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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 66.74
Liaison joni newcomer
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

New Mexico State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Suzanne Montes
Facilities Space Manager
Facilities and Services
"---" 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 Better Tomorrow Plan: True to our mission, Sodexo is committed to improving the Quality of Life of its employees and all those it serves throughout the world and contributing to the economic, social and environmental development of the communities, regions and countries where it operates.

Launched in 2009, Sodexo’s Corporate Responsibility roadmap, the Better Tomorrow Plan, formalizes our commitments and allows us to track the implementation and results in the 80 countries in which Sodexo operates, taking our efforts to a higher level of performance and transparency.

3 Core Pillars

The strength of the Better Tomorrow Plan is that it rests on three pillars that provide a consistent and structured approach for all of our efforts.

WE ARE: Sodexo’s cornerstone of a responsible company: Group Fundamentals, Business Integrity and Corporate Governance.
WE DO: 18 commitments divided into four priorities:
• A Responsible Employer
• Nutrition, Health and Wellness
• Local Communities
• Environment
WE ENGAGE: Dialogue and joint actions with our stakeholders helps us define and refine our strategy for sustainable development and areas of action. It also enables us to go far beyond what we could achieve alone.


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:

Established in 2012, the Student Research and Education Gardens (or "Student Gardens" for short) is a two-acre certified organic farm centered on the main campus of New Mexico State University. The mission of the Student Garden is to provide experiential learning opportunities and a hands-on educational facility for NMSU students, faculty, staff, and community. The student farm is used to teach and conduct research to explore organic and sustainable agricultural systems that are applicable to New Mexico farms and the greater desert southwest.


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:

The university hosts the Peak of Las Cruces farmers market every fall semester. NMSU also regularly provides an informational table to participate in the city's Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market Nights.


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:

Sodexo offers vegan and vegetarian options at the food station "The Wild Mushroom". Individual menus can be created for specific dining requirements or preferences by meeting with the chef and the nutritionist.


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:

Sodexo hosts weekly tabling regarding low impact food choices by highlighting menu options from its Mindful Mondays menu options. Weekly tablings also highlight the Wild Mushroom station which focuses solely on low impact dining in the form of vegetarian and vegan food options.

Every Earth Day, Sodexo also partners with NMSU Housing and Residential Life to host Weigh the Waste in the campus dining hall. Student participants weigh food waste from their dinners, and the dorm with the lowest proportion of food waste to residents receives a pizza party.


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:

The dining hall hosts at least one sustainability-themed meal, including Neighborfood in the fall and Earth Day in the spring.


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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
---

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:

The dining hall displays clear signage about fair trade and local sourcing of food and beverages. Sodexo retail operations also uses labeling and signage to highlight sustainability practices.


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:

During Mindful Mondays tabling events, the Sodexo marketing team uses engaging best practices to support learning about sustainable food systems. Sodexo also partners with the Office of Sustainability on food-related events.


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:

Sodexo partners with the NMSU Campus Health Center to provide guests with information about making healthy dining choices.


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:

Sodexo hosts the Weigh the Waste food waste reduction competition every Earth Day in the dining hall. Sodexo also provides weekly donations of recoverable food from the residential dining hall to the campus Food Recovery Network student chapter. The food is then transported to the local soup kitchen in frozen easy-to carry containers so the kitchen can serve the food at their convenience.


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:

NMSU went to trayless dining in spring 2010 with the previous food service provider. We decreased the amount of waste as well as conserved water and energy. The new food service provider, Sodexo Campus Services, has continued this practice.


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:

NMSU donates produce and canned items to local shelters. Sodexo sponsors one food drive per semester. All food collected is donated to the campus food pantry. Additionally, Sodexo provides weekly food donations to the local Food Recovery Network.


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:

Glandless cotton is grown on the NMSU Leyendecker Plant Science Center. The glandless cotton seed is turned into cottonseed oil and given to our food services vendor who uses it in their fryers at NMSU Taos Café. When the oil needs to be changed in the fryers the used oil is put in a cottonseed oil bio-fueled vehicle and taken back to Leyendecker. That oil is then used as bio-fuel to run the motors that water the cotton. It’s a perfect circle of no waste!


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:

Sodexo has implemented LeanPath waste management tool where pre-consumer waste is weighed and disposed of separately. This is the first step on the way to implementing the composting program. Sodexo is currently working with the ESSO student organization to contribute dining hall food scraps to their composting heap.


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:

Through our Hotel Restaurant Tourism Management (HRTM) program the College of Agriculture, Environmental and Consumer Sciences, has a cafe where the students learn to prepare food and serve. Food from the plots supplies vegetables to the Agriculture College "100 West Café", composting the leftovers, and using the compost to enrich the soil in the 2-acre organic-certified garden.


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:

"Dine in" meals at the dining hall utilize reusable service ware.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
---

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:

Sodexo sells reusable mugs at all dining venues. Discounts are offered when mug is used at retail locations and coffee is free in the main Taos Dining Hall.


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:

Sodexo continues to work with our retail franchises to reduce waste from food packaging. NMSU's beverage contract went to Pepsi starting FY17. Sodexo is currently working with a Master's in Public Health student and Pepsi to eliminate their use of polystyrene cups. The resolution with the Associated Students of NMSU passed Nov. 2016 and will move forward with Pepsi by the end of 2016.


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.