Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.39
Liaison Brian Liechti
Submission Date March 4, 2020

STARS v2.2

Warren Wilson College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Margo Flood
Sustainability Project Coordinator
Finance and Administration
"---" 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 College hosts a student-run, weekly farmers market that features products produced on campus as well as an artisanal baker from the community. The Warren Wilson Garden offers CSA memberships to the campus community providing vegetables, fruits, flowers and herb boxes regularly. Additionally, the student-run Local Foods Crew works in elementary school gardens twice a month educating young students about nutrition, agriculture and the importance of pollination.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:

The Cowpie Cafe is a student-founded and student-run vegan/vegetarian cafe. This is conducted in partnership with Sodexo, our contracted food service provider.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:

Sodexo purchases from many small businesses through our partnership with Mountain Foods Providers, a local-oriented food distributor. Examples of products are Home Free Bagels, which employs people at risk for homelessness as well as Silverback Tea which supports women who pick tea in Rwanda. However, we support many other small/local enterprises and are continually researching more producers we can source from through our students' work on the Local Foods Crew.


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
18

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:

The student Local foods Crew hosts events such as "Meatless Mondays" and a "Waste Buffet" to visualize post-consumer waste on campus. The zero food waste challenge is very important on campus. Additionally, we have our vegan/vegetarian Cowpie Cafe open for lunch and dinner each day.


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:

The Cowpie Cafe provides a vegan option for lunch and dinner throughout the weekdays. All other days the main dining hall, Gladfelter, includes vegan options for 100% of our students.

A group of motivated Warren Wilson students started the Cowpie Cafe in 2000, and now their student work crew manages it with assistance from Sodexo. Students learn about vegetarian and vegan cooking, and work with the college's organically managed Garden to source vegetables as locally as possible.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability labelling and signage in dining halls:

There is signage throughout the dining halls posting "take all you want, but eat what you take" to help to reduce post-consumer waste. We label all ingredients as "local" if they are local. We post weekly lists of the local items we purchased for the week and that we will be serving in the dining hall. We promote choosing to eat seasonally by decorating a "What's in season in our area this month" bulletin board. We hang up pictures and facts about our Warren Wilson College farm and garden products as well as other local producers we purchase items from. We have napkin inserts that highlight various sustainability practices such as purchasing Fair Trade, reducing energy consumption, eating more plants, and more.


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:

The College dining hall tracks menu items and quantity made/left over so that the next time they prepare that dish they try to prepare a more accurate quantity. Additionally, the dining hall works with the campus Composting Center to weigh the compost every day and track it. In addition to that, The student Local Foods Crew hosts sustainability events like "The Waste Buffet" which helps encourage the commitment to reducing post-consumer food waste.


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:

Cafeteria trays were removed from all dining halls on campus in 2009. They are available only upon request.There is signage in the dining hall and Cowpie that says you can always ask for smaller/half portions.


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:

Excess food is initially offered to students in the cafeteria to displace waste. Any food leftover at that point is donated to the local Veterans Restoration Quarters, a residential program for homeless veterans in Asheville run by a local Christian ministry.


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:

Warren Wilson's student-run Recycling Crew composts 100% of our food items and dining hall and kitchen food waste at our 'waste to compost' composting center. In addition, we also compost all the food waste from our dorms.


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:

During the prep cooking for meals, kitchen staff use the scraps for soup stock. Then, 100% of remaining pre-consumer food waste is composted by the Recycling Crew and used as soil amendments in the College Garden and landscape.


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:

All dining locations have compost containers at dish return areas to capture 100% of post-consumer food waste that is composted by the Recycling Crew and used as soil amendment in the Campus Garden and on the landscape.


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:

The dining hall is completely trayless and consists of only washable and reusable plates and silverware, along with recycled napkins that are also compostable.


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:

A durable, reusable container can be purchased for to-go meals. These containers must be used for any meals taken out of the cafeteria.


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:

Cafes on campus offer a discount on all coffee or tea when you bring your own reusable cup.


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

The Local Foods initiative is designed to support the many sustainability efforts on campus through providing access to a variety of local foods and promoting a local-oriented diet. We have a Local Foods Crew that hosts campus events that inform students about local and seasonal foods available in all of our dining locations. Examples of events are tastings of local Warren Wilson garden vegetables we are serving in the dining hall and "meet the local artisan" events at the Owl's Nest cafe. In addition to holding events, we market with promotional and educational material about local foods happenings on campus and sustainability facts campus-wide with posters, social media, our local perch blog and bulletin boards. Our goal is to have a thriving blog, monthly garden cooking classes/dinners, and an edible landscaping campus map this semester. Additionally, we quantify how much food the dining services is buying local through tracking invoices. We hope to greatly increase that local foods number, as well as to increase the amount of sustainable/ethically produced products.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Sodexo's on-site Sustainability Marketing Manager provided the data for this report.

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.