Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.36
Liaison Laura Minchella
Submission Date July 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Sydney
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.63 / 2.00 Zoe Morrison
Strategy Advisor
Strategy Office
"---" 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:
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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:

The Food Coop is a minimal plastic use, healthy food outlet on campus that encourages BYO container use and sources its products from certified sources within Australia


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 Sydney Union (USU) supports local businesses and is a trial vendor for a number of local, national and University-based start-ups such as FarmWall (https://farmwall.com/) and #IMNOTPLASTIC (https://www.imnotplasticco.com.au/).


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:

In 2019, USU started a campaign to increase eating greens and micros-greens from its recycled-water hydroponics trial This involved access micro-green plants from a green wall to add to food from its venues and lunch students had brought in themselves. Students and staff were also able to buy micro-greens from USU as a discounted rate. The FarmWall and green wall was also used by the venue kitchen so there was a reduction in travel related emissions and use of fertilisers.
During events such as USU Sustainability Week and O-Week, there are dedicated meat-free venues and food trucks to lower meat-related source 3 impacts.


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:

The USU ensures at all times vegan options are available at all venues. A minimum of 20% vegan options on dining menus and being expanded to 50% by the end of 2022. When there is a limited menu such as via the USU Food Truck - 50% of the menu will include vegan options


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:

At USU venues, a unique labelling system is used to identify items which are vegan.
At the Forum, a University-owned venue, the menu indicates that they use food items sourced within 250km and there are signage indicators for vegan, gluten-free and sustainability sourced.


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 University worked with the local council, City of Sydney, to engage with their 'Love Food, Hate Waste' program, teaming up with students to help vendors reduce their food waste.
USU also use pre-cut fruit and vegetables to prevent waste onsite


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?:
No

A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:

The University does not use trays in our dining halls at all.


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:

USU are supporting a Melbourne-based food donation app called Bring Me Home. It enables students to purchase uneaten food at very discounted rates or free. They also partner with OZ Harvest to channel donations of larger commercial waste (Oz Harvest don't access pre-made retail food donations.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:
No

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:
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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:

All University venues encourage all customers to bring their container or bowl and are incentivised with discounts on purchases - 50c per container used.


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:

USU venues offer take way meals and coffees are served in compostable packaging and cups (I'mNotPaper). they also work with vendors to switch from non-compostable or recyclable to compostable. This will roll out to other venues in line with the University's installation of a new biodigestor and single-use plastic free campuses program set for mid-2021.


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:

a 50c discount is used to encourage reusable container use.


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:
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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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.