Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.00
Liaison Micah Kenfield
Submission Date March 15, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Vassar College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Maureen King
Senior Director of Campus Dining
Campus Dining
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:

Yes, we have a published sustainability dining policy, covered in detail at http://vassar.cafebonappetit.com/wellness/


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
Yes

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:

Yes, we proudly source ingredients from a campus farm/garden: The Poughkeepsie Farm Project. In Summer 2016 the College constructed 4 hoop houses for the Poughkeepsie Farm Project (PFP) to grow food for campus dining. The PFP leases land from the college on the Ecological Preserve to run an organic CSA.


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:

The college has hosted, in partnership with campus dining, a farmers market on campus for 5 years.


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:

Yes, we prioritize plant-based proteins in the cafes and a complete protein vegan option is available to the campus communities at every meal served in our cafés. We communicate vegan options to our guests using the Vegan Circle of Responsibility icon, on both online menus and menus in the café. We have one dedicated vegan station and offer several vegan staples including vegan dinner rolls, soy milk, and vegan shortbread cookies.

Sample Meatless Monday offering:
Curried quinoa and butternut squash cold salad
Minestrone soup
Black beans with cumin
Cellentani pasta with marina sauce
Vegan oatmeal cookie
Full salad bar
Full self stir-fry station


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:

Yes, we host a number of low impact dining events, including Earth Week and an Annual Farmworker Awareness Week.


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:

Yes, we host a number of sustainability themed meals throughout the year, including an annual Eat Local Challenge with 100% local ingredients to create excitement around regional foodsheds and local agriculture.


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 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:

We inform guests about low impact food choices and sustainability practices in many ways. On guest tables and in signs around the cafe, we share information about pressing sustainability issues and relevant policies, including antibiotics use on animal farms animal welfare issues, sustainable seafood, and farmworkers rights. Using our Circle of Responsibility (COR) program, we communicate sustainability attributes of ingredients through our online and in-café menus. Menus are labeled with COR icons that denote the following (and more):
if the dish includes local ingredients, and which farm they are from
if the dish includes animal products from a farm with a third party animal welfare certification
if the dish includes seafood rated as Green or Yellow by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program
if the dish is vegetarian and/or vegan


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:

Yes, Bon Appétit Management Company engages in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems in many ways. One example is through our Fellowship program, where recent graduates from Bon Appetit campuses join the company for 1-2 years to learn about the food system, do outreach to connect Bon Appétit campus communities with where their food is coming from, and perform research to inform future purchasing policies and commitments as a company.


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:

Sustainability and well-being is at the heart of what we do. For example, we host monthly Well Being Wednesday to educate guests about a variety of healthy eating topics, such as healthy fat and whole grain consumption, and always make culturally diverse options available in the café.


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:

Food prep in the two central eating areas is all composted, recorded and tracked monthly.


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:

Yes, we are trayless in our all-you-care-to-eat café at Vassar and train all servers in portion control in order to minimize 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:

Yes, we donate food to Dutchess Outreach Services and the Community Food Network FeedHV platform. We are in the process of becoming Food Recovery Verified.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
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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:

The main kitchens for both of Vassar's main dining areas collect all food preparation and other pre-consumer food waste for composting. The Vassar Experimental Garden runs an on-campus composting program where students may discard compostable food and non-food waste or it may be disposed of in multiple bins located at the Senior Housing areas and dining establishments.


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:

Vassar College collects pre and post-consumer food waste and uses compostable disposable dishes, cups and flatware in the Retreat, and ACDC.


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:

We source our compostable service ware from a company called EcoWare - a local company located in the New York region that provides our compostable dishware.

The All Campus Dining Center uses reusable dishes, cups, and flatware.


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:

For "to-go" meals, all containers and utensils are compostable, students may use the compost bins in the student center to dispose of their to-go meal.


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:

Vassar College offers a 10% discount for the use of re-useable mugs at the Retreat and the Bridge Cafe.


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)?:
No

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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