Lehigh U Achieves Real Food Challenge Goal

The university recently announced meeting the Real Food Challenge goal by purchasing 20.3 percent of its food from local, organic, fair trade and humane sources in the 2019-2020 academic year. Lehigh’s Office of Sustainability, Dining Services and Purchasing Services, and Sodexo have collaborated on the challenge for the past seven years.

New York U Commits to Reduce Food-Related GHGs

In honor of World Food Day 2020, the university announced that it has committed to reducing food-related greenhouse gas emissions on all its campuses by 25 percent by the year 2030. Through a comprehensive, 10-year plan devised in partnership with its dining services partner, NYU dining halls and catering operations will gradually promote a shift to more sustainable food products through a combination of enhanced plant-based offerings and educational outreach.

California State U San Marcos Begins Post-Consumer Composting

The university recently began a post-consumer composting program at an apartment complex, after the initiative was halted in the spring due to the pandemic. Implementing a post-consumer program is part of the university’s effort to reduce organic waste by 50 percent of 2014 rates this year and 75 percent by 2025. Post-consumer organic waste includes any cooked food scraps and can include other compostable items such as plates, utensils and napkins.

William & Mary Students Fund New Composting Bins

In an effort to mitigate increased waste from food service operations resulting from the increase in take-out containers, the college's Student Assembly passed a bill that allocates funding for six new compost bins.

City Glasgow College Purchases Food Composter

(U.K.) The college recently invested in equipment to allow it to compost food waste on campus rather than hauling it to a facility. The new process allows food waste to be collected by staff in the on-campus kitchens, then processed through their dewatering system, before the substance is fed into the composter to create a nutritious compost resource in 14 days.

U California to Phase Out Single-Use Plastics

As part of a commitment to achieve zero waste, the university recently adopted a policy that will transition UC away from plastic bags in retail and dining locations (by January 2021) and eventually eliminate single-use plastic food service items (by July 2021) and plastic bottles (by January 2023).

NACUFS Announces Sustainability Award Winners

National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) recently announced the 2020 gold, silver and bronze winners in five operational categories–procurement practices, energy and water conservation, waste management, materials and resources, and outreach and education. The annual NACUFS Sustainability Awards recognize member institutions that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the promotion and implementation of environmental sustainability, specifically as it relates to campus dining operations.

U Wisconsin Oshkosh Opens Food Pantry

A McNair Scholar at the university successfully organized and opened a campus food pantry in mid-February after delving into research focused on food insecurity and students of color.

U Iowa Becomes Fair Trade University

The university has been named an official Fair Trade University upon the passing of a student-led resolution that calls for a university commitment to procure and sell fair trade items. The university will now offer fair trade products in residence halls, convenience stores and catered events sponsored by the university.

Brandeis U Kitchens Make Meals for Healthcare Workers

Meals for doctors, nurses and administrative staff at five Boston-area hospitals are now being prepared in Brandeis University kitchens. Sodexo runs the kitchens and has hired additional staff — including some students who are still on campus — to prepare meals for hospital workers. Brandeis kitchens recently prepared and sent 2,200 meals to area hospitals.

New York U Helps Feed Food Insecure

In an effort to combat increased food insecurity caused by the pandemic, NYU Dining Services and Chartwells Higher Education dining donated nearly 1,300 pounds of food in early April to a New York City food rescue organization.

U California Davis Dining Begins Sourcing Food From On-Campus

Student Housing and Dining Services, which oversees almost all on-campus dining options for students, is now sourcing Aggie Grown food. Aggie Grown refers to foods grown on university land. In addition to providing students with hyper-local food options, Aggie Grown also helps fund research departments on campus.

Stanford U Launches Zero Waste Campaign

Stanford's 2020 conservation campaign slogan is "Say Goodbye to Single Use: Reduce and Reuse", which encourages the campus community to use reusable drinking and dining items rather than ones designed to be used once and thrown away. In a new report, Stanford Sustainability Goal: Zero Waste by 2030, the university identified 45 campus programs that will guide the university along the path to zero waste, including new and existing programs.

Vanderbilt U Campus Dining Earns Allergen-Free Certification

Boasting the designation "Certified Free From", all commercial on-campus kitchens are free from tree nuts and peanuts. In addition, Rand Dining Center’s 2301 platform is also certified free from the top eight allergens–milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. Certified Free From is a certification from Kitchens with Confidence, an external accreditation/certification business.

Columbia U Event Management Offers Food Menu With Reduced GHGs

Columbia Event Management now offers a menu of food items with lower greenhouse gas emissions than the traditional menu. Students from the sustainability management program capstone project found the new, mostly plant-based menu to be 63 percent less carbon-emitting than other menus. Columbia departments have the option to choose the "Sustainable Living" menu for their events at comparable prices to other menu options.

