Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.71
Liaison Gioia Thompson
Submission Date Feb. 6, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Vermont
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Gioia Thompson
Sustainability Strategist
UVM 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:
UVM’s Catamount Educational Farm offers a summer CSA to the community and sells organic vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit weekly from early June to mid-October at the Old North End Farmers market and at their farm stand. The students grow, harvest, wash, and display the veggies that are sold weekly at the farm stand. Come meet the Farmer Training Program students and experience the seasonal harvest! All proceeds from farm stand sales directly benefit Catamount Educational Farm and the training of new and aspiring farmers. https://www.uvm.edu/~hortfarm/?Page=catamountfarm.html The winter Burlington Farmer’s Market is hosted at UVM’s Davis Center. The UVM Eco-Reps host an annual Farmer’s Market and are involved in all aspects of the event, including booking the reservation, vendors, and marketing the event. Available options include season produce, canned goods, student groups, and artisanal crafts! The Burlington based Intervale Food Hub offers local food CSAs tailored to students and the UVM academic calendar. They deliver to UVM twice per week during the academic year. https://www.intervalecommunityfarm.com/our-shares

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 UVM Dairy Bar exclusively serves UVM’s own ice cream made by Wilcox Ice Cream. Wilcox uses milk from UVM’s CREAM program (UVM student run dairy herd). Dairy heard, which is milked by UVM students in the Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management (CREAM) program. Local restaurant, The Skinny Pancake, has a location on campus. The restaurant's mission is to change the world by building a safer, healthier and more delicious food shed while creating everyday enjoyment that is fun and affordable. They are well known for their local food sourcing and community involvement. https://skinnypancake.com/our-mission-history/

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:
UVM Dining has a commitment to purchasing Vermont products before sourcing from outside of the state. Currently, the University sources 14% of its food from local producers (grown or manufactured in the state of Vermont), and 18% regional (grown/manufactured in New England). Dining has partnered extensively with Intervale Food Hub, which sources from small, organic farms, as well as Black River Produce, which sources from small to mid sized local and regional farms in order to purchase at volume from small producers. UVM Dining began tracking women and minority-owned business food spending in 2021. We have developed a new local food purchasing filter, which prioritizes small, local, women/minority owned businesses.

Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
14

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:
Dining hosts an annual “plant-based” dinner in all of our dining halls. In 2021 we hosted a Future 50 Foods dinner in all of our dining halls, which we plan to be an annual event. Throughout Earth Month we promote plant-based eating through a variety of events and education on social media and digital screens.

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:
We have 4 exclusive plant-based stations on campus (Rustic Roots and Peapod), plus all of our dining units offer complete-protein vegan and vegetarian options as part of their daily menu cycle for all meal periods. We consistently earn an “A” rating on the Vegan Report Card, as determined by PETA. Additionally, we offer an annual plant-based training for our chefs and culinary team, in partnership with the Humane Society of the U.S.

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:
Vegan/vegetarian/plant-based icons are used on online menus and printed signage. We advertise local and organic on our point-of-service signage and digital screens, including QR codes to learn more about our local farmers and producers.

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:
We have used LeanPath on campus since 2013. It is now used in all UVM Dining locations on campus. Chefs use these weekly reports to adjust operations and training. UVM Dining has also collaborated with UVM Eco-Reps to host a 4 day “Weigh the Waste event” every fall since 2009. Studnts weigh and track all post-consumer compost, and the EcoReps connect with students on how to reduce waste on campus.

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:
UVM Dining removed trays in Spring 2008. A majority of the stations in our dining halls are self-service, so students can take what they wish. All stations allow customers to try a taste of a menu item before ordering. Customers are also encouraged to customize their orders to meet their needs and reduce waste.

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:
UVM Dining partners with the Food Recovery Network to bring food down to the local food shelf once per week. Additionally, UVM Dining diverts additional food to the on-campus food pantry.

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:
Our dining facilities produce approximately 150-200 gallons used cooking oil each month. We have been diverting our waste oil since 2000. Today, the oil is taken to Black Bear Biodiesel in Plainfield, VT, which blends it into a biofuel. The biofuel is then stays in the local community, and is offered back to our community as a renewable fuel source. Visit UVM Recycling & Waste Management for more information on UVM Dining's vegetable oil collection history.

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:
In collaboration with UVM Zero Waste and in accordance with Vermont's Universal Recycling Law UVM Dining diverts all organic waste from the landfill. Each week, about 15 tons of pre and post-consumer food scraps and compostable packaging is collected from our dining locations and then transported 10 miles to the Green Mountain Compost facility. Employees are trained in composting at their annual orientation and again at their unit.

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:
In collaboration with UVM Recycling and in accordance with Vermont's Universal Recycling Law UVM Dining diverts all organic waste from the landfill. Each week, about 15 tons of pre and post-consumer food scraps and compostable packaging is collected from our dining locations and then transported 10 miles to the Green Mountain Compost facility. We educate students on waste sorting in our dining units and on social media and partner with Ecoreps to offer peer-to-peer education on proper waste sorting.

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 dining halls offer reusable serviceware and most retail locations offer resuable serviceware as an option.

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:
We work hard to limit excessive packaging. When we do use packaging, we use recyclables or compostable products that are in line with preferences of Chittenden County Solid Waste District. We never use Styrofoam on-campus and we offer complementary memberships to our reusable to-go container program, Eco-Ware, to all new students. We have offered a reusable container program since 2009 for to-go meals. Unfortunately our local composting facility no longer accepts compostable packaging in their compost stream. We do still purchase some compostable packaging, but opt for recyclable where possible, to reduce waste in the wastestream.

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:
We offer a 25 cent discount when using Ecoware, 25 cent discount for refillable mugs, and 5 cent discount for sporks.

A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:
Dining partners with several Learning Communities (LC’s) on campus. First time first year students are required to live in a themed LC that corresponds with 1 credit of classwork. Dining works most closely with the Wellness Environment and Sustainability House LC’s to host fun runs with vegan treats, co-host Plant-a-palooza and smoothie events, speak on panels and teach cooking demos/classes. In addition, we co-chair and sit on the Food Insecurity Working Group and run the Dining Advisory Committee, which is focused on student satisfaction and ensuring we have food options for all (including vegan/vegetarian, allergen-free, and culturally appropriate foods. Dining hosts 2 graduate-level food system fellowships each year, focused on local/sustainable food research, tracking, and communications.

Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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