Log In
  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.41
Liaison Fletcher Alexander
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, Chico
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Nani Teves
Sustainability Coordinator
Associated Students
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:

CSU Board of Trustees 2014 Sustainability Policy:

Sustainable Food Service

1. All campus food service organizations should track their sustainable food purchases. Such tracking and reporting will be grounded in the Real Food Challenge guidelines, or equivalent, with consideration to campus requested improvements. Campuses shall strive to increase their sustainable food purchases to 20 percent of total food budget by 2020. (14-New)

2. Campuses and food service organizations shall collaborate to provide information and/or
training on sustainable food service operations to staff and patrons. (14-New)

CSU, Chico Associated Students 2007 Food Purchasing Policy:

Be it further resolved; 20% of the total available food on campus from AS Food Service be produced and shipped from within CA; the AS Purchasing Policy shall give purchasing preference to food producers within close proximity to CSU, Chico.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
Yes

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:

After several years of planning and collaboration, CSU, Chico’s organic vegetable project completed its first year of harvest in 2008. The project started out small with just one acre of the available 10-acre certified organic plot. Three acres are currently in production, half of which produces vegetables for the campus food pantry.


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:

Half the produce grown on the University Farm's Organic Vegetable 3-acre plot is sold to 25 campus community members through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.


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:

There are daily vegan options at Sutter Dining Hall, where on campus residents eat, as well as a dedicated vegan station called Plant Base. The Student Union Marketplace also offers a few vegan options including Chinese stir fry, greens and grains, and a salad bar.


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:

Sutter Dining Hall recently hosted an insect-based "entomophagy" meal to highlight the lower environmental impact of insects as a protein source instead of beef or other meats.


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:

"Grains and Greens" is a station in the main food marketplace that serves nothing but sustainability-themed meals. Meals feature food that is local, fair, humanely raised and ecologically sound, and all include whole grains and leafy greens.


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:

"Urban Roots" - the Associated Students decided to devote a space to a convenience store with grab-and-go food items, prepared by A.S. Dining, that fit what students consider to be “real food” or “whole food.” Prepackaged products come from manufacturers that are local and/or committed to sustainability. Fresh salads, sandwiches and wraps contain as many local ingredients as possible. Urban Roots opened in the Student Union building in Spring of 2017.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:

Sutter Dining Hall is located in LEED-certified residence hall: the Dining Area, as does the rest of the building, includes a significant amount of signage highlighting the green building and maintenance features that contributed to the certification. The Student Union Marketplace and two smaller food marts on campus feature signage and labeling highlighting various real food options and sustainable features of products ("v" for vegan), such as fair trade certified coffee and free range meat products.


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:

Associated Students Dining Services has committed to the Real Food Challenge and the A.S. Sustainability Office has an established Real Food Internship Team. The student(s) in this role support the accounting required for compliance with the RFC. They also work to promote the goal to the campus community and to highlight related efforts through education and outreach.


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:

Three dining related resolutions have been passed through the AS Board of Directors. One requires that all to-go dishware, cups, and silverware be compostable. A second resolution strives to increase organic food availability by making 25% of the total produce on campus grown in California and USDA certified organic. And the third was a goal of achieving zero waste by 2015. The goal was not met however the effort continues through waste audits, switching to materials that can be anaerobically digested, and new educational signage in dining areas.


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:

During the annual residence hall move-out waste diversion program, "Diversion Excursion," some 5,000 lbs of food goods are collected and donated to the Wildcat Food Pantry.


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:

Sutter Dining Hall, where most on-campus residents (2,200+) eat, is an all-you-can-eat-per-swipe, totally trayless dining facility.


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:

Excess food from Associated Students Catering events is made available to students for a limited time once the event has ended. This program was established a few years ago and has been through a successful trial period. Various notification systems alert students to the availability of the food, location and time.


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:

Used cooking oil from the Student Union Marketplace is collected and picked up by a biodiesel manufacturer.


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:

All food that is not used in final product at Residential Dining Sutter Hall and the Student Union Marketplace is collected and picked up by Recology and taken to a local anaerobic digester which produces electricity, burned off, or used as vehicle fuel.


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:

All food left over at Residential Dining Sutter Hall and the Student Union Marketplace is collected and picked up by Recology and taken to a local anaerobic digester which produces electricity. A small portion of the food waste is composted on-site in an educational Compost Display Area.


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:

Residential Dining Sutter Hall is 'dine-in' only and does not provide single-use service ware. The Student Union Marketplace food is served in 'to go' packaging: the facility is not equipped for a large-scale dishwashing operation.


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:

At the The Union Market Place there is an 'EcoTainer' option of paying an initial three dollar charge to get a reusable clam shell container that can be used for any menu item, and returned dirty to receive a wooden token that is good for another reusable container. The wooden token can be returned for a three dollar refund.
Salads sold through Urban Roots are served in a tall jar that is refudable and reusable.


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:

At any coffee shop on campus if a customer uses their own mug no matter the size they receive a discount of $0.20 on the price of the cup of coffee. Same with sodas.


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:

AS Dining is in the process of "going strawless" in the main Marketplace and both smaller marketplaces. Customers will have the option of paying $1 for a reuse-able steel straw or can have a paper straw if needed.


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

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.