Brandeis U Launches Plastic Waste Reduction Initiative

The university's Office of Sustainability has partnered with Sodexo to reduce plastic waste from bags, straws and bottled water. Several retail locations are introducing paper bags in lieu of plastic and making straws available by request only. Additionally, water bottle refill stations are being installed near retail locations that are removing bottled water options.

Bowie State U Opens Nutrition Lounge & Food Pantry

In partnership with Food Lion Feeds' hunger relief initiative, the university opened a new on-campus nutrition lounge that provides a place for students to relax, study and have a place to access and enjoy free, healthy foods.

U North Carolina Chapel Hill Introduces Recyclable Aluminum Cups

The university's Department of Athletics recently announced a partnership to bring a recyclable aluminum cup to fans at sporting events, beginning with the men’s basketball game at the beginning of February. The 20-ounce recyclable drink cups will serve soft drinks for $5 per cup at men and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, and men and women’s lacrosse games as part of a pilot program.

William & Mary Eliminates Single-Use Plastics

In addition to becoming certified by the Green Restaurant Association, Dining Services recently eliminated single-use plastics in two dining halls by changing behaviors, such as not putting straws out and using larger bulk containers made out of non-plastic material rather than offering individual jelly, butter and cream cheese servings.

Clarkson U Receives Grant for Food Waste Education

The university has recently received a $35,000 grant as a part of their E² Energy to Educate grant program. The funding will allow Clarkson to expand its current partnership with Canton Central School and engage more than 1,000 K-12 students in a district-wide food waste collection system and education program.

Princeton U Shifts to Beef-Mushroom Blend for Burgers

All-beef burgers are no longer available on campus. The university now purchases a blend of 60 percent grass-fed beef and 40 percent local portobello mushrooms.

U Washington Begins Reusable To-Go Container Pilot

The student organization Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED) recently implemented the Ozzi reusable container pilot project. The goal of the project is to reduce single-use compostable containers. Students can obtain reusable containers with their to-go food. Once they finish using the containers, they can return them to select machines, where they are given a token. Students can then use the token in exchange for another reusable container for their next to-go purchase.

U North Texas Opens Allergen-Free Dining hall

The university recently opened a dining hall that is completely free of major allergenic foods often referred to as the "Big 8". They are milk, eggs, fish, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and shellfish.

Teams of New England Institutions Win Funding for Food Economies

The Henry P. Kendall Foundation recently announced six teams of college and university dining programs, along with their community partners, as winners of the 2019 New England Food Vision Prize. The $250,000 awards to each team will support innovative ideas designed to improve the health, sustainability and vitality of the region’s food system by increasing the amount of regionally produced food on campus menus.

Emory U Partners to Purchase Local Food

A new partnership between the university and The Conservation Fund aims to help break down barriers faced by farmers and supply campus with fresh, local, sustainably grown food. The Conservation Fund’s Working Farms Fund purchases farmland within a 100-mile radius of metro Atlanta, placing conservation easements on it to permanently protect it from development and harmful environmental practices, and leases the land to farmers with a 10-year path to ownership, selling it to them at the end of their lease. In turn, Emory enters into food purchase agreements with those farmers.

Hope College Launches Reusable Cup Campaign

Through the new Cupanion Cup Initiative, students, faculty and staff can purchase a reusable cup for $5 and use the Fill it Forward app to track the impact of using the cup on waste, power and emissions.

Appalachian State U Adds Vegan Dining Station

The new, completely vegan food station, Terra Verde, has a menu of in-house made meals featuring whole-food ingredients and designed around a five-week rotation that changes each semester.

Syracuse U Launches Composting Program for On-Campus Apartments

After a successful, 10-week composting pilot at the beginning of 2019, the university recently launched the Student Composting Program for its South Campus residents.

Acadia U Growing Greens Via Hydroponic System

The university recently partnered with its food service provider, Chartwells, to bring a hydroponic, vertical growing system housed inside a repurposed shipping container to campus. It will produce greens and microgreens year-round and employ students.

Harvard U Commits to Reduce Food-Related GHGs

The university recently signed onto the Cool Food Pledge, which commits signatories to collectively reducing food-related greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2030.

U Pittsburgh Signs 'Cool Food Pledge'

The Cool Food Pledge is an initiative of the World Resources Institute. All signatories will work together to reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2030. The university recently signed the pledge alongside the U.N. Climate Action Summit.

U Oregon Residential Dining to Focus on Reusable Dishware

Beginning fall quarter, all residential dining centers at the university will serve meals on reusable plates, bowls and silverware. This change from single-use, disposable dishes and cutlery will affect approximately 15,000 meals each day when school is in session. This change was prompted by compost collectors discontinuing any collection of plant-based plasticware, wood and paper products.

Ohio U Introduces Food From Student Farm

The university has begun sourcing food from its Student Farm, which has also been running a weekly produce sale. Money earned from the sale of produce goes back to funding food studies-themed internships for students.

