Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.77
Liaison Nathanael Schildbach
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Amherst
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Britt Florio
Sustainability Coordinator
Auxiliary 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:

UMass Dining which operates internally, has identified sustainability objectives within it's mission as well as established an institutional definition for "local."

The mission of UMass Dining is to contribute to the campus life experience by providing a variety of healthy and flavorful meals featuring local, regional, and world cuisine in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner.

UMass Dining buys local because:
We value environmental and social responsibility as tools for making a positive impact in our community
We have observed a demand from our students to purchase Real Food, so we take an interest in giving students what they're asking for, thereby increasing student satisfaction
By using creative purchasing strategies, we often find that locally sourced items can be competitively priced with items that we would otherwise source from mainline vendors.

UMass Dining defines "local" as a three priority tiered system:
1. Within Massachusetts
2. Within New England
3. Within 250 miles of UMass Amherst Campus


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:

UMass Dining sources produce and meat products from the UMass Student Farm (located in South Deerfield, MA 5 miles away from campus) and Permaculture Gardens located on campus. Over 2,000 lbs of produce is sourced from the Five on campus Permaculture gardens annually.

http://www.localumass.com/our-gardens.html
https://stockbridge.cns.umass.edu/student-farm


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:

UMass Dining supports the UMass Student Farmers Market:
​A collaboration between UMass Permaculture and the UMass Student Farm, the UMass Student Farmers' Market is a weekly event featuring live music, fresh local veggies, medicinal herbs, handmade crafts, student art, and an opportunity to get to know the amazing agricultural community on the UMass campus. Annual CSA Shares are sold to students, faculty, and community members.

http://www.localumass.com/umass-student-farmers-market.html


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:

There is always a vegan as well as vegetarian options for every meal in all four Dining Commons. UMass Dining nutritionists on staff provide personal dietary planning and advising to students to accommodate vegans and vegetarians.

http://umassdining.com/nutrition


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:

Everyday, UMass Dining provides several menu options in each of our dining commons that are vegetarian, vegan, plant based, and sustainable.
Over the past 3 years, UMass Dining has hosted numerous high profile sustainability food events open to students, faculty and the community. Some of these events include:
-Annual Chef Conference, involving 65 dining programs nationwide and impacting over 750,000 students and consumers through the food they prepare (Alice Waters, pioneer of local and sustainable food - Sustainability themed keynote)


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:

In the dining commons, UMass Dining hosts monthly sustainability themed dinners featuring guest chefs who utilize local and sustainable ingredients. Some links to these events can be found here: http://umassdining.com/news-events/photos


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:

In 2016, UMass Dining launched "Pledge", a sustainability themed food outlet based at the Chef's Table retail dining location. More information can be found here: http://umpledge.com/


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:

UMass Dining runs several sustainable educational campaigns for its students. The first being the "Farmer of the Week" campaign which highlights our local vendors: http://www.localumass.com/blog/category/farmer-of-the-week. The second being comprehensive labeling for each meal, specifically "SPE Certified" labels for high quality, sustainable, nutrient dense ingredients: http://umassdining.com/blog/dining/spe-certified-dining-umass-amherst.


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:

Annually, UMass Dining educates 1,700 students and over 500 community members through the UMass Permaculture Initiative.


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:

World Cuisine is part of the UMass Dining mission.


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:

UMass Dining uses the LeanPath System to measure pre-consumer waste annually, Additionally, Dining hosts several educational events to raise awareness and reduce post consumer waste. UMass Dining also supports the UMass student Chapter of the Food Recovery Network which recovers food and provides meals to a local homeless shelter M-F during the academic year.


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:

Trays are not available to use in any of the UMass Amherst Dining Halls. The trays were removed in 2009 and have not returned. Students have accepted the trayless dining very well.


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:

In 2011, we began donating left over food to the UMass Chapter of the “Food Recovery Network” http://www.foodrecoverynetwork.org/massachusetts#umassamherst


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:

UMass contracts with Western MA Rendering to recycle all used cooking oil.


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:

We send 100% (over 1000 tons) of our pre-consumer and post-consumer food scraps to be composted at a nearby Martin's Farm and Compost in Greenfield, MA.


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:

100% of postconsumer waste is composted in our Dining Commons and conferences are composted; our largest retail dining locations provide compost bins for food waste. We offer compostable to-go plates, cups, containers, and flatware.


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:

UMass Dining uses ceramic dishes and metal silverware in all dine-in locations, which are also available at our to-go locations.


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:

While we do not offer a reusable to-go container program, we do distribute reusable water bottles and to-go bags to students, as well as sell reusable coffee mugs. Students who bring reusable coffee mugs to retail dining locations and cafes also receive a discount.


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:

Students who bring reusable coffee mugs to retail dining locations and cafes also receive a discount.


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:

We are currently considering piloting the use of OZZI reusable to-go container program.


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