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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 Bronze
Overall Score 34.87
Liaison DeLayne Miller
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Tennessee Technological University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00 DeLayne Miller
Sustainability Manager
Facilities: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:

With education as the primary focus of their business activity, TTU Dining is committed to fostering and promoting sustainable business principles to guests. Programs focus on including the necessary information to encourage informed choices on both the food we conserve, and the ways we interact with the natural environment. Charitable donations, and active volunteerism by employees are some of the ways they invest in the community and the campus.


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?:
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?:
Yes

A brief description of the vegan dining program:

"Leafy Greens" has many vegan friendly options. The RUC Marketplace also serves 3+ hot vegetables options varying from day to day. There are 4+ different fruit options varying from day to day. There is an online menu that outlines every vegan option being served.


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:

Starbucks Cup Coloring Contest Fall 2016- encourages reusing cups.
Spring Fling 2016- Promoted eco-friendly eating habits.
There is a Meatless Monday promotional sign every week to encourage meat reduction.
Monthly tabling events in the Cafeteria to promote sustainable eating.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:
---

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:

Unique, color-coded icons identify foods/meals, as follows:
1) Balanced: Foods limited in calories, fat, saturated fat, cholestorol, sodium.
2) Sustianable: Foods purchase or produced in a sustainable manner.
3) Vegetarian: Foods that do not contain animal products, except dairy or eggs.
4) Vegan: Foods that do not contain any animal derived products at all.
5) Gluten free


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:

Dining Services' website has information and links to promote and educate on healthy and sustainable eating. There are also regularly scheduled cooking demonstrations and educational information posted in the dining areas.


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:

TTU is the first university in Tennessee, and 3rd nationwide, to be REAL Certified, the nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice providers committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.


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:

At the end of the day, any cooked foods that have not been put on the serving line are put into containers for the food pantry to distribute to their clients.


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 trays have been removed from the dining hall. Some of the meal portions are determined by the TTU employees.


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:

At the end of the day, any cooked foods that have not been put on the serving line are put int containers for the food pantry to distribute to their clients.


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:

TTU strives to conserve resources and recycle waste materials using cost effective and sound management practices. Unless other arrangements are made for legal disposal (i.e. food service grease collection), these materials, including vegetable and other 'biodegradable' oils, must be disposed of through the Safety and Environmental Services office. The used oil is collected to a central point and recycled with a licensed contractor on a regular basis.


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

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

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:

RUC Marketplace offers reusable silverware and plastic cups.
Polystyrene cups are available at Au Bon Pain.
Recyclable dining utensils and napkins are available at all dining locations on campus.


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:

Dining Services has a Reusable To-Go Container Program. Students who purchase a meal plan can sign-up for a free reusable to-go container.


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?:
No

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:
---

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.