Columbia U Commits to Reduce Food-Based Carbon Emissions

The university recently signed onto the Plant-Powered Carbon Challenge, a New York City-wide initiative to reduce carbon emissions through plant-forward food. Columbia Dining has committed to reducing its food-based carbon emissions 25% by 2030 through a plant-powered procurement strategy for its dining operations.

Emory U Signs 'Break Free From Plastic' Pledge

The university recently committed to establish a task force on plastics reduction and create a year-by-year single-use plastics reduction strategy in order to eliminate the procurement of unnecessary single-use plastics by 2026.

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.