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 Bronze
Overall Score 43.94
Liaison Lisa Kawai
Submission Date June 5, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Soka University of America
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.63 / 2.00 Kamal Hrouch
Manager of Bon Appetit
Food and Dining
"---" 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:

Sustainability Policy Statement from the Bon Appetit (SUA's primary dining service provider) website:
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.

All their initiatives in detail can be found on the link:

http://soka.cafebonappetit.com/wellness/


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:

The Soka Instructional Garden (SIG) is a facility of the Environmental Studies Concentration that supports academic programs through instruction in composting and gardening. The SIG serves as a venue to learn and practice these skills in an environmentally friendly, healthy and safe manner. The garden is managed by a garden manager and student workers, assisted by Soka's landscaping staff. Students meet weekly in the garden to compost and harvest crops. The SIG works with Bon Appetit, Soka’s cafeteria service, to give students the opportunity to taste fresh, local, and organic produce grown and harvested by students, and is a space for students to directly learn about and engage in the path of produce from farm to fork. The SIG emphasizes and practices organic agriculture.


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?:
No

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:
---

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?:
No

A brief description of the vegan dining program:
---

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
No

A brief description of the low impact dining events:
---

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:

We have farmer's market bowls which feature produce from local farms, and some meals highlight the use of produce from the Soka Instructional Garden.


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:

Bon Appetit has monthly awareness campaigns surrounding issues such as healthy portions, sustainable seafood, and farm worker's rights. These campaigns involve displaying signs and brochures with information about these topics. The cafeteria bulletin board also features posters promoting more plant-based diets.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
No

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:
---

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:

The meal offerings are often culturally-diverse, and the chefs encourage students to submit suggestions or recipes of traditional foods from their homes. The cafeteria regularly stocks options such as miso soup and natto, or Japanese fermented soybeans, and has recently begun offering nutritional yeast at the salad bar after student request. Other culturally diverse options have included tuna poke bowls, Peruvian carne saltado, caldo de pescado (fish soup), chicken katsu and Japense curry, amongst other offerings.


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:

Dining services using the LeanPath waste prevention system


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:

Portions are measured and served by the Bistro staff. Students can return to the cafeteria for second servings, but because portions are controlled instead of buffet-style, less food is wasted.


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:

After large catering events, leftover trays of food are often donated to feed people through local programs.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
---

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:

Inside the kitchens, compost bins are located at the end of each prep table and cafeteria staff are instructed to dispose of all food scraps into the compost bins.


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:

Green compost bins are located next to the conventional garbage cans, with signage above them indicating what items can go into the compost.


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:

Silverware is offered at every meal, including forks, knives and spoons.


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:

After a student-led initiative, the cafeteria offers tupperware boxes, which is administered by the cafeteria staff and the student Sustainability Committee. Each student can participate for free and receive a tupperware card, which is redeemable for a reusable box. Dirty boxes are returned to the cafeteria, to be washed by machine. Missing cards or boxes are charged to student accounts, for the cost of replacing the box.


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 the Sokafe, the on-campus coffee shop, there is a 25 cent discount off any drink if you bring in a reusable mug or cup.


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)?:
No

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
---

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.