Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.15
Liaison Ashley Woolman
Submission Date April 8, 2022

STARS v2.2

Western Colorado University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jonathan Coady
General Manager
Sodexo
"---" 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:

Yes, Western's Organics Guild (student club) has a booth at the local Gunnison farmers market in the summer and fall. The club sells fresh produce that is harvested from the campus gardens.
The Organics Guild also partners with Hotchkiss’ Thistle Whistle Farm and Gunnison’s Calder Farm to offer a CSA for Western students, faculty, and staff.


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:

Western partners with the Gunnison Food Pantry to offer assistance to any students or staff experiencing food insecurity. The Food Pantry sets up a booth weekly in the University Center to offer bread and non-perishable food. There are posters around campus and regular emails sent to educate the campus body on this resource. https://gunnisoncountryfoodpantry.org/

Western's dining services contractor, Sodexo also works with the Swipe Out Hunger campaign and offers a “Meal Swipe Bank” for students facing food insecurity.


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?:
No

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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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:

Sodexo promotes plant-forward options by providing a vegan option at every meal. During Earth Week, Sodexo works with the LEAD Sustainability student club to offer themed days (e.g. meatless days).
In partnership with the Swipe Out Hunger campaign, Sodexo does a themed social class meal. This aims to educate students on how the food one eats is often closely tied with one's social class throughout history. The meal was broken up into foods the 1% class eats, the middle class, and third world class.


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 and vegetation options are available to all customers at every meal. There is clear signage displaying these options along with nutritional facts.


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:

Vegan/vegetarian meals contain clear signage displaying these options along with nutritional facts. All food waste from the dining hall (leftover from customer plates and pre-consumer) goes to the Rocket Foot Waste Composter. There are signs in the dining hall displaying how the process works.


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:

Sodexo is under contract to divert waste and recycle wherever possible. The campus Sustainability Specialist tracks recycling and composting data for Sodexo and works with staff to improve waste management. Western competes in the annual Race to 0 Waste competition, and in 2022 competed in the Per Capita and Diversion categories.
Sodexo composts pre-consumer prep waste and post-consumer waste in the Rocket Foot Waste Composter. In addition, approximately 600 pounds of pre-consumer waste (no meat) is donated to Calder Farms, a local pig farm.
All used cooking oil is recycled with Mahoney Environmental.


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 have tray-less dining to reduce post-consumer food waste and save water.


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:

Students partner with Sodexo to be a member of the Food Recovery Network.


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 donate food waste to Calder Farms, a local pig farm and partner with Mahoney Environmental for used cooking oil.


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:

We compost pre-consumer food waste in our industrial composter. Two student sustainability coordinators operate/maintain the composter and teach food service workers what is compostable. The Sustainability Specialist tracks the amount of food waste and compost that is produced. Nutrient-rich compost is ready in approximately 14 days.


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:

We compost pre-consumer food waste in our industrial composter. Two student sustainability coordinators operate/maintain the composter and teach food service workers what is compostable. The Sustainability Specialist tracks the amount of food waste and compost that is produced. Nutrient-rich compost is ready in approximately 14 days.


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:

Yes, we have reusable service ware and we also provide "zero waste kits" with reusable service ware for parties or events.


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:

We use biodegradable/compostable flatware and cups.


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:

Discounts on coffee are offered to customers who bring a reusable mug/thermos.


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

Our multicultural center often partners with Sodexo for culturally themed meal events (Pacific Islanders, Flavors of Bavaria, etc).


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Sodexo is constantly aiming to improve it's sustainability practices, and Western's branch meets and oftentimes exceeds those aims.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.