Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.87
Liaison Elias Platte-Bermeo
Submission Date July 29, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Southern California
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 2.00 Elias Platte-Bermeo
Sustainability Program Assistant
Office of 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?:
Yes

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

The Trojan Farmers Market is an open-air marketplace that brings fresh, locally sourced produce and goods to the USC campus. The goal of the market is to support sustainable agriculture and farming practices.

Today, the Trojan Farmers Market hosts over 30 local vendors who offer a variety of locally grown produce, handmade products, and freshly made foods. Among the selection of seasonal produce, shoppers can find fresh avocados, asparagus, strawberries, and butternut squash, to name a few. Vendors sell pre-packaged snacks such as glazed nuts, root vegetable chips, and all-natural granola. Some favorites among students include fresh strawberries, homemade hummus, pupusas, and fresh salsa.

The Trojan Farmers Market is committed to offering healthy foods to students, staff, faculty, and surrounding community members.


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 University encourages procurement to purchase from small, disadvantaged, women-owned, veteran-owned, service disabled veteran-owned businesses and companies with environmentally friendly products.


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?:
Yes

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

All dining halls serve plant based options including entrees, sides, salads, and soups. The USC Village dining hall is the primary dining facility for 2500 students, and has a dedicated vegan-friendly 100% plant based dining station, as well as USC’s first "flexitarian station" (semi vegetarian where protein is an accent, not the focus).


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:

Vegan options are served daily in all dining halls. While vegan options are served throughout the dining hall at Everybody's Kitchen and Parkside, the USC Village dining hall uses a dedicated station to cook and serve vegan options for the "Plant Based Station." Vegan menu options are labeled and easily identifiable for guests.


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:

All dining halls serve plant based options including entrees, sides, salads, and soups. Menus in all dining halls highlight which dishes are vegetarian and vegan so that students are informed about low impact food choices. The USC Village dining hall has a dedicated large 100% plant based dining station.

Signage in dining halls encourages guests to be mindful of their portion size and consider ways to practice sustainable living through diet.


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:

Standardized recipes are followed, standardized portion sizes are served and the CBORD system is used to reduce food waste by forecasting the amount of food needed for daily production.


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:

Trays were removed from all dining halls in 2011. Standardized portion sizes are set in the CBORD system to limit consumer food waste. Serving sizes for protein are generally 2 or 4 ounces depending on the recipe; starch/grains and vegetables are 4 ounces.


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:

Leftover prepared food that is still safe to eat and would otherwise go to waste
is donated to St. Francis Center LA where food is redistributed to feed people of need in the community.

https://www.stfranciscenterla.org/
https://www.stfranciscenterla.org/sfc-partner-spotlight-usc/


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:

Dining venues dispose of pre-consumer food waste sorted by back-of-house dining employees. Dining venues also participate in a food recovery program with St. Francis for an average overall donation of 6-7 tons of edible food monthly.


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:

Back-of-house dining employees collect pre-consumer food waste into green receptacles which are then taken to the outside composting bins to be collected by the city franchise waste hauler, Republic Services.


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:

Composting waste is collected at each dining facility 3 times per week and taken to
Agromin composting facility, based in Chino, CA. The organics
recycler sells the compost to local growers and commercial landscapers.


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:

Flatware is stainless steel. Mugs are ceramic; drinking cups are
glass; bowls and plates are melamine. (Hubert brand)


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)?:
No

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
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A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:

Residential dining stopped offering straws in 2018. Residential dining
moved paper napkins from each table to a centralized location to reduce overuse/napkin waste in 2018. Residential dining removed 95% of single serve condiments.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.