Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.79
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

Western Kentucky University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Madona May
Sustainability Coordinator
WKU Restaurant Group
"---" 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:

In 2019, WKU began it's official farmers market called (market on the avenue) on its' main campus. It was held once a month through the fall semester. It will resume again in the spring semester.

In addition, WKU provides indoor space for a local farmers market which is called the Community Farmers Market at a location near campus. The provision of this building allows the market to operate year-round.


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:

We do have a food pantry outlet on campus that supplies food for students, faculty, or staff with food insecurity. There are also meal cards that are available at the food pantry to allow a student, faculty, or staff to eat at the all-you-eat location of fresh food.


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:

We have sourced through a small farm called ATP Greenhouses out of Morgantown, KY. Also on our university farm there is a small greenhouse called TOP CROPS. It is a way for WKU to offer training and education opportunities for adults with special needs. The produce is then sold to the public. https://www.facebook.com/topcropsgarden/


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
0.05

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:

Each Monday is meatless-Monday and fish-Friday at Fresh Food Co.


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:

Vegan options are available at most campus dining outlets. In two of our locations, Hilltopper Hall & Fresh Food locations, we have specific vegan stations, salad bars, and design your own pizza station with veggies.


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:

WKU Dining Services posts signs in the main campus dining hall describing efforts at waste reduction (such as composting food waste), as well as labeling Kentucky Proud products. In campus coffee shops, signs explain that milk is "Udderly Kentucky". In our Fresh Food location, we display a sign of one of our Farmers from Morgantown where we purchase our tomatoes. There is also a display of our state with location markers showing how close to campus we are getting our food.


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:

WKU Dining Services employs a food waste program using lean path. Food preparation staff weigh all of the food waste associated with preparation and continuously seek to reduce waste. Other methods of reducing food waste include local sourcing, which results in fresher product and longer shelf life with less waste. With items that are not able to be used before their expiration are picked up by the WKU student chapter of the Food Recovery and is then donated to local charities.


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:

Trayless dining was implemented in all campus dining locations in 2011. Trays are available only upon request. We also use portioning ladels to make sure portion sizes served don't attribute to excess 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:

Beginning 1/2019 WKU and the dining services created a food recovery program through the Food Recovery Network. We currently recover food from Einstein's, and Davinci's to be donated into the community. (https://www.foodrecoverynetwork.org/kentucky#WKU)


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:

Used cooking oil is collected from campus dining locations by Darvpro.It is collect and sent to recycling to be turned into diesel for buses. Also, composting pre consumer waste from the main campus dining hall. The food waste is pulped, collected in a bin, and taken to a local arboretum to a digester to compost where it is used on site. On average, 1 ton of food waste is diverted from the waste stream each month.


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:

In January, 2014 WKU began composting pre consumer waste from the main campus dining hall. The food waste is pulped, collected in a bin, and taken to a local arboretum for finishing to compost where it is used on site. On average, 1 ton of food waste is diverted from the waste stream each month.

Begining in February, 2019 a composting program for all of the restaurants, catering, and concessions went into effect and is the compost is taken to the WKU farm to be turned into mulch sold to the public.


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:

Post consumer waste is collected at the dish return (at Fresh Food and Hilltopper Hall) and put directly into compost bins. They are then taken to the WKU Farm and turned into mulch to be sold to the public.


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 main campus dining halls uses metal cutlery and reusable plastic service ware. The same for dishes and cups.


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:

In several of the food retail outlets, including Burrito Bowl and Fresh Food, to-go containers are compostable. Fresh foods has signed a commitment to be Styrofoam Free.


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:

Customers are given a discount for using their own coffee mug or reusable cups in all campus coffee shops. Those locations are Starbucks, Java City, and Einsteins.


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

WKU Dining Services employs a full-time nutritionist at WKU who, in collaboration with student dietitian interns, engages students in a variety of health and wellness awareness initiatives. The nutritionist works with the Office of Sustainability to support the WKU Food Pantry and community garden project. Additionally, WKU's commitment to an international experience for every student includes dining experiences that are culturally diverse. Culturally themed menus are offered regularly in the dining hall. The dining services also participates in Healthy-Days on campus to promote healthy food sourcing.

Also, this past December, Fresh Food Co on our campus recieved their Green Certification through the Green Restaurant Association. It was the first campus in KY to recieve it and the first in our city of Bowling Green.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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In 2019 our Fresh Food Co received its Green Certification through the Green Restaurant Association. (https://www.dinegreen.com/) The Green Dining certification verifed through video that the location met specific requirements. Receiving a green certification was a great way to make sure we are on track moving forward as a university.

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.