friendly alternative by eliminating all styrofoam from the residential dining halls.
The first step in this process is implementing a reusable to-go container program for Blazer Cafe and The Fresh Food Company. There will be a $5 initial fee for the reusable to-go box, however you will be able to exchange the container for the next two years.
How to Purchase and Use Your Container
1. You may purchase your resusable containter with Flex dollars, credit card or cash. The purchase will be connected to your UK account, so please have your Wildcat ID with you.
2. Your reusable to-go container can only be used at The Fresh Food Company and Blazer Cafe.
3. When you want to purchase a to-go meal, take your reusable container and your Wildcat ID with you to the cash register.
4. Present your container to be filled with your order.
5. The next time you would like to purchase a meal to-go, please bring your rinsed, reusable to-go container to the cashier to exchange for a clean container
Note: You do not have to clean the container. UK Dining will handle the washing of all containers to ensure proper sanitation, but please discard any leftovers before returning.
Why UK Dining is Doing This
While styrofoam may be a more inexpensive, lighter alternative, it is not good for the environment. UK Dining hopes the entire campus community works together to effect positive change.


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:

Reusable to-go containers have just been implemented in our 2 residential dining halls. Accompanying this initiative, articles and promotional materials have been published, which inform the campus community that this is a step towards reducing Styrofoam waste on campus, along with the reasons Styrofoam is undesirable.


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:

$.25 discount is offered per drink is available for those at campus Starbuck's, Einsteins, and Briochee who bring their refillable mug.


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:

Recycling: UK Dining recycles cardboard, bottles, and aluminum and steel cans from dining locations across campus.

Local Sourcing: by procuring more food from local vendors, we eliminate a lot of packaging on the fresh produce and we also help to curb food waste left in the field.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.