Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.48
Liaison Amy Brunvand
Submission Date Oct. 21, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Utah
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jessica Kemper
Sustainable Food Initiatives Manager
Sustainability 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?:
Yes

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

The University of Utah Farmers Market links local growers and artisans with the campus community and provides access to fresh, healthy, local produce and unique arts and crafts. Approximately 30 vendors attend the University of Utah Farmers Market each week during the first part of the fall semester. The market will be in its 13th season in the fall of 2020. http://sustainability.utah.edu/engagement/programs/farmers-market/ The Edible Campus Gardens (ECG)-The Edible Campus Gardens are inviting spaces that empower the campus community to engage in sustainable food systems, through co-curricular and academic programming. The gardens are a public space open to classes, students, and volunteers. An ecological, holistic, and beyond-organic approach to gardening is applied. Our produce is sold at the University of Utah Farmer’s Market and campus restaurants, donated to the FeedU Pantry, and exchanged with volunteers. The gardens were established in 1996 by a biology professor, Dr. Fred Montague, and have been growing ever since. http://sustainability.utah.edu/edible-campus-gardens/


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:

Rooted is a food outlet in the Carolyn and Kem Gardener Commons building. Rooted is the answer to a growing demand for clean, less-processed food, and more plant-based and environmentally conscious menus. This dining outlet focuses on real, wholesome foods with minimally-processed ingredients that are completely plant-based (with optional dairy add-ons). Rooted attracts and serves vegans and non-vegans alike.


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:

Two dining locations on campus offer a local rotating restaurant. Currently, four restaurants are in rotation: GR Kitchen, Tonkotsu Ramen, Saffron Valley, and Sobe Eats. Also, the Heritage Center dining hall purchases produce from New Roots, a nonprofit farm operated by the International Rescue Committee. New Roots provides refugee farmers with the opportunity to grow and market a variety of crops (https://www.rescue.org/announcement/new-roots-salt-lake-city). In addition, the Counsel Cafe in the Law Building serves Alpha Coffee, a local brand owned by a veteran and alumni of the U. Dining Services also purchases produce from the Edible Campus Gardens on campus.


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
9.70

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:

The primary dining service hosts “Love Food Not Waste," an annual educational event in the Heritage Center that promotes reducing food waste in the dining halls. Catering events hosted by the dining service use reusable dishes. The Feed U Pantry, the food pantry located on campus, partners with dining services to host monthly cooking demo events that highlight vegetarian meals made from items most frequently found in the pantry. The Heritage Center also does monthly cooking demos called "Teaching Kitchen." Those demos are plant-forward and low-impact using the reusable dishes at the dining hall.


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:

Complete protein vegan options are offered at dedicated stations in the Heritage Center Dining Room (the primary dining facility) and at Gardner Commons. Gardner Commons offers a food outlet called "Rooted" serving 100% vegan options. Vegan options are also available at Lassonde Cafe, the Union Food Court, and other locations around campus. Vegan meals are also labeled through the "Balanced U" program. https://new.dineoncampus.com/utah/healthy-decisions


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:

"Balanced U: Balanced U icons label foods in four categories 1) Balanced (low in calories, saturated fat, cholestrol and sodium); 2) Gluten Free 3) Vegan 4) Vegetarian. https://new.dineoncampus.com/utah/healthy-decisions

Real Food Labels: The Real Food icons label food according to categories established by the Real Food Challenge: community-based, ecologically sound, fair, and humane. They are in use in the Counsel Cafe, Honors College Cafe, and Mom's Cafe.

Food Waste Signage: The weight of food wasted per month in the Heritage Center Dining Room is posted regularly in a visible location.


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:

Food Waste Demo: Once a semester, the Sustainability Coordinator of Dining Services hosts an event to show students the impact of food waste and give tips on how to reduce their waste after performing a food waste audit.

Wasteless Solutions: Dining Services on the U of U campus partners with Wasteless Solutions, which picks up unsold packaged food from one location once a week and diverts it to the 10th Street Senior Center.

