Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.14
Liaison Jeff Spoelstra
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Michigan University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
1.75 / 2.00 Judy Gipper
Director
Dining Services
"---" 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:

A nutrition guide is made available for all customers.
https://wmich.edu/dining/nutrition


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
No

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

Local Farmer's Market held in front of Sangren Hall each fall semester.

http://pfcmarkets.com/blog/2017/10/5/wmu-farmers-market-on-campus/


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:

WMU Dining Services offers a number of vegan items as part of our daily menu options. Here are some of the highlights from our services that focus on vegan dining:

- Six residence hall dining rooms and six campus cafes offer an array of vegan choices.
- The dining hall menu is posted on our website: http://www.sais.wmich.edu/DS_Menus/Default.aspx
- All vegan menus on our dining menu are identified.
- Our menu is accessible via mobile devices.
- A guide to our vegan items is located in all six of our dining halls, as well as our website: http://www.wmich.edu/dining/pdf/vegan-guide.pdf
- Vegan items are available throughout the entire day.
- Every dining hall features an extensive salad bar with at least one vegan salad dressing available.
- Salad bar protein choices include tofu and several types of beans.
- Ope’s vegan burger and cookies, which are locally produced, are available at all six dining locations. Vegan burgers can be made upon request in all of our dining halls.
- Three specialty concepts located in various dining halls on campus that allow customers to create customized entrees.
- Bistro3 features four micro-restaurants that offer an array of choices from stir-fry to grilled items like vegan burgers and vegetable kabobs.
- Special event menus incorporate vegan entrees and side dishes.
- A Registered Dietitian is available to meet with students and discuss the vegan options available in dining services.


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:

Dining hosts a International themed meal in all Dining Centers that focus on the food and culture of a particular country or region of the world.

Dining Services hosts a Farmer's Market Lunch at all Dining Centers in September featuring a menu with all ingredients locally sourced in West Michigan / Kalamazoo area.


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:

Food waste, local source, and other sustainability info is available in all dining halls and online. All Dining halls contain posters and signage related to food waste.


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)?:
Yes

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

Themed meals every semester focusing on a region and cuisine. The most successful items from those dinners are incorporated into weekly dining menu's.


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:

Pre-consumer fruit and vegetable peels/rinds are collected and donated to a local hog farmer for feed. Dining produces approximately 16 tons of pre-consumer waste for animal feed per year.


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:

Audits have been conducted several times. Currently there are not appropriate local facilities to compost post-consumer food waste.

WMU implemented trayless dining in 2008.

https://wmich.edu/dining/sustainability


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:

WMU collects kitchen prep waste (fruit and vegetable only) and donates it to Bearfoot Farms for use as hog food. Bearfoot Farms provides the transportation.

For all other food donations we work with the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. The Gospel Mission uses a volunteer driver to come to campus most Saturdays to pick up donated food. At the end of the fall and spring semester, they come to each dining unit to pick up food.

The primary food donated is produce items. At the end of the semesters, we also donate left over dairy products and in some cases, bread products. Occasionally, we have left over prepared food that has been properly cooled per Food Code, and these items are donated, such as Macaroni and Cheese or Lasagna. At the end of the semesters, we may have some items to donate that are getting close to a manufacturer's best used by date such as cereals or salad dressings.

A food product is only donated if we are certain it cannot be used in Dining Services. It is never our plan to purchase or produce food that will be donated or disposed of. Purchasing and production are the keys to minimizing food waste, and that is what we emphasize and put our effort into. Given that we want to provide all customers with a choice of all menu items, we do generate waste as the student entering five minutes before we close should have the same choices as the student entering when we open. Some of the items that do get disposed of are items we cannot reuse or save or donate, such as left over French Fries. If items were on a customer's plate or could have been contaminated by a customer, we dispose of the item.

We have recipes for every item we prepare and the cooling instructions is at the bottom of every recipe per Food Code requirements.

Dining Service moves food around campus to avoid letting it go out of date. The idea is food is rotated throughout all of campus, in addition to each individual dining location.


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:

Two pulper units are utilized to divert food waste. All cooking oil is collected and recycled.

Oil-to-Mowers program: https://wmich.edu/dining/sustainability


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:

WMU has a pilot vermicomposting project in our greenhouse. We collect food waste and paper towel from the Office for Sustainability for this project.


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:

None.


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:

WMU has always used reusable service ware for meals, except in emergencies.


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:

WMU’s EcoMug program allows students eating in dining halls to carry out drinks. Disposable cups are not available. In addition, local businesses have partnered with WMU to provide drink and/or food discounts when using an EcoMug.

https://wmich.edu/dining/sustainability


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:

Delivery pallets are recycled by landscape, produce supplier reduces packaging whenever possible.


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