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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 Silver
Overall Score 57.22
Liaison Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Southern Oregon University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Sustainability & Recycling Coordinator
Facilities Management & Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:

The university contracts with A'viands for its dining services. A'viands does not have a purchased sustainable dining policy.


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:

SOU Dining purchases organically grown produce from the Farm at SOU, located less than .25 miles from the main campus dining hall. Each year staff from The Farm at SOU and SOU Dining meet to discuss what kind of produce SOU Dining would like to purchase to help inform The Farm at SOU's growing season. The Farm delivers fresh produce to the campus dining halls each week during the growing season.


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:
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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:

Vegetarian and vegan options are offered during all meal periods at both dining halls on campus. Vegetarian and vegan options are identified by labeling on menus. Vegetarian dishes are identified with V and vegan dishes are identified with VG.

Franchised locations and retail locations all offer vegetarian options. Campus coffee locations offer vegan options including non-dairy milk selections, including almond, coconut and soy milks.

The main campus dining hall recently introduced a station calle Vege that promotes a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle The Vege station contains only vegetarian and vegan dishes and offers at least one vegan dessert daily.


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:
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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:

SOU Dining often hosts small events in one of the main dining hall's dining rooms where they showcase locally sourced and/or organic produce.


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:

The campus retail dining area includes a salad station that features locally grown produce.

The main campus dining hall recently introduced a station calle Vege that promotes a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle The Vege station contains only vegetarian and vegan dishes and offers at least one vegan dessert daily.


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:

SOU Dining showcases the local farms they work with on display screens around the main entrance of the dining hall. SOU Dining also has a dietitian's corner where they display and advertise local 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:

SOU Dining's dietitian hosts tabling in the dining hall to teach students the benefits of 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:

SOU Dining provides many culturally diverse options in the dining hall to broaden students' understanding of global food cultures and traditions.


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?:
No

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food 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:

Trayless dining is present in the campus Dining Hall and at the Marketplace. Trays are made available to senior conference groups upon request. Trayless dining on campus conserves water and energy that would otherwise be used for washing trays, reduces use of detergents and reduces food waste by 25%-30% per person.


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:

SOU Dining makes donations to Food Angels, a local non-profit organization that collects and distributes food to over a dozen organizations such as Head Start, the Senior Center, and the Emergency Food Bank. SOU Dining also makes bulk food donations each quarter to ACCESS, a local non-profit organization that provides food assistance to needy families and individuals. Non-perishable food items are donated to the university food pantry, which makes food available to students in need.


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:

All of the used cooking oil is picked up by a local company to be converted to biofuels.


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:

In order to contribute to the ever-momentous sustainability programs occurring at Southern Oregon University, the Landscape Services Department recently undertook a large-scale composting project in which pre-consumer waste is collected from the two dining facilities on campus. The project was designed to reduce the amount of solid food waste being sent to the landfill, to create onsite cycling of this waste into a rich, organic and usable soil supplement and to reduce facilities’ dependence on external providers of compost soil; all are efforts to better understand alternatives to current fertilizing practices and to improve the sustainability outlooks for campus as a whole.

So far, the project has collected an average of 1,350 pounds of food waste per week (collectively from the two dining facilities).

Expansion of the project to include post-consumer food waste is on the horizon for the team pending consistently high temperatures of the compost.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:
---

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:

SOU's new LEED Gold Certified Dining Hall uses only reusable service ware for dine in meals. For customers wishing to take their food to-go, a reusable to-go container must be purchased. There is no disposable service ware available in the main dining hall.


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:

SOU Dining offers a reusable container program in the dining hall. The program's goals are to:
* Reduce or eliminate excessive disposal containers.
* Demonstrate commitment to reduce environmental impact of dining operation.
* Reduce waste removal costs for university partners.
* Engage student leaders and administrators in environmental awareness.

The customer purchases the container from the cashier to use on their next visit to purchase food from the dining hall. The customer rinses the container after use and brings it back on their next visit, and receives a clean container. The container is then washed, rinsed and sanitized and is recycled back to the next customer.


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:

SOU Dining offers a discount of $0.25 at all retail locations for customers who bring reusable beverage containers.


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:
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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.