Food Recovery Network: Food Recovery Network (FRN) is sponsored by Dining Services. FRN collects leftover food from dining halls and events. They currently pick up food once a week from the Union Food Court and the Heritage Center Dining Room. The food goes to the Salt Lake City Rescue Mission and the YWCA, about 12 lbs per week. This student group was established in 2015 and has recovered over 44,185 lbs. of food.

Love Not Food Waste: The primary dining service hosts “Love Food Not Waste" annually to promote reducing food waste in the dining halls."


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:

Trayless dining is implemented at the Heritage Center, the main residence hall dining. Reduced portion size is encouraged the Heritage Center, where it is an all you can eat buffet.


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:

Food Recovery Network; Wasteless Solutions: Please see information in the food recovery section above.

In addition, Dining Services donates unsold food to the Feed U Pantry multiple times a semester, depending on whether the food is shelf-stable.


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:

Yes, some cooking oil is converted to fuel. Additionally, some food waste is picked up by Wasatch Resource Recovery and diverted to the anaerobic digester, where it is converted to methane and fertilizer. Pick-ups are twice weekly at two locations. The waste diversion totals for 2019 are 92,410 lbs at the Union and 229,005 lbs at the Heritage Center. (http://wasatchresourcerecovery.com/)


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 Edible Campus Gardens and Dining Services partner to compost pre-consumer waste. The Dining Services sends 25 lbs of pre-consumer food waste each week to the Edible Campus Gardens facilities, where volunteers and staff process the compost. The compost is used to organically fertilize the gardens and cut costs in buying soil.

Green Waste with Momentum Recycling: Pre-consumer green waste composting is coordinated through Momentum Recycling. With the opening of an Anaerobic Digestor in Salt Lake City, Dining Services was enthusiastic to contribute food waste to this cause. Food waste from campus is now converted to methane and fertilizer. See the food materials diversion response for data.


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:

Gardner Commons and the Heritage Center Dining Room offer reusable service ware. Additionally, reusable mugs are sold at some registers.


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:

Gardner Commons offers reusable service ware for sale that can be brought back, exchanged, and washed. Gardener and the Petersen Heritage Center offer compostable to-go containers, but not in conjunction with an on-site composting program.


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 mug discount is offered for drinks.


A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:

Sustainability Action Plan Food Chapter: Highlighted in this action plan are goals for food on the University of Utah for the next 5 years outlined by the Sustainable Food Initiatives Manager. https://sustainability.utah.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2019/02/Food-SAP-FINAL-2.pdf

Double Your Dollars Farmers Market Token Program: For the past twelve years, the Sustainability Office has run the University of Utah Farmers Market (UFM) with the mission to increase student access to fresh and healthy food. The Double Your Dollars program expands the mission of the market by providing affordable access to food through the $1 to $1-dollar match for healthy and local food purchases and is based on the SNAP/EBT token programs used at other Farmers Markets in Utah. Students purchase wooden tokens from the Market Manager’s Booth, where each dollar spent receives two wooden tokens. Students “spend” those tokens on grocery-like food items. At the end of the market, the UFM staff buys back the tokens from local vendors. http://archive.unews.utah.edu/news_releases/double-your-dollars-at-the-u-farmers-market/

Student Food Groups at the University of Utah: There are 6 food-focused student clubs (Slow Food U of U, Edible Campus Gardens, Feed U Pantry, Hydroponics Club, Food Recovery Network, and Real Food Challenge, Veg Club). All of these student groups bring awareness to food issues both on and off-campus and create a food culture between their peers. The Slow Food U of U chapter hosts food tastings and mindful eating classes focused around local foods. The Edible Campus Gardens and Hydroponics Club have a goal of donating 300 lbs. of fresh produce to the Feed U Pantry annually to provide students with more variety. The Feed U Pantry works to reduce food insecurity on campus for students and their families. The Veg Club and Real Food Challenge work to bring better food items to campus, and heightens awareness around sustainable meat products.

Be Well Utah Farmers Market: A farmers market hosted by the University of Utah Health Care, part of a week of promoting family health. http://healthcare.utah.edu/bewellutah/farmers-market.php


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