Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.26
Liaison Alexi Lamm
Submission Date Oct. 10, 2022

STARS v2.2

Utah State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.20 / 2.00 Alan Andersen
Executive Director
Dining Services
"---" 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 student-led USU Farmers Market is a program developed through Student Sustainability Grants. It is open to local farms and vendors, USU Student Organic Farm, student clubs and diversity Groups, as well as arts and music.


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:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
No

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the vegan dining program:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability labelling and signage in dining halls:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
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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:

After an internal waste audit conducted by USU Dining Services in the summer of 2008, USU implemented trayless dining. Food costs and food wasted decreased dramatically. Reduction of food waste is an essential part of USU Dining Services' sustainable efforts. Trayless dining reduces food waste, conserves energy, reduces water waste, reduces chemical waste, and encourages healthier eating habits.


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:

Utah State University takes part in the Food Recovery Network and began taking part in the USU Campus Kitchen in 2019, in which food that would otherwise go to waste is used in making nutritious meals to be donated to two local food banks-S.N.A.C. department (Student Nutrition Access Center) and the Cache Valley Food Pantry. The Cache Valley Food Pantry serves more than 400 families in the county as well as many of the local Senior Centers.


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:

Dining Services sends unusable meat scraps and fats to the Willow Park Zoo.


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 January of 2015, USU bought a composter from Green Mountain Technologies. The composter receives the pre-consumer waste made by Dining Services.


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:

The university takes post-consumer compost drop-offs near the Biology and Natural Resources Building as well as the Taggart Student Center. Post-consumer composting is not available in dining halls due to contamination issues.


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:

Dining hall locations have ceramic plates and cups. Some cafes have the option for reusable mugs.


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:

In the spring of 2014 Dining Services purchased 250 reusable take-out containers. We have since purchased a little more than 500 more. The program is available in USU's two dining halls. As an incentive, the containers are available at a discounted price.


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:

As mentioned above, Dining offers reusable take-out containers at a discount and most of our retail operation offer discount on beverages purchased in a reusable container. We also give a portion of any refill to our on-campus bike program.


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

Dining Services participates in Food Day events with USU's dietetics students. It also does food demos at the USU Wellness Fair.


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