Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.46
Liaison Bradley Flamm
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

West Chester University of Pennsylvania
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 2.00 Bradley Flamm
Director of Sustainability
Office of the President
"---" 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:

Aramark hosts two Flex Flea Markets per year, one during the Fall Semester and one during the Spring Semester, alongside WCU's Ramboree. We invite our local vendors to showcase and sell their products, as well as bring items from our C-Stores to the Market. This allows students to use their their Flex Dollars and Ram Bucks, as well as cash or credit, to purchase local and sustainable items.


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:

Lindsay's Garden is located inside of Lawrence Dining Hall, and offers students a Vegetarian or Vegan option of MTO rice or pasta bowls. One of our coffee locations, EcoGrounds, is located in Sykes Student Union and offers Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, Direct Relationship, and Organic Coffee. It is nearly a 100% sustainable alternative to traditional coffee houses.


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:

Aramark at WCU partners with and purchases food from Artisan Exchange (based in West Chester, PA), a small business collaboration that allows local food vendors to produce their own hand-crafted and sustainable items locally. From their website: "Artisan Exchange provides an affordable environment that supports entrepreneurs committed to producing hand-crafted, sustainable foods while sharing sound business practices that have a positive social impact. We lease small-scale individual food related manufacturing and distribution workstations in a fully equipped 27,000 square foot distribution center including sanitized work and clean up area. The facility has Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture approval."


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
30

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:

Every Monday in Lawrence Dining Hall is Meatless Monday at our Chef's Table, and we also continue to highlight our existing Vegetarian options. On Wednesdays, we continue with our Plant Forward efforts by making one extra station in Lawrence completely Vegan. We also showcase "Fit Fridays" every week. This allows students to enjoy healthier, more plant based, protein packed items. Lastly, Lindsay's Garden, which is also located in Lawrence, is available every day for students to create their own Vegan or Vegetarian rice or pasta bowls.


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:

We have Vegan options in all of our locations, every day. We offer plant-based items that are labeled and promoted in our dining hall, as well as offer certain local vendor meals in EcoGrounds and Larry's that are completely Vegan.


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:

Everything that is Vegan is labeled as so at each station and location.


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:

Lean Path is a tool that is designed to track pre-consumer waste. Employees prep for their stations and save the waste when done. They then take the waste to a scale that weighs the remaining food, takes a picture of it, and records the data. At the end of each day, Chef gets a report on how many pounds was thrown away.


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:

We do not offer trays at any of our dining locations and have not done so since 2009. Recently when we replace service ware in the dinning hall we have switched to small sample plates. This allows the students to still get all they care to eat, but helps to limit the waste with large 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:

We meet with the student volunteers of the WCU chapter of the Food Recovery Network weekly to donate any pre-made perishable and frozen left over items from our location, the items that are then donated. We also partner with Safe Harbor (a West Chester based nonprofit that provides food shelter and access to services) to donate left over food items from large catering events. We do ask for permission before catering items are donated.


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:

We do divert a small amount of coffee grounds to the University grounds team that they use for compost within their gardens. Waste fryer oil is donated to a vendor that converts it into 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:

WCU Dining partnered with West Chester Borough in a 12 month long pre-consumer composting pilot program from 2016 to 2017. The Borough hauled our diverted food waste to a local conservatory garden twice a week. Looking to permanently engage in composting efforts. In the Spring of 2020, Aramark will contract with Kitchen Harvest, a farm in Media, PA, to compost pre-consumer food scraps.


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:
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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:

All service ware in Lawrence Dining Hall is reusable.


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:

Our Green to Go Reusable Container Program highlights our take out option at Lawrence Dining Hall. Students may purchase a to-go container for a one time fee of $5.00 and can fill up their containers at any meal period for the cost of one meal swipe. When students are ready to come back again, they can swap their used to-go container for a fresh one.


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:

Starbucks issues a $0.10 discount on an order when customers bring in their resusable cups. Our smoothie and juice location, Juice'd Up also offers a 5% discount when customers bring in their reusable smoothie and juice cups.


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

In addition to Rammy's Pick, WCU Dining hosts monthly health and wellness/sustainability events educating students on a variety of sustainablilty topics.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data Source: Fernando Figueroa, Juliet Schmid, and William Baker, Aramark at WCU. January 2020.

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.