Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.24
Liaison Rob Andrejewski
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Richmond
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Rob Andrejewski
Director of Sustainability
Office for Sustainability
"---" 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?:
No

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:

We are committed to strengthening our ties to our local community by purchasing regionally produced items, such as Virginia Grown or Virginia's Best products when available and affordably priced. We do not have a CSA or market 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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:

Organic Krush Café, located in the new Well-Being Center, specializes in organic options as well as high-quality gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan bakery items for breakfast, lunch and dinner and brunch on the weekends. Organic Krush is a nationally recognized brand with locations in nearby Short Pump, and in parts of Long Island, New York and Connecticut. The menu is crafted using organic ingredients free of pesticides, GMOs, and hormones. A wide breadth of recipes were created that are both delectable and organic.


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 University of Richmond has a long history of support for local businesses, and has prioritized promotion of supplier diversity. The Supplier Diversity Program — spearheaded by the Office of Strategic Sourcing and Payments (OSSP) — will enhance the University's relationships with women- and minority-owned businesses (WMBE) by actively identifying, soliciting, and contracting with diverse businesses. OSSP staff will communicate and educate the University community on supplier diversity goals and best practice, sourcing quality goods and services at competitive prices, and providing responsive services to all University faculty, staff and students. In addition, outreach efforts with WMBE-certified businesses, such as the annual supplier showcase, will give suppliers the opportunity to meet with University buyers and learn more about the requirements for doing business with UR.


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
5

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:

Prior to COVID, the Heilman Dining Center hosted "Live Well, Dine Green" events focused on sustainable dining. Events included introducing meat substitutes for traditional foods (e.g., Impossible Burgers, Beyond Meat, etc.), focus on local farms and vendors, and education on portion sizes.

Passport Cafe's weekly special is always vegan or vegetarian, focusing primarily on international cuisine.

Organic Krush Café specializes in organic options as well as and vegan items for breakfast, lunch and dinner and brunch on the weekends.


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:

At the Heilman Dining Center, vegan proteins are available at every made-to-order station with dedicated vegan pots and pans to avoid cross-contamination. The dining hall uses dietary symbols to indicate which foods are vegan. Hot vegan selections are available everyday for lunch and dinner at the Grains and Greens station. The stir fry, panini, custom salad, and custom pasta stations prepare entrees to order which increases vegetarian and vegan options. The salad bar includes varied vegetables, beans, tofu, hummus, and an assortment of fresh fruit options. Soy and/or nut milk and vegan cheeses are always available.

Retail dining locations, Organic Krush, including Lou's, Passport Cafe, the Cellar, and Tyler's, offer vegan and vegetarian options, which are noted on the menus or sign boards.


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 and around the University Dining Hall, there are signs that describe sustainable practices, including which food items produce the most waste, items that contribute the most carbon dioxide, and local sources of common food provided. Signs also promote the subjects highlighted by the the University’s “Live Well, Dine Green” initiative.

In some of the retail locations, local foods are labeled and promoted.

In all dining facilities on campus, divided, color coded, and labelled landfill and recycling bins are present. On all bins, there are graphics detailing which types of items belong in each bin. In addition, at different retail vendors on campus, site specific signs are present detailing which part of specific food waste products belong in each bin. For example, in and around Eight Fifteen Cafe, the University’s on campus coffee shop, there are signs saying which parts of the coffee cups (lid, heat sleeve, cup) go in which bin.


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:

The Heilman Dining Center adopted Lean Path this year. Pre-consumer food waste is weighed and tracked with a goal of reducing waste and improving efficiency. The program is set up to make it a competition that encourages participation among the staff. The goal is continued improvement.

Post-consumer food is diverted from the landfill via a pulper and composting at the dining hall. All retail dining locations have back-of-house and post-consumer composting options.


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:

All on campus eateries are trayless as of spring 2020.

The University has been actively examining the sizing of its protein portions before being offered to students and making adjustments as they go. After a pilot program, the Dining Hall reduced fish and meat portions to 3 oz. servings.


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 the Heilman Dining Center, the University donates food to Caritas, a local food bank and support center for home-insecure people. Food that was prepared but not served, leftover prepackaged meals for meal service, and items close on best-by date are donated.

Prior to COVID, an intern in the Office for Sustainability coordinated with dining managers across campus to pick up food from venues that are not open during the weekend. This food was brought to a food pantry at a nearby church. Each semester, about 1,500 pounds of food was recovered and donated. This practice is on hiatus as of February 2022.


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:

The University has an instituted system to recycle cooking oil. Annually, the University recycles about 1700 gallons of cooking oil that is processed for biofuels by RTI.


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:

The University instituted a campus wide composting program at all dining facilities in Fall 2020 through Spring 2022. Food waste is captured at the bins and via the plate and utensil return process. More than 50 tons of dining-related compost were collected in the fall of 2021.


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:

Currently, post-consumer composting is available at the Heilman Dining Center Forum, Organic Krush patio and indoors, Carole Weinstein International Center courtyard, both upper level patios outside of Tyler Haynes Commons and indoors outside of Tyler's, and Boatwright patio. Any food waste, food-related paper or food-related cardboard (including pizza boxes), and wooden food items (like toothpicks or chopsticks) can be disposed of at the compost bins. Student employees known as Rethink Waste Represenatives will help consumers sort their waste properly. All items from Organic Krush are compostable. The University has partnered with local company Natural Organic Processes Enterprise, or also known as NOPE, to collect and haul our compostable materials. NOPE will bring the items to McGill Environmental Systems Composting Facility in Waverly, Virginia.


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:

Dining services has ceramic plates and metal serving ware for all in-house meals in Heilman Dining Center. During the peak of COVID service, we were unable to use reusable service ware. We have returned to the reusable model in 2022. Some of the retail outlets have reusable wares, but not all.


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:

Heilman Dining Center has a reusable to-go container program in which students pay a one-time $5 fee for the reusable container at the cashier's station. Student can fill up the container (up to 28 ounces) with food and can take additional fruit/desserts as well.

To go containers were switched to all compostable in Spring 2021 to support the rollout of post-consumer composting. (Some supply chain issues have impacted this effort recently.)


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:

Reusable mugs receive discounts in all retail locations. The University’s on campus coffee shop, Eight Fifteen Cafe, offers a 20 cent discount to customers who bring in their own reusable drink containers. These mugs encourage reuse over single-use, disposable items.

All first year students receive a reusable mug as part of their WELL 100 - Introduction to College Life at UR class.


A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
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Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Information from Tyler Betzhold and Josh Wroniewicz

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.