Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.79
Liaison Lindsay Crum
Submission Date Aug. 3, 2020

STARS v2.2

Yale University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Melissa Goodall
Associate Director
Office of 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:

Yale Hospitality offers a seasonal "UnCommon Market," which provides healthy foods at low prices to members of the Yale community.


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:

All of our retail locations offer healthy, low-impact choices. Thaine Café and Steep Café are specifically sustainability-themed.


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:

Yale purchases from a number of small and medium sized local business including dairy, bakery, and specialty meat.


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:

Individual colleges host week-long carbon awareness campaigns that are accompanied by signage and surveys. By offering a wide variety of meatless options at every meal and supporting those offerings with educational materials Yale offers low impact dining daily.


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:

Yale Hospitality's standard menus are plant-forward. Vegan and vegetarian options are offered at every meal, every day, and typically the food provided is nearly 85% plant-based.


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:

Yale Hospitality uses the residential dining units as an opportunity to further inform Yale students about the sustainable purchasing practices that have gone into their meals, and how they can make their own contributions to food sustainability. Each dining hall is designed to feature and support plant-forward choices, and every dish in every dining hall is labelled clearly to indicate whether it is plant-based as well as whether it contains allergens.


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:

Yes, Yale recently implemented a menu management systems allows for close tracking of waste to improve over production. Yale also diverts much of its waste to local food recovery programs and soup kitchens.


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:

Trays are available on request only for those with a physical need.


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:

Yes. Yale Hospitality has been donating food to the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen in New Haven and has been publicly recognized for this service. This year we have also partnered with Haven's Harvest, which has nearly eliminated the disposal of salvageable food.


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:

Yes. Yale is committed to pre- and post-consumption composting, and all of Yale Dining’s cooking is oil is recycled into biodiesel. Single-stream recycling bins are in every dining location. When disposable plates, cups, and utensils are required, Yale Hospitality uses biodegradable products.


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:

Over 95% of pre- and post-consumer waste from dining halls, retail locations, and catering events is also composted.


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:

Over 95% of pre- and post-consumer waste from dining halls, retail locations, and catering events is also composted.


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:

Reusable service ware is utilized in the dining halls; when not used, biodegradable products are available.


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:

Reusable containers are available in some facilities, and all retail outlets "to go" containers are certified compostable.


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?:
No

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
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A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:

Yes. In addition to the two on-campus "farms" Yale offers pre-semester experiences on organic farms. Every fall semester, Yale Hospitality gives students the opportunity to visit local farms that supply to Yale Hospitality produce distributor. Students get to learn from the farm operators about GAP certification, IPM practices, and sustainable agricultural practices. In addition, this year student teams worked with faculty advisors to create a campaign highlighting the carbon intensity of plant-based v. animal based proteins.

Yale Hospitality partners with Being Well at Yale to provide learning opportunities for dining hall staff as well as students. There is also an on-going partnership with faculty in the School of Public Health to update vending machines throughout campus for healthier options. Yale Hospitality has also banned all trans fats and palm oil and is concentrating on reducing sodium intake, switching all soup bases to low sodium. We also require all dining halls to have fruit infused spa water, which has drastically reduced the amount of soda consumed during meals.


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