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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 67.20
Liaison Suzanne Hansen
Submission Date May 31, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Macalester College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Chuck Parsons
General Manager, Cafe Mac
Bon Appetit
"---" 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:

The College's dining services contractor Bon Appetit fervently practices and believes that a sustainable future for food service means flavorful food that’s healthy and economically viable for all, produced through practices that respect farmers, workers, and animals; nourish the community; and replenish our shared natural resources for future generations.


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:

Macalester Urban Land and Community Health (MULCH) runs the on-campus student community garden. When possible students coordinate with Bon Appetit staff to plant items that can be used in the dining hall. The most recent sale was last summer.


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:

Macalester – through our wellness program – partners with Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm out of Waverly, Minnesota to bring the community fresh, local, and nutritious produce for sale, right on site. Untiedt’s has been traditionally on-site every Thursday. Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm also offers a CSA subscription with pick up locations near campus.


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:

Bon Appetit provides vegetarian and vegan meal options at each one of the six stations in the Cafe Mac cafeteria (open 19 meals a week), as well as Celiac friendly options.


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:

When Bon Appétit started our Low Carbon Diet program in 2007 — making us the first restaurant company to connect food and climate change — it was with specific targets in mind for how much carbon emissions we wanted to lose over five years. And we did it, meeting our goals and resulting in reductions of the equivalent of approximately 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide each month.

After a few years of happily maintaining our weight, we decided it was time to mentally move from a time-limited diet aimed at a quick reduction to a long-term, sustained way of living. Enter the Low Carbon Lifestyle, a new set of commitments that we can live for the foreseeable future and continue our dedication to reducing the climate-changing impacts of our food choices. We consulted with food and climate change experts across the country, from the Environmental Working Group to the Union of Concerned Scientists and Rainforest Alliance. We settled on these four focus areas: Prioritizing Plant-Based Proteins, Preventing and Reducing Food Waste, Trimming Transportation, Decreasing Deforestation.


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:

Farm to Fork is a Bon Appetit company-wide initiative to buy locally, formalized in 1999. Our first choice is to purchase seasonal ingredients from small, owner-operated farms and ranches within a 150-mile radius of your café. Food grown locally is fresher, better tasting, and often has greater nutritional value. Our commitment to local food is about preserving biodiversity, protecting open space, supporting family farmers, and keeping money invested in your community. Bon Appétit aims to spend at least 20 cents of every dollar with our network of over a thousand Farm to Fork suppliers. By doing so, we aim to strengthen our regional food systems so that everyone in our communities can eat well not just today, but for the future.


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:

Macalester – through our wellness program – partners with Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm out of Waverly, Minnesota to bring the community fresh, local, and nutritious produce for sale, right on site. Untiedt’s has been traditionally on-site every Thursday. Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm also offers a CSA subscription with pick up locations near campus.


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:

Menu Icon Legend
Vegetarian
Vegetarian: Contains no meat, fish, poultry, shellfish or products derived from these sources but may contain dairy or eggs

Farm To Fork
Farm to Fork: Contains seasonal, minimally processed ingredients from a local farm, ranch, or fishing boat.

Locally Crafted
Locally Crafted: Contains products crafted by a small, locally owned food business using socially and/or environmentally responsible practices.

Vegan
Vegan: Contains absolutely no animal or dairy products.

Humane
Humane: Contains humanely raised meat, poultry, or eggs. Must be certified by a credible third-party animal welfare organization.

Made Without Gluten-containing Ingredients
Made without Gluten-Containing Ingredients: Due to our open kitchens that handle gluten, we cannot guarantee that items made without gluten-containing ingredients are “gluten-free,” as defined by the FDA. We make every effort to avoid gluten cross-contact; however there is always the potential for cross-contact with other gluten-containing food items, particularly in our self-serve facilities. We encourage guests to speak to the chef or manager regarding any questions about ingredients.

Well-Being
For Your Well-Being: Contains foods illustrating this month’s Food For Your Well-Being topic


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:

LEADING BY EXAMPLE
We are proud to be the first food service company to commit to:

Supporting local agriculture (with a defined purchasing target), since 1999
Striving to serve only seafood that meets Seafood Watch® sustainability guidelines for commercial buyers, since 2002
Reducing antibiotic use in farm animals (2003)
Serving rBGH-free milk (2003)
Switching to cage-free shell eggs (2005) and cage-free liquid eggs (2016)
Tackling food’s role in climate change (2007)
Addressing farmworkers’ rights (2009)
Switching to humanely raised ground beef (2012)
Phasing out pork raised with gestation crates (early 2016)


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:

At Bon Appétit, we believe good health is about the choices you make every day at every meal. Read on to learn more about healthy eating patterns as well as the community and environmental issues that can affect your well-being.


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:

Bon Appetit makes all their food in small batches as needed to prevent having leftovers. Food will be prepped in large quantities and cooked on an as need basis so the prepped ingredients can be used again in different meals. When large amounts of food do end up being leftover from large events, the prepared foods are donated to Second Harvest Heartland, a local hunger relief organization.


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:

The dining hall hosts has removed all trays from the cafeteria to reduce water usage and food waste in 2012.


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:

When large amounts of food are leftover from large events, the prepared foods are donated to Second Harvest Heartland, a local hunger relief organization. The student organization partnered with this effort is MacFEAST.


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:

Beginning in 2009, food that cannot be donated is diverted to a pig farm, Barthold Farms.

At least 80% of accounts to be Food Recovery Certified by 2018.

Studies estimate that if just one-fourth of all food thrown away by food service providers each year was donated, we could theoretically eliminate hunger in the United States, where 1 in 6 people are food insecure, many of them children.

Bon Appétit has long believed that wholesome, excess food should feed people, not waste bins or landfills. We follow the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy, which recommends best practices for how to sustainably prevent and manage food waste, meaning we make sure our accounts are actively preventing waste at the source and donating leftovers to local hunger relief organizations, in that order.


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:

Items that cannot be donated or sent to the pig farm are but into the College's industrial composting stream.

Bon Appetit switched all wares – for food produced and packed on-stite – to compostables; this effort includes to-go options and catering wares. Bon Appetit also invested in reusable catering services to make events Zero Waste.


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:

With the supply of all wares switched to compostables, post-consumer composting throughout campus was made easier for everyone.


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:

The Dining Hall offers only reusable dishes. At some made-to-order stations, reusable service ware can be requested for dine-in meals; all other wares are compostable.


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:

All take out food is served in compostable dishware.


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:

Bon Appétit offers discounted coffee in reusable mugs.


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:

Bon Appetit requires that their staff actively engage in preventing waste at the source, by tracking their participation in our Imperfectly Delicious Produce program


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