Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.21
Liaison Gary Cocke
Submission Date Sept. 11, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

The University of Texas at Dallas
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Gary Cocke
Associate Director for Sustainability and Energy Conservation
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:


Sustainability Policy Published by Chartwells Dining

With education as the primary focus of our business activity, Chartwells is committed to fostering and promoting sustainable business principles to the UT Dallas community. Our associates will lead by example through activities that minimize our impact on the environment by practicing the 3Rs, with a primary focus on reduction. Our programs will include the necessary information to encourage informed choices on both the foods we consume, and the ways we interact with the natural environment. Charitable donations, funding scholarships and bursaries, and active volunteerism by our associates are just some of the ways that Chartwells reinvests in our communities.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
No

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
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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?:
Yes

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

UT Dallas Dining Services hosts its “Pop Up Farmers Market” on the second Tuesday of each month during the semesters. Students, faculty and staff are invited to learn about sustainable and healthy food options, and shop the market’s produce, spices and prepared foods. Recipe cards with Dining Hall coupons will also be available.


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:

To accommodate the 25% of our student population that is vegetarian we have a fixed station in our resident dining hall, called greens and beans, that offers a variety of vegetarian options daily. The menu is on a 4-week cycle, just as the rest of the dining hall stations and is dedicated to providing fresh, healthy vegetarian options. There is also have a wide variety of vegetarian options in the majority of our retail locations as well.

Dining Services and Chartwells have also partnered with Student Government Green Initiative to adopt meatless mondays on campus in order to highlight vegan options for students.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events:

In Fall 2018, The University of Texas at Dallas became the first public university in Texas to join Meatless Monday, an international campaign promoting health and sustainability throughout college campuses around the world. A partnership between Student Government and Dining Services, this project aims to bring awareness about healthy living not just for students, but also the environment. With meat production contributing significantly to the environmental challenges our world faces today, we hope Meatless Monday will encourage students to reduce meat consumption on at least one day out of the week. From "Teaching Kitchens" (cooking demonstrations headed by UTD's Executive Chef) to an online pledge system, Student Government and Dining Services strive to keep health and sustainability in the minds of the student population.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:

Farmer’s Market is a monthly event help for the student body and campus community. The event is held in the Plinth an outdoor public forum setting and features local farmers and sustainable vendors.

Earth week
Community Kitchen, residential dining disruptive action station held monthly to showcase the local farmers and vendors from the Farmer’s Market


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:

Farmer’s Market is a monthly event help for the student body and campus community. The event is held in the Plinth an outdoor public forum setting and features local farmers and sustainable vendors.

Sustainability signage is also prominently placed throughout the campus dining hall, which serves 3 million meals per year, to educate students about local food systems, carbon footprint, and food waste. UTD Student Marketing Organization has also partnered with Dining and Office of Sustainability to educate students about sustainability.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:

Signage and Labeling is located online at : https://www.dineoncampus.com/utdallasdining/sustainability
Signage and Labeling is located in Dining Hall West.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:

Waste Not is a compass program designed to eliminate waste during pre-consumer production. The program teaches associates how to properly cut and reuse products in order to eliminate waste. The waste is collected in “Waste Not Buckets” and weighed daily for tracking.
Food Recovery Network, a student based group that recovers and reuses perishable items and donates them to the campus and community.


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:
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:

UT Dallas participates in many programs and challenges that regulate and quantify the amount of compost, waste, and food recovery methods:
Food Recovery Network - over 4,000 pounds donated to date.
EPA Food Recovery Challenge - 2 years of participation.
RecycleMania - Competed in food recovery in 2018


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:

Changes that had been made by UT Dallas Dining Services include not using trays and eliminating straws and plastic foam cups. All of this was done in 2014 as part of the LEED Certification and 3 Star Green Restaurant Certification.
https://www.utdallas.edu/news/campus/ut-dallas-keeping-more-food-out-of-the-trash-with-new-programs/


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:

UT Dallas has the Comet Cupboard program. This food pantry initiative’s dedicated to helping students in need. Its primary mission is to provide necessary food and personal care items to members of the UT Dallas community. Food is collected throughout the year via food drives and fundraisers.

Food Recovery Network: UTD collects leftovers from campus dining locations and get the food to lower income populations.
Hope's Door New Beginning Center: food leftover delivery location


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

Composting Program
Organix Recycling composts the food waste from UTD. Compost from food waste on campus has been used in landscaping at the Northside housing and retail complex on Synergy Park Boulevard.


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:

Composting is an important part of the campus waste management program that is continuously evolving. Pre-Consumer food waste contributions began in 2011 in partnership with Dining Services and Facilities Management. In August 2017, a partnership with Organix Recycling formed and enhanced the overall composting program at UT Dallas. With the transition, specialized compost containers were installed near kitchen locations, therefore simplifying the pre-consumer food waste collection process. With this new partnership, additional food items became acceptable in the waste stream that were not previously accepted (for example, meat and dairy products), increasing the amount of food waste that is recycled. As of current, Dining Services has taken the lead and moved to all food waste collections in Dining Hall West.Composting is an important part of the campus waste management program that is continuously evolving. Pre-Consumer food waste contributions began in 2011 in partnership with Dining Services and Facilities Management. In August 2017, a partnership with Organix Recycling formed and enhanced the overall composting program at UT Dallas. With the transition, specialized compost containers were installed near kitchen locations, therefore simplifying the pre-consumer food waste collection process. With this new partnership, additional food items became acceptable in the waste stream that were not previously accepted (for example, meat and dairy products), increasing the amount of food waste that is recycled. As of current, Dining Services has taken the lead and moved to all food waste collections in Dining Hall West.


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:

Organix Composting Program. Dining Services collaborated with Organix for Post Consumer Composting


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:

Residential Dining utilizes reusable dinnerware and has almost completely eliminated the use of possible composting contaminants in the dining area. This is best seen through the lack of straws, stirrers and any prepackage items such as butter, jelly, honey and condiments.
Residential dining also provided reusable or compostable containers for students on the go, needing to a box for a meal on the go.


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:
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?:
No

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:

Not currently at this time, the to go box program still requires a meal swipe


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:

Dining participates in the plastic film recycling program in partnership with the Office of Sustainability.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Chartwells, a third-party contractor for UT Dallas Dining provided the information within this section.

http://www.utdallas.edu/news/2009/08/10-001.php

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.