Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.33
Liaison Ryan Kmetz
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" 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?:
Yes

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:

UMBC Dining partnered with Just Food UMBC to serve locally sourced stir fry featuring fresh veggies and chicken from Locus Point Farm - Elkton, MD, Gehman Family Farm – Teleford, PA, Eagle Road Produce – Quarryville, PA and Butter Valley Harvest – Bally, PA along with honey graham and strawberry flavored local ice creams from Taharka Brothers based in Baltimore.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:

UMBC Dining's published purchasing initiatives states: "encourage responsible and sustainable practices in our supply chains. Our purchasing initiatives provide food choices which celebrate flavor, affirm cultural traditions and support local communities, and include local purchasing, fair trade coffee and sustainable seafood programs."


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?:
Yes

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

UMBC Dining offers Plant-forward menus. The production and consumption of animal-based foods are another leading cause of rising greenhouse gas emissions, so to combat this one, we have reduced our red meat offerings and now provide plenty of plant-based protein alternatives. Animal agriculture is responsible for about 18% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and uses over a third of all raw materials and fossil fuels in the United States. Decreasing consumption of foods produced through animal agriculture and replacing them with plant-based foods can help reduce the harm done to our planet.


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:

UMBC Dining - Supporting Vegan & Vegetarian Diets on Campus

a) Vegan and vegetarian options can be prepared separately on separate grill tops or in separate pans.
b) a variety of beans and soy products, such as tofu, are available daily on the menu cycle.

c) Peanut butter is available at every meal.

d)The salad bars at True Grit’s and Wild Green in the Commons feature a variety of legumes including various beans, peas, and edamame.

e) Olive oil and vinegar are always available.

f) Vegan and vegetarian options are labeled in True Grit’s, Fresh Fusions, and Outtakes.

g)Specialty vegan foods, soy milk, and protein options are available at True Grit’s My Pantry refrigerator.

To view campus menu options please visit: https://dineoncampus.com/UMBC/vegan-and-vegetarian-dining


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:

Dining halls display signage and informational materials related to sustainability. The most recent example was the "Skip the Straw" campaign aimed at reducing plastic waste. The campaign that encourages the community to pass on plastic straws. In the US alone, 500 million straws are used every day, and because they often end up in the ocean, they contribute to the global marine pollution crisis—a problem which has extremely harmful and even deadly effects on marine life. While we can proudly say that True Grit’s Dining Hall has been skipping plastic straws and trays since 2008, we want to go even further. We would like to encourage our UMBC peers to #SkiptheStraw as much as they can to help us reduce our plastic waste.


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?:
No

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
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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:

UMBC has been trayless since the early 2010's.


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:

Since the fall of 2013, UMBC dining has been partnered with UMBC’s Food Recovery Network to reduce our waste by distributing leftovers to those in the community. So far, we have donated 6,798 lbs of food, which is the equivalent of 5,665 meals!


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:

Single-use cups are not typically recyclable, meaning most of them end up in landfills—one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. The ones that don’t make it to landfills tend to wind up in our oceans, which adds to our global marine pollution crisis. To try to combat these issues and keep waste out of both landfills and the ocean, we have replaced our standard plastic-lined paper cups with compostable ones. They are made with fully renewable sources including fiber from sustainably renewable resources and Ingeo™, a plant-based material (PLA). The cups can be disposed of in the designated composting bins found across campus.

Sitting in the dining hall is Ozzi, a system that provides reusable, sustainable O2GO containers that serve as great, environmentally friendly alternatives for disposable ones. Available for a one-time $5.00 purchase in True Grit’s, the containers can be used for Late Night menu items, and are then put back into the Ozzi for cleaning. Upon return, Ozzi provides the user with a token that, when shown to a cashier, allows them to receive a new container. This system, like the compostable cups and Skip the Straw, also reduces unnecessary waste, and therefore reduces our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and harm to the ozone.


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:

Food prep wastes are diverted to compost.


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:

There are post-consumer compost collection bins at all dining areas. Additionally, post consumer composting is available, upon request, at special campus events.


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:

Reusable service ware is utilized for dine in meals at our main campus dining hall.


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:

Sitting in the dining hall is Ozzi, a system that provides reusable, sustainable O2GO containers that serve as great, environmentally friendly alternatives for disposable ones. Available for a one-time $5.00 purchase in True Grit’s, the containers can be used for Late Night menu items, and are then put back into the Ozzi for cleaning. Upon return, Ozzi provides the user with a token that, when shown to a cashier, allows them to receive a new container. This system, like the compostable cups and Skip the Straw, also reduces unnecessary waste, and therefore reduces our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and harm to the ozone.


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:

UMBC offers discounts at the register for refilling your own coffee mug on campus.


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

UMBC dining offers freshly prepared Kosher and Halal meals. We also provide a Kosher Passover Program and Ramadan Meal Kit.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.