Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.09
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date Aug. 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of New Hampshire
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.42 / 6.00 Allison Leach
PhD Researcher
Natural Resources
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of total annual food and beverage expenditures on products that are sustainably or ethically produced:

Percentage of total annual food and beverage expenditures on plant-based foods:

An inventory of food and beverage purchases that qualify as sustainably/ethically produced:
A brief description of the methodology used to conduct the inventory, including the timeframe and how representative samples accounted for seasonal variation (if applicable):

The full record of purchases for UNH Dining for fiscal year 2019 was included in this analysis. As a result, seasonal variation is accounted for. Interns and staff at the Sustainability Institute at UNH worked with UNH Dining to collect expenditure data from all UNH food vendors, including local vendors.
Certified/verified purchases:
Interns researched the sustainability attributes of the products to determine if they were third party certified. The third party certification types included in our data set are USDA Organic, Fair Trade, American Humane Certified, Best Aquaculture Practices, Marine Stewardship Council, Gulf of Maine Research Institute Certified, and Animal Welfare Approved. The inventory we reported only includes the products purchased during FY19 that meet sustainability criteria.
Institution-affirmed production:
After researching vendors, we three local vendors that use sustainability criteria but are not third party certified. Those three vendors are Cabot Creamery, Kettle Cuisine, and NH Mushroom Company.
Plant-based purchases:
We reviewed our entire food inventory to identify expenditures on plant-based purchases, following the STARS criteria. The full list of plant-based items is reported in our STARS reporting template. It includes produce, grains, and plant-based alternatives (e.g., tofu).

Website URL where the institution’s validated Real/Good Food Calculator results are publicly posted:

Which of the following food service providers are present on campus and included in the inventory/assessment?:
Present? Included?
Dining operations and catering services operated by the institution Yes Yes
Dining operations and catering services operated by a contractor No No
Student-run food/catering services No No
Franchises (e.g., regional or global brands) Yes No
Convenience stores Yes No
Vending services Yes No
Concessions Yes No

Total annual dining services budget for food and beverage products:
$5 million - $9.9 million

A brief description of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchasing program:

Through the Local Harvest Initiative, UNH Dining is committed to serving locally, regionally, and sustainably grown, produced, and manufactured items to the greatest extent possible. Many of these items are included regularly in the dining halls and campus retail outlets, and others are purchased for special events such as the annual Local Harvest Feast and Sustainable Seafood Dinners. The sustainability commitment of UNH Dining is part of the university’s broader Food & Society Initiative, which commits UNH to being a sustainable food community that promotes healthy food systems from farm to fork to health and nutrition outcomes.

Serving locally and regionally grown, produced, and manufactured items ensures that the food served is the freshest possible while helping to support our local economy, a vibrant regional agricultural infrastructure, and a healthy food system. We look for farms, fisheries, and food producers or manufacturers located within a 250 mile radius from UNH. Additional criteria that UNH Dining considers in its purchasing decisions include:

USDA Certified Organic:
Examples of USDA Certified Organic foods served on campus include Stonyfield Farms yogurt, Pierce Bros Coffee, Grandy Oats granola, and Soy Boy tofu.

Fair Trade Certified:
Examples of Fair Trade Certified foods served on campus include Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Pierce Bros Coffee.

Certified Humane:
UNH serves Nellie's Nest eggs on campus, which are Certified Humane.

Seafood Certifications:
UNH Dining utilizes a variety of criteria and third-party labeling programs when sourcing their seafood, including the Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested program for verification of locally sourced species such as mussels and redfish, Marine Stewardship Council certification and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) for farmed species such as salmon, and purchasing directly from local fleets when possible. They also use Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch as a reference. For the locally sourced products, UNH Dining is able to provide educational information to their customers about the species that are being served such as scallops, Atlantic Pollock or skate wing and their origins in the Gulf of Maine. Lastly, as a result of student engagement, UNH signed onto a set of Slow Fish Principles in 2014 that were developed along with the international Slow Food organization. The principles help guide their seafood procurement towards supporting local fishermen, underutilized species, traceability, and education of their customers.

Website URL where information about the food and beverage purchasing program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

UNH Dining currently purchases approximately 8.4% sustainability or ethically produced products, and 30.7% plant-based products.

UNH's third-party verified products include organic, fair trade, humane, and sustainable seafood certifications. The products cover a range of food categories, including coffee, eggs, seafood, dairy, vegetables, meat, and grains. UNH's plant-based products include fruits, vegetables, grains, and plant-based alternatives (e.g., tofu, soy milk).

Our submission was prepared using the complete food purchase records from FY19. We identified third party verified products, and we researched and categorized products to determine if they met the STARS 2.2 plant-based standards. Our data set reports only the sustainable purchases at UNH.

For more information about UNH Dining Services, see:

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.