Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.24
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Louisville
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ellen Trahan
Sustainability Coordinator
Dining Services
"---" 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:

Aramark's Green Thread policy integrates sustainability in all of the campus operations, including sourcing, waste management, and efficient operations. Food is sourced locally as much as possible, and fair trade and ethically raised products are given priority over conventional product. Landfill waste is kept minimal through a waste reduction policy which includes seasonal menu planning, first-in first-out policy, food donation, and composting. The LeanPath waste reduction platform is utilized in our largest location. Operations are kept efficient through using a shut down policy during long breaks and purchasing Energy Star products.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
No

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
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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 Louisville hosts two farmers markets, a CSA program, and has two educational campus gardens. We continuously work with the campus ground crew to plant edible landscaping, including Serviceberry Trees, etc.


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:

The Ville Grill (UofL's anchor dining hall) provides numerous healthy vegan and vegetarian options, including the all-vegan station, Heirloom. The Ville Grill menu is dedicated to serving protein-balanced and nutrient-dense meals at every meal; a salad bar; and the new Simple Selections allergen-free station which also serves as a great option for vegans, since processed foods are avoided and all are prepared with no milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts or gluten. Most all locations on campus include vegan and vegetarian options, which students can navigate using the UofL Dining Vegan and Vegetarian guide. The guide is provided online and passed out to students on a regular basis. Popular vegan/vegetarian options are Greens to Go salad bar, Olilo Mediterranean grain bowls, the Beyond Burger served at the Marketplace, and the Twisted Taco veggie taco.
- Seasons Salad Bar (Student Activities Center 1st level) is UofL’s newest healthy option, offering fresh produce, lean proteins and soup made from scratch daily.
- Healthy and Vegetarian options are available at nearly every other campus dining venue. For instance, look for the vegan icons (Green "VG") or vegetarian icons (Orange "V") on the menus at the Cardinal Burger Company (Student Activities Center 2nd level) or McAlister’s (Miller Information Tech Center).
- UofL Dining has published a handy Vegetarian Guide available online: http://sharepoint.louisville.edu/sites/provost/Sustainability/Shared%20Documents/Vegetarian%20Guide%20to%20UofL.pdf
- Sodexo partners with the UofL Office of Health Promotion on a Nutrition Navigators peer education program, which often focuses on plant-based diets and reducing carbon footprint through eating less meat.
- In spring 2016, UofL's employee wellness program, Get Healthy Now, launched a new "Meatless Mondays" campaign with weekly communications to all employees about healthy, delicious meat-free options and the reasons to reduce meat consumption.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events:

Low impact dining is promoted on campus through events such as 'Behind the Plate' where students are asked to think about the carbon footprint, water use, and transport costs behind the products they eat. We also host Meatless Mondays and use 'Plant Forward' icons on menu items which are plant-based and low impact.


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:

UofL Dining hosts an annual Farm to Table Dinner where we focus on promoting local farmers and their products. We also host regular events at our locations including Fair Trade tastings, Behind the Plate meals, sustainable seafood meals, etc.


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 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:

UofL Dining uses a number of labels and signs to educate the campus about sustainability. Plant Forward labels promote items that consist mostly of plant based ingredients. Sustainability Station: the Ville Grill has a sustainability station where students can find information about sustainability events, composting, food donation, etc. Vegan/Vegetarian labels promote vegan and vegetarian items. Local stickers promote products grown, raised, or produced within 250 miles.


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:

UofL Dining Services engages in research with numerous students on campus. This year, for example, one graduate student worked with our team on food waste education by helping us run our Weigh the Waste events multiple times per month. They are using the data to determine why students throw away food and how to prevent that waste. We also engage in outreach through our multiple events including tablings about food and carbon footprints, fair trade items, local food products, field trips, and class talks.


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:

UofL Dining works closely with the Office of Health Promotions on campus to connect with students about mindful eating, plant-based eating, and buying local. We also work with local crafts people to host an annual Holiday Bazaar where we can promote buying local products for holiday gifts.


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:

UofL Dining tracks its food donations through the Food Recovery Network Program, where we work with students to get leftover product to local nonprofits. We also compost all inedible food waste through our partner Westrock Recycling.


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:

Our first residential dining facility opened in the summer of 2010 and provides no trays to diners. This all-you-care-to-eat facility provides plated meals that are carried back to tables without trays. In 2013, a program was started to collect post-consumer food waste from select Campus Housing locations. In addition, in 2015 a program was implemented where volunteers in the SAC food court helped sort waste and food at trash stations during Summer Orientation sessions and other special events. We train our staff on regular basis about portioning - students can always come back and get more if they need it!


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:

All leftover edible food is provided to the students who run the Food Recovery Network on campus, and they take this food to local non-profits, typically St. Vincent DePaul's kitchen.


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 food materials are diverted from the landfill. Our compost partner, Westrock, is an industrial composter and can therefore take materials such as bones and meat that are not typically accepted. We compost all of our materials through them. Our oil is taken by VOCARS, who uses it to make biodiesel and sells it to other groups to make other products.


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:

All pre-consumer waste is being processed by a local contractor (Westrock) and being composted.


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:

We have a post-consumer food waste composting program at our residential dining facility. All food scraps are placed on a conveyor with the dishes and are sorted when they arrive in the dish room.


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:

We offer trayless dining with real plates, glasses, and silverware at The Ville Grill, our all-you-care-to-eat dining hall at 3rd & Brandeis, open to all students, employees and the public. This helps to reduce the amount of trash produced and food wasted (our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs!), as well as the resources that would be used to wash the trays.


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:

After a pilot test in the fall of 2015, a new to-go program was implemented in Fall 2018 at the Ville Grill using reusable containers that participants are instructed to return to the dining hall to for cleaning and exchange.


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:

Reusable mugs and bottles are available for purchase from dining services and customers are permitted to bring their own mugs from home. Any reusable mug can be refilled at any dining services fountain location for $0.10 off their drink.


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:

1. Zero-Waste Reusable To-Go Club: In Fall 2018, we launched a brand new take-out service in truly sustainable style – without adding to the waste stream!! Membership earns you a reusable container, reusable water bottle, unlimited washing of the container, and compostable cutlery & napkins, should you need them.
2. We are working with Food Recovery Network to donate all leftover product which is still edible and safe to eat.
3. All inedible waste is composted.
4. We have signage around campus encouraging students to not use single-use plastic straws and bags, and offer compostable straws.
5. Our fryer oil vendor brings their oil in reusable containers which they take back and use as needed.


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