Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.64
Liaison Casey Meehan
Submission Date Dec. 22, 2020

STARS v2.2

Western Technical College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Chelsey Sloan
Sustainability Assistant
Sustainability
"---" 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:

CSA box availability to staff through our Wellness program; Horticulture students grow produce in on-campus greenhouses and sell exclusively to Western’s campus kitchen.


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 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 purchase microgreens and other produce from our own greenhouse. Western supports a social enterprise through the coffee we purchase from a local, organic, and fair trade company called Just Coffee in Madison, WI.


Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
4.10

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:

Western promotes a vegetarian menu on the Union Market website, as well as physically in the Union Market, marking menu items that are plant-based.


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:

Western Technical College offers several vegan and vegetarian options. Vegan offerings in all restaurant concepts in the Union Market; Vegan offerings on the Lunda Center menu. Western offers a complete salad bar. The salad bar encompasses a wide variety of options, being a self-serving salad bar customers can pick and choose if they would like a vegetarian salad or vegan. Another vegetarian option offered in the Western dining hall is a sandwich station. The sandwich offers a specifically vegetarian option for sandwiches. Additionally Western offers consumers vegan and vegetarian options at the "Mongolian Grill". This station gives consumers the opportunity to pick and choose what all goes into their meal and have it grilled in front of them. It is up to consumers if they would like their meal to be vegan, vegetarian, or include meat. This food station also provides gluten free options. For a gluten free meal, the grills are scrubbed down and cleaned to ensure the meal does not include any gluten by mistake.


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:

Western has signage at individual stations in the Union Market; rotating vegan menu in Grab and Go case; and reusable clamshell containers available to public.


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:

Western’s dining services utilize a prep sheet daily in determining what is considered waste and what can be composted. All pre-consumer waste such as peels are weighed. We compost through our Food Waste Ecovim Dehydrator and participate in vermicompost waste tracking. All items - salad bar/mongo bar/burrito line - get weighed on Friday and then donated to the Salvation Army.


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 use Ecoproduct compostable cups and containers as a disposable option. We have specification books on all stations to ensure over-portioning does not occur, as well as recipe adherence is being followed.


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 do weekly donations of extra prepared food to the Salvation Army shelter. The amount of food donated each week is weighed and tracked.


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:

Pre-consumer food waste is dehydrated and used to make a compost and donated to a local chicken farmer who uses it to feed animals on the farm.


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:

Pre-consumer food waste is donated to a local chicken farmer who uses it to feed animals on the farm.


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:

Western provides reusable service ware for dine in meals (ceramic plates, bowls, mugs, cups, and metal silverware).


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:

Western uses reusable eco-clamshells in the student union market. Eco-clamshell containers are made of environmentally-friendly polypropylene and are returned by users to be washed in our dishroom. Reusable beverage containers are sold and Western offers a discount on future purchases.


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:

If a student or Western staff member uses a reusable mug, they will receive a discount on future purchases. We also offer discount program on healthy food options for County and Western staff utilizing specially marked reusable clamshell containers.


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

Western’s wellness department incentivizes healthy eating by offering discounts on meals to employees who choose healthy options (pre-selected by our campus dietician).
Our dietician and wellness center run healthy eating and cooking classes for Western students and employees.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.