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.
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.
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.