Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Chelsea Hamilton
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

Vanderbilt University
OP-7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Chelsea Hamilton
Sustainability Outreach Program Manager
Environmental Health, Safety, and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of total annual food and beverage expenditures on products that are sustainably or ethically produced:

Percentage of total annual food and beverage expenditures on plant-based foods:

An inventory of food and beverage purchases that qualify as sustainably/ethically produced:
A brief description of the methodology used to conduct the inventory, including the timeframe and how representative samples accounted for seasonal variation (if applicable):

FY20-21 data reported. In FY21-22, a major vendor of Campus Dining was unable to provide data, so last year’s data (which is a more complete picture) reported here. Vanderbilt maintains a list of product vendors, their sustainable attributes, and how much is spent on sustainable products.

Website URL where the institution’s validated Real/Good Food Calculator results are publicly posted:

Which of the following food service providers are present on campus and included in the inventory/assessment?:
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., regional or global brands) No No
Convenience stores Yes Yes
Vending services No No
Concessions No No

Total annual dining services budget for food and beverage products:
$5 million - $9.9 million

A brief description of the institution’s sustainable food and beverage purchasing program:

Dining employs a Sustainability Supervisor who is responsible for researching, implementing, and managing all of Dining’s green initiatives and participates in the planning and implementation of many campus-wide sustainability initiatives throughout the year. Vanderbilt Dining has established a Dining Advisory Committee, comprised of students and staff to address all aspects of dining on campus, including the procurement of sustainable foods. Wherever possible, efforts are made to provide seasonal, local, natural and organic foods. Vanderbilt Dining uses a vendor, FreshPoint, to fill food orders. FreshPoint automatically fills orders while prioritizing local farms/producers/vendors whenever possible. Campus dining is currently focusing on increasing local purchasing to reduce their carbon footprint and support the local community.
Vanderbilt was awarded membership in the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC). Co-founded and jointly led by Stanford University and The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative is a working group of leading scholars, foodservice business leaders, and executive chefs from invited colleges and universities who are accelerating efforts to move Americans toward healthier, more sustainable, plant-forward diets. MCURC encourages local sourcing and sustainable food choices.
Vanderbilt was also awarded membership into the TN Department of Environment and Conservation’s Get Food Smart Recognition program. Vanderbilt was recognized for its continued efforts towards food waste reduction, food recovery, and diversion. Vanderbilt uses LeanPath software to track and minimize food waste. This software provides Vanderbilt Dining with the analytics to help them understand what type and how much food waste is being generated so that more efficient and less wasteful strategies can be implemented to reduce waste.
In an effort to become more sustainable, Vanderbilt Dining has increased the number of plant- based dining choices. Some of these new options include the “Impossible Burger,” a 100 percent plant-based burger, and the “Blended Burger,” a 25 percent plant-based burger. With just the addition of these two options, meat consumption is expected to decrease by 700 pounds per month. Other plant-based food options include grilled BBQ spiced cauliflower steak, quinoa casserole, penne Bolognese which utilizes seitan (wheat meat) instead of red meat, meatless loaf and sweet potato jalapeno casserole.
Vanderbilt became a member of the Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge in 2018. Participating in the Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge will help reduce the amount of food sent to Middle Tennessee landfills, while helping to relieve hunger by donating wholesome, edible food to local nonprofits serving over 100,000 food-insecure residents in Davidson County.

Website URL where information about the food and beverage purchasing program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.