U California Merced Launches 'No Food Left Behind' Initiative

The No Food Left Behind initiative provides the campus community with two ways to help ensure there is no food waste for catered events on campus. Students, faculty and staff can sign up for text alerts when leftover food might be available after a catered event, and event attendees may bring food containers to take remaining food after the event is over.

Indiana U-Purdue U Indianapolis Begins Using Electric Landscaping Equipment

Thanks to a collaboration with the sustainability office and a $12,000 Greening IUPUI grant, grounds workers now have an arsenal of new electric equipment: two tillers, nine leaf blowers, nine weed trimmers, five chainsaws, two pole saws and two push mowers.

U Colorado Boulder Introduces Aluminum Cup at Stadium

A new partnership was recently announced that will bring Ball Corporation's recyclable aluminum cup to the university's Folsom Field during the 2019 football season. The CU Athletic Department hopes to significantly reduce plastic use in the stadium during the 2019 season, with the university's goal of becoming plastic-free in sports venues by 2020.

U Maryland Signs 'Cool Food Pledge'

The pledge commits the university to reducing food-related greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2030. It is an initiative from the World Resources Institute to fight climate change and bring more sustainable food to dining halls, campus cafes and event catering.

Simon Fraser U Reduces Single-Use Plastics

The university recently rolled out the “Re-use for Good” initiative, which is a multi-phase action plan to raise awareness and work towards eliminating the most common single-use plastics and products at the university. Phase one will be implemented this fall and includes adding reusable water bottles to campus vending machines, mapping the location of existing water bottle refill stations and deciding where to strategically locate additional stations, replacing plastic and compostable utensils and stir sticks with metal flatware, and removing plastic straws.

U Technology Sydney Opens Plastic-Free Food Court

(Australia) As part of the UTS Plastic Free by 2020 strategy, the new food court is replacing single-use plastic items with reusable or certified compostable alternatives, like cardboard, paper, bamboo, sugarcane and bio-plastic.

College William & Mary Cultivates Honey for Campus Use

Through a partnership with a local farm, W&M Dining and the dining sustainability interns now help to cultivate and harvest honey for the dining halls.

Goldsmiths U London Discontinues Beef Purchases

(U.K.) After having signed the Climate Emergency declaration and announcing a carbon neutral goal of 2025, the college will remove all beef products from campus food outlets by the start of the 2019 academic year and place a levy on bottled water and single-use plastic cups. The announcement was accompanied by confirmation that starting December 2019, the university's endowment fund will no longer hold investments in companies that generate more than 10 percent of their revenue from the extraction of fossil fuels.

California State U San Marcos Adds Campus Grown Food to Pantry

The on-campus garden will be expanded and improved with the help of two grants - one $15,000 and the other a $3,000 - in an effort to produce more food for the Cougar pantry, an initiative to decrease food insecurity among students. The garden also served as an outdoor classroom for courses on food systems and emerging markets, and food justice.

Dickinson College Introduces Food Waste Reduction Program

The college's Dining Services is rolling out Pick Your Portion, a student-proposed program that aims to reduce food waste, as part of a greater initiative to become carbon-neutral by 2020. The program gives students, faculty and staff the opportunity to customize portion sizes at every meal.

Northeastern U Plants Herb Gardens Across Campus

In an effort to reduce carbon emissions and promote healthy eating, eight organic herb gardens have been planted across campus. A sign posted next to each garden prompts people to “Snip it. Take it. Enjoy it.”

U Manitoba Opens Farmers Market

The new outdoor farmers market has begun as a biweekly event with about 15 vendors carrying produce, preserves, flowers, and handcrafts.

U Otago Discontinues Using Disposable Cups

(New Zealand) Three cafes at the university's Dunedin campus have recently discontinued offering single-use cups. Patrons can bring their own or choose to borrow a cup, which will be free for about two weeks, then will be offered for a deposit fee.

U Virginia Dining Venue Earns Green Restaurant Certification

A new dining venue, called the Castle, was recently certified as a 3 Star Green Restaurant for having implemented 43 environmental actions, including front-of-house composting and eliminating all single-use plastics.

U British Columbia Purchases Only Ocean Wise Seafood

As of July 1, the university will purchase and offer only 100 percent Ocean Wise recommended seafood. The change will include every food service location on both the UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses, excluding franchises.

Mount Holyoke College Dining Achieves Green Restaurant Certification

Certified by the Green Restaurant Association, the college's dining facilities have been certified as Level 1 Certified Green Restaurants. The Green Restaurant Association awards points in seven categories: water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, energy, disposables, sustainable food, sustainable furnishings and building materials, and chemical and pollution reduction.

Indiana U-Purdue U Indianapolis Launches Seed Library

The IUPUI University Library debuted its new seed library in mid-June allowing patrons to take small envelopes of non-GMO seeds of culinary herbs. The project was made possible by a Greening IUPUI grant from the Office of Sustainability. The first year of the grant will concentrate on the easy-to-grow herbs, with vegetables, flowers and other native plant species expected to be added in 2020.