Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.83
Liaison Parker Long
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Virginia Commonwealth University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.13 / 2.00 Joseph Costa
Sustainability Projects and Program Coordinator
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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:

VCU works with Green Thread, an environmental sustainability platform provided by Aramark, to help minimize environmental impacts. Green Thread focuses on responsible sourcing, waste minimization, sustainable operations, and transportation management.


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:

Through Green Thread, Dining Services source food from a variety of local farmers, growers, and distributors. Although the list changes depending on the season and availability, a few of our partners are as listed: Barry's Berries & Jan's Jams, Crown Orchard, Dodd's Acres, Kirby Farms, Mountain View Orchards, Sunnyside Farm, The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg, and Twin Oaks Community.


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:

VCU holds a weekly farmers market, open to the public, in the VCU Arts Depot. This farmers market sells locally grown produce, eggs and skin care products.


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:

In the main student-dining center, Market 810, there is a standing vegan section that serves daily breakfast, lunch and dinner. This selection includes a fresh salad bar with vegan proteins, as well as hot entrees using tofu or tempeh. The in-house pastry chef also regularly makes vegan desserts. VCU Dining Services also offers gluten-free foods.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
No

A brief description of the low impact dining events:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:
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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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
No

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:
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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)?:
No

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:
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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:

ARAMARK VCU's Dining Service provider serves 100% of meals served on campus, trayless


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:

ARAMARK donates prior to major academic breaks and at the end of every semester as well as ~ 500 pounds each semester as part of a student waste education initiative.


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:

RECO picks up cooking oil from collection sites around campus for the purpose of making biofuel.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

VCU is not composting any pre-consumer food waste at this time.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

VCU is not composting any post-consumer food waste at this time.


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:

Our primary Dining services contractor Aramark uses reusable silerware in it's buffet locations on both the Monroe Park and Medical campus.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
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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:

Dining Services contract with Starbucks provides a discount for the use if reusable mugs.


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:
---

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