Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.72
Liaison Alex Frank
Submission Date Aug. 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-Madison
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 2.00 Alex Frank
Sustainability Analyst
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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
---

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:
---

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:

From August to October the Wisconsin Union Directorate hosts a weekly farmers market at Union South (https://union.wisc.edu/events-and-activities/special-events/campus-farmers-market/). Vendors include:
- Parrfection Produce - a co-op of farmers from Monroe
- Munchkey Apples grown locally in Mount Horeb
- Savory Accents
- Tummy Yummies
- Let It Ride Cold Brew Coffee
- Porchlight

The market also features Farm to Table bags as a part of Campus Supported Agriculture (CSA). Each bag contains fruits and vegetables from the week’s harvest, along with a recipe card tailored to your bounty.


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:

UW-Madison includes vegan options at all times and in all dining markets. These options are clearly marked on the market menus (see menus here: http://menus.housing.wisc.edu/menus/).


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:

UW-Madison hosts a variety of low impact dining events throughout the school year, example events include:
- Meatless Monday: Meat was not served during the dinner hours in all dining markets (https://www.housing.wisc.edu/event/meatless-monday/)
- Earth Day: All dining markets focused on serving locally-sourced foods (https://www.housing.wisc.edu/event/earth-day/)


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:

UW-Madison hosts a variety of sustainability-themed meals throughout the school year, example events include:
- Earth Week Lunches: Lunches focused exclusively on locally-sourced foods (https://www.housing.wisc.edu/2018/03/earth-day-lunches/)
- Blended Burger: Meal introducing the new Blended Burger, a burger that is 25% mushroom and therefore 25% less meat (https://www.housing.wisc.edu/2018/08/try-our-new-tasty-blended-burger-who-knew-sustainable-food-tasted-so-good/)


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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
---

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:

Signs appear in dining markets and advertise "Wild Planet 100% sustainably caught tuna," local farms and companies whose products are featured in the dining halls, and a blended burger made with mushrooms to reduce red meat consumption in a typical dining item.

Example signs are included in the attachment to this credit.


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:

University Housing maintains a website (https://www.housing.wisc.edu/about/sustainability/food/) that compiles a variety of sustainable food systems information, both in general as well as for the dining options at UW-Madison.

In addition, UW-Madison provides information to students who live on campus on the reusable take-out container program (Ticket to Take Out) to help explain the process and encourage participation.


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:

UW-Madison offers Halal options at all of Dining Marketplaces and staff have been trained on how to handle these items (https://www.housing.wisc.edu/2018/11/halal-friendly-options-available-at-all-dining-markets/).

UW-Madison also offers a selection of grab-and-go Kosher items that are procured from the Hillel House food service operation on campus and have also had Kosher-certified chefs do pop-up events at dining markets (https://www.housing.wisc.edu/event/pop-up-chef-adamah-neighborhood-table/).


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:

University Housing utilizes a software system (CBORD) to track overproduction of food (including what gets composted and what gets sent to food recovery organizations). This information is used to forecast future food needs with the goal of minimizing overproduction.


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:

While all dining venues are a la carte, there is no formal trayless and/or modified menu program specifically designed to reduce post-consumer food 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:

Surplus food from dining venues is redistributed through the Campus Kitchens Project (https://campuskitchens.org/), Food Recovery Network (https://www.foodrecoverynetwork.org/), Open Seat Food Pantry (https://www.asm.wisc.edu/theopenseat/), and the Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin (http://www.cacscw.org/).


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:

All compost materials collected at UW-Madison are sent to a local digester that produces biogas for electricity generation (https://sustainability.wisc.edu/composting/).


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:

Pre-consumer compost bins are available in food prep areas with instructional signage.


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:

Post-consumer compost bins are available in dining areas with instructional signage.


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:

UW-Madison uses reusable china for dine-in meals in all the dining markets.


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:

Ticket To Take Out is UW-Madison's reusable to-go container program. Beginning in Fall 2018, UW-Madison's Ticket to Take Out program converted all dining facilities to exclusively utilizing reusable to-go containers (https://www.housing.wisc.edu/2018/08/university-housing-dining-culinary-services-ticket-to-take-out-program-makes-to-go-food-environmentally-friendly/).

In addition, Greenware and Primeware products are used in market "grab-and-go" items.


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?:
Yes

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

Customers who bring their own reusable mugs get a flat-rate, reduced cost on tea and coffee.


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:

Recently, UW-Madison switched all dining venues to bulk milk (moving away from the previous small plastic bottles of milk) reducing packaging waste.


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

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.