Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.51
Liaison Aurora Sharrard
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pittsburgh
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.13 / 6.00 Nick Goodfellow
Sustainability Coordinator
Dining Services
"---" 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 University of Pittsburgh strives to build food systems that support a healthy body and a healthy planet, strengthen local communities, and minimize waste. The 2018 Pitt Sustainability Plan lays out several Food Systems goals, including two relevant to this credit: • Support a local, fair, ecologically sound, and humane food system by expanding the Real Food Challenge across campus to serve 25% Real Food by 2025. • Serve meals that put plants at the center of the plate by decreasing the amount of animal-derived products sold by 25% by 2025 (from 2017 baseline). REAL FOOD CHALLENGE The University of Pittsburgh has been formally committed to the Real Food Challenge since 2014. Since 2013, we have followed standard Real Food Calculator procedures for tracking, inventorying, and calculating the Real Food % at the University since 2013. Pitt’s process is to sample two months' worth of data (September and February of each academic year) as representative of the entire year's worth of purchases. The University’s foodservice provider shares all purchasing data with Pitt’s Real Food Challenge student interns (2 paid student intern positions) and the University. Pitt’s foodservice provider was Sodexo through academic year 2019-20 and Compass starting in academic year 2020-21. Pitt’s Real Food data is checked by both the foodservice provider and the University to ensure it is complete -- and then the Real Food student interns research the products to determine if they count as Real Food per the most recent Real Food Standards (Standard 2.1 at time of submission). Intern findings are verified by the Real Food Calculator team and result in our final campus % of Real Food. Pitt also uses the Real Food procurement data to identify plant-based purchases based on the Menus of Change criteria for "plant-based." REAL FOOD CHALLENGE DASHBOARD: Real Food was included as part of Pitt’s Sustainability Dashboard launch in 2019, with annual numbers updated dynamically online (scroll down to bottom for 2014 – 19 Real Food tracking here: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/dashboard/) COOL FOOD PLEDGE: To continue to advance the University of Pittsburgh’s plant-based and plant-forward options, Pitt was among the first signatories (and one of the first 3 universities worldwide) to join in the Cool Food Pledge in 2019. A global initiative led by the World Resources Institute (WRI), by signing the Cool Food Pledge, Pitt re-committed to cutting food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030 (originally a 2018 Pitt Sustainability Plan goal to “Serve meals that put plants at the center of the plate by decreasing the amount of animal-derived products sold by 25% by 2025 (from 2017 baseline).” As a result, Pitt has been working with WRI since 2019 to track its Cool Food performance. Learn more about Pitt’s Cool Food commitment: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/pitt-signs-cool-food-pledge

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 No No
Dining operations and catering services operated by a contractor Yes Yes
Student-run food/catering services No No
Franchises (e.g., regional or global brands) Yes Yes
Convenience stores Yes Yes
Vending services Yes No
Concessions Yes Yes

Total annual dining services budget for food and beverage products:
$10 million or more

A brief description of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchasing program:
The University of Pittsburgh has a robust sustainable food and beverage purchasing program aligned with Real Food Challenge and Cool Food Pledge commitments to source more sustainable, climate-friendly meals. The University began calculating using the Real Food Calculator in 2013 and signed the campus commitment in 2014. Our original Real Food goal was 20% Real Food in our largest dining hall (now called The Eatery) by 2020. We met that goal 2 years early in 2018 – and subsequently recommitted to the Real Food program in the 2018 Pitt Sustainability Plan with a commitment procure 25% Real Food campus-wide by 2025. In 2019, the University of Pittsburgh was one of three universities in the first cohort of Cool Food Pledge institutions, committing to reduce GHG emissions from meals by 25% by 2030. We are eager to see the results of the program in the upcoming 2020-21 procurement data and continue to reduce emissions associated with the meals we serve. Pitt Eats chefs and dining managers are trained on both the Real Food and Cool Food programs – and University sustainability and dining staff meets regularly with the Dining Services Sustainability Director to ensure procurement aligns with both program commitments.

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.