|Submission Date||Aug. 15, 2019|
Westminster College - Utah
OP-8: Sustainable Dining
|1.75 / 2.00||
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
Westminster's food services agreement with our food service provider Bon Appetit reads as follows:
Client and Bon Appetit have mutually agreed to prioritize food that is healthy, ecologically sound, fair, humane, and locally sourced and are committed to achieving the following:
- Reach a minimum of 20% "Real Food," defined as Green Light and Yellow Light items described in Exhibit C (Real Food Challenge criteria), in food purchasing dollars by 2020;
- Provide an annual increase of at least 2% "Real Food," until the 20% minimum referenced in the first bullet point above is achieved;
- Partner in student food education and awareness;
- Clearly label items "organic", "local", "humane" as an indicator of "real food" status;
- Annually provide the supporting data to the Client appointed student group for input and calculation of the "real food" percentages.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
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?:
A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
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?:
A brief description of the vegan dining program:
Bon Appetit at Westminster provides at least one vegan option for each meal of the day at at least one of their prepared meal stations. These options will be labeled as vegan.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
A brief description of the low impact dining events:
Bon Appetit at Westminster also participates in meatless Monday a 1-2 times per month.
Feast of Five Senses:
The second major low impact dining event that Westminster participates in is the Feast of Five Senses. This is a fundraising dinner which features local food prepared by some of the Salt Lake Valley's finest chefs. The event is a partnership between Westminster College, Bon Appetit, and Slow Food Utah. Funds from the event are utilized to fund Slow Food Utah's micro-grant program which is designed to bolster the local food community in the area. A brief description of the program from Slow Food Utah's webpage is as follows:
"This program was created in order to fill gaps that we see in traditional funding sources for local food-related projects, especially for small-scale food growers and producers, community innovators, and educators. In the past we have funded school gardens, the building of a goat barn, purchase of a tractor, seeds and greenhouse supplies, new baby piglets, and much more. All this is possible with help from our donors and our annual fundraising event, the Feast of Five Senses."
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:
Eat Local Challenge:
Each year, Bon Appetit at Westminster participates in the Eat Local Challenge. For the eat local challenge, the chef at each participating Bon Appetit location creates an entire meal with exclusively local ingredients. By Bon Appetit's definition, this means that every ingredient, even yeast and spices, must come from within 150 miles of the institution.
In 2017, the organic garden hosted a vegan thanksgiving dinner that took place under the premise that eating lower on the food chain, and enjoying it, is possible even in contexts where animal-products are the norm.
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
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?:
A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:
Vegan and vegetarian meal options are labeled in the dining hall, and several signs are posted that discuss plant-based protein and responsible food sourcing.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:
The Westminster College Organic Garden is an excellent place for students to learn about sustainable food production first-hand. The garden hosts weekly work days during the season.
Historically, the Environmental Center has employed a Garden Coordinator to plan and implement planting and care in the garden over a one-year period. The person in this position learns a lot about growing organic produce. Additionally, the Environmental Center employs a Garden Outreach Coordinator to advertise the garden and host garden-related events.
The Westminster Environmental Center also has a sustainability fellows program. The fellows are a rotating team of three to four students that work on a yearly project to make campus more sustainable. In 2017, the fellows coordinated a sustainable eating campaign on campus. They engaged students on campus, provided information about how to eat more sustainably, and asked students to take a pledge to change their eating in order to reduce their food footprint.
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)?:
A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:
The Environmental Center has traditionally utilized a farm stand to promote local food and campus food production. A student employee makes a tasty snack from garden produced ingredients and offers that snack to students via an on-campus farm stand. The farm stand also offers free organic produce from our on-campus garden.
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?:
A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:
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?:
A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:
Bon Appetit at Westminster sells food either per meal, or per item. Portioning is controlled by Bon Appetit staff. No items are served in an all-you-can-eat format, and trays are not present in the dining hall.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
A brief description of the food donation program:
Westminster college partners with foodrescue.us to send food that would otherwise go to waste to various places in the community with a need.
Foodrescue.us utilizes a mobile application to connect volunteers with vehicles to leftover food in the community. Organizations with a need for food post their needs on the application. Those with surplus food list their surplus on the application, and volunteers pick it up and connect it with those who have posted a need.
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)?:
A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
Renegade Oil picks up Westminster's used cooking oil and recycles it locally in Salt Lake City.
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:
A brief description of the reusable service ware program:
Bon Appetit provides a full range of dine-in service ware. They provide plates, coffee cups, beverage cups, soup/breakfast bowls, forks, knives, and spoons.
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)?:
A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
Students can pay a small fee ($5) to opt-in to our Eco-Container program. This gives students access to a 9"x9"x3.5" three-compartment container to utilize in place of plastic or compostable to-go containers when students order food to-go. Bon Appetit charges students 75 cents extra for throw-away compostable to-go containers to discourage their use.
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?:
A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
Reusable beverage container discount: Bon Appetit applies a 30 cent discount to all beverages purchased in a reusable container.
Ugly Mug Collection: the Environmental Center provides an "Ugly Mug Collection" to students in our campus coffee shop. Any student is welcome to take a mug, use it for their beverage, then return it to a drop-off bin to be washed an reused. The mugs and the drop-off are located conveniently within five paces of the coffee shop register.
Disposable to-go container fee: As mentioned above in this report, Bon Appetit charges 75 cents for disposable to-go containers in order to encourage use of reusable Eco-Containers.
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)?:
A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
Bon Appetit recycles all cardboard boxes from the dining hall. Bon Appetit also has recycling bins with instructions for proper recycling available in the waste disposal area of the dining hall.
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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.