|Submission Date||Oct. 13, 2017|
University of San Diego
OP-8: Sustainable Dining
|1.88 / 2.00||
Director of Dining Services
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
USD Dining strives to offer fresh, wholesome foods and quality services in a sustainable way. Dining Services considers the environmental impact of decisions and offers an array of eco-friendly cuisine that is good for students and mindful of the environment.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
USD Dining has partnered with a student group and class on campus to grow herbs in an on-campus garden; those herbs are then used in food served at the USD Missions Cafe restaurant. There are two other restaurants that have herb gardens in their vicinity that include these herbs in their seasonal menus. Additionally, there is a rooftop garden in the Student Life Pavilion. The USD Catering Department and in-house baker use these herbs for their cooking and baking.
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?:
A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
Twice a year, USD partners with farmers and/or with other campus department to have a full Farmer's Market event with local farmers and vendors.
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?:
A brief description of the vegan dining program:
There are vegan options available on campus during every meal at every dining facility. At the main dining area, the self service areas offer salad items for diners to design their own salad; customized meals are available from the prepared food areas. Implemented in the spring of 2016, the Vegan station "Clean Earth Kitchen" allows students to pick from a variety of fresh vegetables to sauté with a starch item. Vegan options are also available in all facilities across campus. Dining staff is more than happy to be consulted regarding the individual diner's food needs (allergies, restrictions, etc) and customize a meal to fit each student's needs. Vegan labels indicate which food is classified as vegan so eaters are comfortable knowing the ingredients in their food. An online vegan menu is also available for students and staff to know which food options are available in the main dining areas.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
A brief description of the low impact dining events:
USD has offered a Meatless Monday option to diners for several years now in all dining facilities. Because of the high demand for meatless meals, Dining Services created an all vegan station in our dining hall. Dining Services also participates in a Changemaker Fest annually where they prepare a vegan meal for a low price to all student who attend the event.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:
The Student Life Pavilion has signage available to indicate low impact food options. Additionally, tips and information is posted to social media. Additionally, different sustainable food practices that USD follows daily are noted through table tents, signage, and social media.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:
USD Dining Services meets with students annually to go over projects they are working on for a class or through the Changemaker club. The Changemaker Challenge research done this year was based on water. Projects for the challenge focused on the water usage related to producing meat (water footprint of meats), ways of decreasing water usage, and purchasing policies of sustainable products such as produce and dairy.
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)?:
A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:
USD Dining is the first campus in California to offer a sustain-a-bottle Freestyle program. This reusable bottle has a unique RFID chip that allows you to purchase a semester's worth of refreshment at one time. Users can choose from over 70 low, or no, calorie options while keeping disposable cups, lids and straws out of the landfill. Dining also works with a local company to compost our food waste in many of our dining facilities and, in one facility on campus, composted waste is used in our campus food garden.
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?:
A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
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?:
A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:
Trays are not provided in any of the campus eateries. All areas are 100% styrofoam-free and trayless dining facilities use greenware - compostable flatware, cups and plates made of renewable resources, and 100% recycled content paper goods. The main dining area, the Student Life Pavilion, serves its customers on chinaware that is washed and reused.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
A brief description of the food donation program:
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)?:
A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
USD Dining Services has been converting cooking oil to fuel for several years now. This fuel is used by a USD coach on his personal farm, as well as a given to a company that converts it to Biodeisel Fuel to be used in the San Diego area.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:
USD currently works with a company who composts all of pre-consumer waste for most of the USD dining facilities. They provide USD with the bins and pick them up weekly.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:
The main dining area at USD is home to a BioHiTech Food Digester that transforms 3,200 pounds of food waste into water each week. The digester uses a highly specialized formula of micro-organisms to break down food waste and reduces the amount of solid waste for disposal. This system has diverted waste from landfills and decreased fuel consumption. According to BioHiTech America, operating the company’s 1200 model at full capacity for 1-year will reduce emissions of 470,000 pounds of CO2 and 58 MTCE of greenhouse gases.
The food waste disposed at the composting bins by campus residents is composted and used at the University garden by the Be Blue Go Green garden club.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:
A brief description of the reusable service ware program:
USD uses china dishware and silverware daily.
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)?:
A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
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?:
A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
Since 2010, USD cafes have offered a discount for patrons who bring reusable mugs.
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)?:
A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
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.