Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.75
Liaison Cindy Shea
Submission Date July 24, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Scott Myers
Director, Food/Vending Services
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:

UNC is a Real Food Campus Commitment Signatory as of Spring of 2016. Carolina Dining Services (CDS) identifies, promotes and educates the UNC community on sustainable initiatives, concepts and practices pertaining to campus dining. CDS engages in community outreach through weekly informational tabling sessions, sustainable food samplings and Themed Meals & Farmers Markets in collaboration with the student organization Fair Local Organic (FLO) Food.

Additionally, CDS works with Aramark, and students, who work with academic advisers and receive academic credit, to analyze food invoices and vendor reports to track and evaluate purchases. Criteria used include the Real Food Calculator, local, regional, organic, fair trade, and sustainably harvested seafood purchases.

The sustainable operational initiatives can be broken down into the following pillars: Sustainable Food, Waste Reduction, Water Conservation, Energy Efficiency and Building Construction & Design.


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:
---

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:

Carolina Dining Services partners with the Fair, Local, and Organic student organization to host three to four Farmers' Markets on UNC Campus per year.


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 and vegan options are available at all meals in the residential dining halls Top of Lenoir and Rams Head Dining Hall. Each dining hall has a dedicated vegetarian station, offering one complete-protein vegetarian or vegan entrée and three to four vegetarian or vegan side dishes at lunch and dinner. A four-week cycle menu is written for these stations, which can be viewed on the locations' digital menu boards and website, along with ingredients.
Both dining halls offer an extensive salad bar featuring protein toppings. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available at other stations including the grill, soup, pizza and pasta stations. Vegan dessert options are available at lunch and dinner.
In addition, an onsite Registered Dietician is available to assist students with special diets and making ""smart"" meal choices.


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 events such as Meatless Mondays are available at all meals in the residential dining halls Top of Lenoir and Rams Head Dining Hall. On Meatless Mondays, the Vegetarian Station becomes vegan and the following stations become vegetarian: World’s Fare, Sushi, Wrap, and Pasta. Garden or Black Bean Burgers are available at the Grill everyday, and 3 of 4 pizzas are vegetarian.


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 Green Theme Meal is offered at one of the two residential dining halls each month. The Green Theme Meal focuses on sustainability and food, including water, energy, transportation, as well as composting food waste, and health and nutrition.


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:

1.5.0. is a retail dining concept focused on utilizing local and third party certified food. Most of the products are sourced from within a 150 mile radius from campus. Along with the two residential dining halls, 1.5.0. is Green Restaurant Certified and serves sustainable seafood and humanely raised and handled meat, as well as also offers a high percentage of vegan and vegetarian main dishes.


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:

Signage focusing on sustainability and food waste are shown in the dining halls on table top placards and also featured prominently in banners and displays. There are also digital signs with menu options that highlight food that is local, third-party certified.


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:

Carolina Dining Services and the UNC Food for All theme partnered in the fall of 2016 to hold the CDS Susty Series each week to learn about food, nutrition, and sustainability.


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:

A registered dietitian is on staff at Carolina Dining Services and helps students choose healthy and nutrititious foods. Lectures, nutrition presentations and cooking demos are available to student groups, residential living and UNC staff as requested in order to provide further opportunity to increase knowledge and spread awareness about nutrition and wellness. The dietitian also hosts Wellness Wednesdays at the residential dining hall each week to serve samples of healthy dishes and answer questions.


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:

Food production planning and waste management practices are an integral part of daily operations. Carolina Dining Services conducts monthly audits to track and improve food management practices.


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:

Since 2007, UNC has had trayless dining to conserve water and also to discourage food waste. Students are encouraged to revisit dining stations for portion control.


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:

During the academic year, UNC donates approximately 200 pounds of prepared food to the Inter-Faith Council on a weekly basis. The Inter-Faith Council is a non-profit organization that provides food and housing to the homeless in the area.


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:

Carolina Dining Services has a program to recycle fryer oil from across campus into biodiesel fuel.


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:

Pre-consumer food waste from UNC dining halls, catering, and conference centers is picked up regularly by Brooks Contractors. Food waste and paper products are separated and stored in 65-gallon carts located throughout the food preparation and dishwashing areas, or on the loading dock. The material is collected six times a week and is composted at a facility in Goldston, NC.


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:

Food waste from UNC dining halls, catering, conference centers, and several high volume Green Events venues, including the Schools of Government and Social Work and the Botanical Garden, is picked up regularly by the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling and Brooks Contractors. The post-consumer food waste is turned into a nutrient-rich soil amendment at Brooks Contractors' Goldston processing facility.

Recycled content napkins and compostable straws are provided in the dining halls so that all post-consumer food waste may be composted.

Carolina Dining Services collects food scraps for composting from both dining halls, the Beach Cafe, Alpine Bagel Cafe, Wendy's, the Friday Center, and select Carolina Catering 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:

All “dine in” meals, including beverages, are served on reusable dishes and eaten with reusable flatware.


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:

Since 2009, both dining halls provide reusable food containers for students on meal plans. (Non-meal plan members and students who lose their first container may purchase a container for $3.50.) Once used, the container is exchanged for a clean and sanitized unit. This three-compartment, polypropylene clamshell is now the only to-go container in use at the dining halls with meal plans. Since the program's inception, approximately 76,000 Styrofoam containers have been eliminated annually. The reusable containers are stackable, break resistant, dishwasher safe, microwave safe for reheating, BPA free, recyclable (#5 plastic) and can withstand temperatures ranging from 32 to 180 degrees.

CDS utilizes third party certified, compostable to-go boxes at select retail dining locations where post-consumer composting is available.


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:

Carolina Dining Services (CDS) offers a 20% discount for all customers who bring a CDS reusable mug or bottle to select locations for fountain drink and coffee purchases.


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:

Carolina Dining Services has hosted two different events- Feeding the 5,000 and Feeding the 500. These events, that feature ugly produce and seafood bycatch, are intended to raise awareness about unnecessary food waste and are free to members of the campus community.


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.