Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 77.18
Liaison Daimon Eklund
Submission Date Oct. 12, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Washington, Seattle
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.89 / 6.00 Claudia Frere-Anderson
UW Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on products that are third party verified under one or more recognized food and beverage sustainability standards or Local & Community-Based:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (expenditures on conventional animal products)? (If data is not available, respond “No”):

Percentage of total dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional animal products (meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, and dairy products that do NOT qualify in either the Third Party Verified or Local & Community-Based category):

A brief description of the sustainable food and beverage purchasing program, including how the sustainability impacts of products in specific categories are addressed (e.g. meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, dairy, produce, tea/coffee):

We continue to partner with local artisans and food and beverage providers to source local, natural and organic products, with over 30 percent of our purchases made within 250 miles of campus. Our local purchases have a sustainability story behind each relationship we build.

Whether it be related to maintaining and growing sustainable food production and processing in our region, partnering and pooling our resources and expertise to help drive sustainable business practices, or collaborating with our students to support the growing desire for sustainable dining practices on college campuses across the country, our goal is to provide a food system for the UW community that is sustainable.

For a few years now, we have purchased produce grown on campus by the UW Farm in our grocery store, full service restaurant and dining locations around campus. We continue to provide feedback to the farm on the types of produce we would like to see for the upcoming years’ harvest so that the farm could put in a seed order for the spring planting season. The chefs from various food service operation on campus gave their input on what they would like to have grown and used in their operations.

We have a great relationship with Food Lifeline, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending hunger in Western Washington, to pick up food items to be used in the local community to feed the hungry. We have three major food service operations that Food Lifeline picks up for and both support community shelters in the University neighborhoods.

An inventory of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchases that includes for each product: the description/type; label, brand or producer; and the category in which it is being counted and/or a description of its sustainability attribute(s):
A brief description of the methodology used to conduct the inventory, including the timeframe and how representative samples accounted for seasonal variation (if applicable):

Initially we requested detailed reports from all of our vendors. After compiling the information, we reviewed it against our own data collection to make sure they were similar. From there we looked into any gaps we had as far as pricing that may have changed with the market, and also averages from previous years, if there was no change to the purchasing practices.

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food A (0-100):

Percentage of total dining services expenditures on Real Food B (0-100):

Which of the following food service providers are present on campus and included in the total food and beverage expenditure figures?:
Present? Included?
Dining operations and catering services operated by the institution Yes Yes
Dining operations and catering services operated by a contractor No No
Student-run food/catering services No No
Franchises (e.g. national or global brands) Yes Yes
Convenience stores Yes Yes
Vending services Yes No
Concessions Yes No

A brief description of purchased food and beverage products that have other sustainability attributes not recognized above :

The UW has strong Supplier Diversity and Business Diversity Program (BDP) efforts in place focused on both federal and state-level spending. In addition, the UW has a strong student club focused on these efforts as well. Buying from certified, local women-, minority-, and veteran owned business is a key goal of these programs. Catering for events is one category of spend that has successfully increased purchases from such vendors, many of which often use local and sustainable products.

More on these programs at the links below:

Additional percentage of dining services food and beverage expenditures on conventional products with other sustainability attributes not recognized above (0-100) :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

We utilize the NACUFS Sustainability Guide and the NACUFS Professional Practices Manual, Chapter 16 Sustainability to help drive Sustainable Food Systems locally, regionally and nationally. For the seventh consecutive year, the UW made The Princeton Review's Green College Honor Roll, in part from efforts to serve organic, local and fair-trade food on campus. More than half of our food is produced within 250 miles of campus. UW Dining was recognized nationally as a top performer in the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index report.

Continuous outreach and education will always be a focus for our department. We have consistently presented to the campus community on our Sustainable Food System as well as our waste management program and are part of the academic curriculum in the School of the Environment. We have sponsored Campus Sustainability Fund projects on farming on campus; producing biodiesel fuel and using it on campus from our used cooking oil; and compost behavior and food studies aimed at diverting waste. In the past, we worked with Starbucks and Coke to develop compostable product lines.

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.