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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 58.11
Liaison Melissa Tier
Submission Date April 19, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Swarthmore College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 2.00 Aurora Winslade
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

Dining Services strives to uphold the College's commitment to sustainability by sourcing locally produced foods, reducing waste, and conserving resources.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
No

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

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 College offers delivery from a CSA, called Red Earth Farms, to faculty and staff.


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:

Dining venues offer a full vegan protein at every meal. There is a serving station which is vegan/vegetarain in Sharples Dining Hall, as well as vegan foods available on other serving lines.


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:

Sharples Dining Hall has a Harvest Meal every fall which is meant to bring the local foods we offer almost daily on our menu into the spot light.


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:

Signage in the dining hall is present about vegan, vegetarian, locally based, and organic foods.


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:

Students and visitors to the dining hall and other dining venues can learn about sustainable food systems through signage, participation in sustainability groups focused on food, and classes that look at 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 daily menu options vary from all sorts of ethnic foods and cultural food options including but not limited to an Indian/Vietnamese/Chinese/Soul/Caribbean meals/inspired meals. We sometimes work with Health Service and Athletics to support outreach for healthy eating.


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?:
No

A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:
---

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:

Surplus food is donated to City Team Ministries in Chester, Pa. We have very minimal food waste because of production records, but those times when we do have surplus it is donated to this food bank.


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:

We have a contract with Waste Oil Recyclers who collect and convert our cooking oil.


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:

We are contracted with Kitchen Harvest, Middletown, Pa. they pick up our fruit/vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and such, from the kitchen,snack bar and coffee bars. The pre-consumer compost is picked up along with post consumer every evening. This process occurs in all four of our operations. In addition we have added compostable plates & cups from our cash operations. Compostable foods are also collected from dorms and faculty lunch.


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:

We compost all vegetable,fruit,paper cups & coffee grounds at all four locations. Kitchen Harvest picks up scraps and compostable paper from all of our operations, as well as dorms and academic buildings. Additionally, all student food waste and napkin waste from the dining hall is collected for 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:

We use melaminse plates and cups, ceramic mugs, and stainless flatware for dine in services.


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:

90% of all disposables containers are compostable and composted by Kitchen Harvest. We are using up some old recyclables at this time and hope to be close to 100% compostable by the end of the 2016-2017 school year.


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:

We offer a discount for using a reusable mug or glass at any of our cash operations centers. Individuals who bring their own reusable cup or mug at Kohlberg and Science Center coffee bars receive $0.10 off beverage purchase.


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:

When using local farmers, we try to return packaging for re-use.


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

Linda McDougall
Dining Services Director
[email protected]
610-328-8633

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.