Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.03
Liaison Caroline Bruno
Submission Date May 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Williams College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 Mike Evans
Assistant Director
Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
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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:

Williams hosts the annual Berkshire Grown Williamstown Winter Farmers Markets in November and December in the Towne Field House. The Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives and the Center for Environmental Studies contribute as sponsors of these markets. In 2018, with the resurfacing of the Field House floor, the market had to be moved to a different non-Williams location. But the college plans to hosts these events in the future - as long as Berkshire Grown is interested in utilizing the space.


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 in all dining halls for all meals. Vegan menu items have recently been improved through the work of a contract nutritionist working for Williams Dining. The college serves Meatless Mondays dinners in Driscoll dining hall. Another dining hall - Mission Park - has a Forward Food station that has 100% plant based food options. This initiative came about through a free plant-based culinary training offered by the Humane Society


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events:

Driscoll Dining hosts Meatless Mondays every Monday throughout the school year.


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:

Approximately once a year - usually around Earth Week, Dining Services organizes a 150-Mile Meal.


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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:

Dining Services hosts a Food Day event every October 24ish in which it brings in a number of local farmers and vendors to highlight their products. Dining Services also makes themselves available to students who are doing Campus as Living Lab class projects around food.


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:

Training Wise was launched this school year and is marketed to student athletes as "Meals to Support Your Training." It has an emphasis on lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains.

Dining Services offers kosher and halal meals, and works with students on an individual basis on any allergen or dietary restriction.

Dining Services buys a percentage of our fish through Red's Best Catch-of-the-Day program, which aggregates catches from a number of small boats, processes them, and send whatever whitefish they have in to Williams. More here: https://sustainability.williams.edu/news-events/local-sustainable-seafood-an-independent-study-by-erica-chang-18


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:

LeanPath
Measures pre- and post-consumer food waste in dining halls in order to provide information to everyone about the amounts of food waste being produced on campus - and to help change behaviors both in terms of food prep and on the consumer side. LeanPath is operating in 2 of the 3 dining halls and will be in the third once construction during the summer of 2019 is complete in Driscoll.


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:

Driscoll Dining Hall went trayless in 2008 and Mission Park in 2009.


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:

There is an established student program to recover perishable surplus food to donate to local food kitchens.
WRAPS (Williams Recovery of All Perishable Surplus) delivers surplus dining hall food to the hungry through local agencies, including Mohawk Forest and the ROOTS Teen Center. Volunteers ordinarily commit one evening (60-90min) per week, but other arrangements are possible.


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:

Dining Services has a pre-consumer food waste diversion program that is measured through LeanPath. Additionally there is a post-consumer food waste collection in the dish return area of Driscoll Dining Hall, Mission Park Dining Hall, and two dish return locations in the Paresky Student Center: near Whitman's Dining and Lee Snack Bar. Additionally there is one other collection area upstairs in the Paresky Center.

Since the college does not have a composting program outside of the dining halls, some offices and student groups organize food waste pickups by a local hauler. The Development office started a program in the spring of 2018 and Goodrich Coffee Bar - a student-run business - has been composting for a number of years. Other offices are starting to consider this as an option for events and / or as business as usual in their offices.


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 collected in all dining halls, measured through LeanPath, and transported to the TAM Organics facility in North Bennington.


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 food waste is collected in dining halls, measured through LeanPath, and transported to the TAM Organics facility in North Bennington.


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:

For all dine-in meals, Williams provides reusable service ware.


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:

Students can ask for a reusable to-go container at any dining hall and are asked to return them for cleaning and reuse. The to-go service ware is compostable, but there are few compost collection locations outside of dining halls. We are working on a holistic campus composting solution, but are not there yet.


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:

Customers who bring a reusable mug to the Lee Snack Bar and the Eco-Cafe receive a $0.49 discount. Customers at the student-run Goodrich Coffee Bar also receive a discount when they bring a reusable mug.


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)?:
No

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:

Dining Services started communicating this with vendors to the Food Day event in Fall 208, but it is not yet integrated into policy.


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