Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 62.14
Liaison Michael Lizotte
Submission Date April 9, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of North Carolina, Charlotte
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.80 / 2.00 Michael Lizotte
University Sustainability Officer
Facilities Planning
"---" 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:
Every month Dining Services hosts a Farmers Market tabling event, where students can sample local products that can be purchased in the markets on campus.

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:
The Thoughtful Cup location serves locally-roasted Jags Head Coffee (minority-owned), and Aurum Cafe offers Change Please Coffee (all profits from Change Please Coffee are donated to support people experiencing homelessness). Produce was purchased from local SME's including American Dream Produce, Barbee Farms, Burch Farms, Gulfstream Produce, Hines Family Farm, and Patterson Farms.

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?:
No

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:
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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:
Both dining halls (SoVi and Crown Commons) serve a vegan entree, and Crown Commons has a stir-fry station that is gluten-free while having the option to be vegan. Both dining halls offer a range of vegan and vegetarian options at every meal. An online menu website identifies items as vegetarian and vegan. Menu boards above each food station display icons next to vegan and vegetarian items, along with possible allergens under each menu item. UNC Charlotte Dining Services has a registered dietitian on staff who helps students who are vegetarian/vegan navigate dining on campus. Through social media outlets, dining services regularly posts about vegetarian and vegan options available at the dining halls.

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:
In both dining halls, menu boards above each food station display icons for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, low-carbon, and a sustainability rating (%) for any applicable menu item. This information is also posted with online and catering menus. When available, both dining halls advertise local produce. Crown Commons has a sustainability wall that informs students, faculty, and staff about current sustainability practices. We have signage to support recycling and composting in dining halls and retail food outlets.

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:
Crown Commons and SoVi dining halls use Waste Not 2.0 to track and record all leftover food donations and food waste sent to a commercial composter.

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:
There are no trays in any dining locations on campus, only plates are used by the students. After meals, students place their plates on a conveyor belt for cleaning and sanitizing. Balanced U icons label food that has balanced nutrients and portion size.

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:
Dining Services donates excess food from multiple dining locations on campus to Kelly’s Community Kitchen on a weekly basis. There is also a procedure for donations to the Niner Pantry that is based on availability of student volunteer workers.

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:
Multiple dining locations on campus have a cooking oil collection tank that is picked up and recycled into fuel by Valley Proteins, Inc.

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:
Both dining halls use systems for kitchen staff to add pre-consumer food waste to the bins that collect post-consumer compostables at their locations, for delivery to a commercial composter, Earth Farms. Pre-consumer compostables are also collected from smaller food venues and catering kitchens and brought to the dining halls for hauling to the composter. Chartwells kitchen staff receive training on pre-consumer composting and recycling.

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:
Both dining halls collect post-consumer food waste as part of dishwashing operations. The university also collects post-consumer compostable materials at any event held at the football stadium, which was declared a Zero-Waste facility by the Student Government Association in 2011. Post-consumer compostable waste is sent to Earth Farms, a commercial composter.

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:
Both dining halls provide reusable service ware such as plates, cups, mugs, silverware, and bowls.

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:
Reusable Ozzi containers for takeout are available for a refundable $6 fee from both dining halls. The containers help to deter landfill waste from styrofoam containers and single-use plastics. Dining locations also use Fresh2U recyclable packaging containers for to-go items.

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:
The Thoughtful Cup, a coffee shop on campus, offers a discount on beverages for individuals who bring in their own mugs.

A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
Kosher and Halal menu items are available in both dining halls. During fasting holidays (Yom Kippur, Lent, Ramadan, etc.), Dining Services has specific programming, foods that those observing holidays require, and some educational resources.

Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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