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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 67.81
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas A&M University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Courtney Bryant
Marketing Director
Chartwells USA
"---" 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:

Our published sustainable dining policy can be found on our website at www.dineoncampus.com/tamu/ under the Sustainability tab.

https://www.dineoncampus.com/tamu/sustainability


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:

At this time, our company is not able to source food from a campus garden/farm out of concern for health risks associated with unprotected farms/gardens.


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:

Chartwells at Texas A&M University regularly hosts a Farmer's Market with an emphasis on local vendors.The Farmers Market event became an annual initiative on the campus in front of Sbisa Dining Hall. This event is bringing local farmers and retailers together to the Texas A&M campus for students. Chartwells at Texas A&M University regularly hosts a Farmer's Market with an emphasis on local vendors.


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:

Our website lists all available vegan options broken up by each dining facility on campus.
Vegan Awareness Month in October is celebrated and promoted in all dining halls on campus.
To be labeled as Vegan, foods do not contain any animal products at all. This includes honey, eggs, dairy products of any kind, chicken, seafood, beef, ham or any other animal stock or base. There are no calorie or other nutrition limits on these foods. You may use recipes from any source for these foods.
 In several of our locations, we have provided “Webtrition Kiosks”. These are an Online Compass tool our guests use for nutritional and dietary information on the menu being served. A guest has the ability to walk up to these tablet kiosks and view all nutritional information for each item on the menu. They can also see the items containing allergens, vegan and vegetarian items, as well as “better for U” recommended items. From there, they have the ability to build their menu by choosing the portion of each item they will be placed on their plate. The kiosk will then summarize total nutrition facts for the meal that they have built and any allergens they may have chosen.


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:

In partnership with Vegan Awareness Month, Chartwells at Texas A&M University hosts a Meatless Monday dining event every Monday during the month of October in the Sbisa Dining Hall.


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:

Every Thursday we are doing "Fresh Market Thursdays" where we are offering local and seasonal produce in our dining halls.


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:
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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:

Chartwells has incorporated large oversized infographics, posters, and sustainability-focused digital screens that are dedicated to educating our students about low impact food choices and sustainability practices. On our waste dispensers, we have also created graphics that teach students the difference between recyclable waste, compost materials, and trash (MSC Food Court).


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:

Our Project Clean Plate campaign allowed students to learn and interact with our team to learn about food waste. Also, our Farmers Market allows local vendors to interact with the student body about sustainable eating.
Love Food No Waste campaign is composed of four key areas of waste related to food service: Food Waste, Water, Energy, and Packaging. Each area addresses ways that our staff and guests can impact the amount of waste they produce by encouraging them to change their behavior. Love Food Not Waste will not only bring attention to the environmental concerns but also to the costs that can be saved by making a few simple changes.
Since fall 2017, Texas A&M University is maintaining the status of Fair Trade Campaigns university. That means that we have at least two Fair Trade Certified purchasable items at our dining locations. Fair Trade Campaigns recognize universities who maintain Fair Trade practices, equity in trade, and create opportunities for economically and socially marginalized producers.


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:

Kosher food is made available to our students.
We are a participant in World Fest and feature culturally diverse options in November prior to the Brazos Valley World Fest.
Our dietician, Chanika Moses, works with the University's dietician to host weekly health & wellness events. We also partake in the University's Health & Wellness Fair, give away samples of sustainable and healthy food options, as well as providing educational opportunities throughout the year.
We promote sustainable dining at Texas Arbor Day in November on the campus and Campus Sustainability Day in October.
In order to educate students about Fair Trade practices, we host multiple Fair Trade events throughout the academic year at dining halls. We serve Fair Trade Certified coffee.


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:

Project Clean Plate is a campaign that helps students to set food waste reduction goals in the dining hall on campus and provides proven cause-and-effect solutions. Communications materials in the dining hall speak to students about portion control and their part in addressing the problem of food waste. Food waste from students is collected in the dining hall, weighed on a scale, and is assigned a value. Project Clean Plate is once a semester for 3 days in Sbisa Dining Hall.


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:

In 2008-2009, Chartwells’ resident dining operations instituted a trayless dining program to reduce waste and conserve energy. All halls are tray-free.


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:

Partners with food recovery network to donate leftovers to Twin City Missions weekly at Duncan Dining Hall.


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:

Chartwells has recyclable and compostable disposables to minimize the impact our disposable products have on the environment. When choosing disposable products, Chartwells considers two issues: source and biodegradability. We offer biodegradable consumer food packaging, plates, and utensils made from compostable materials such as bamboo and corn.We help support client efforts to establish capture systems by partnering with sustainable waste management and/or recycling service companies. Units must properly identify receptacle so that the compostable disposables are properly disposed of for collection for composting.


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 help support efforts to establish capture systems by partnering with sustainable waste management and/or recycling service companies. Units must properly identify receptacle so that the compostable disposables are properly disposed of for collection for composting.
-Project Clean Plate is a campaign that helps students to set food waste reduction goals in the dining hall on campus and provides proven cause-and-effect solutions. Communications materials in the dining hall speak to students about portion control and their part in addressing the problem of food waste. Food waste from students is collected in the dining hall, weighed on a scale, and is assigned a value.
-One program in practice is coined ‘operation clean plate’. We educate our consumers in our all-you-care-to-eat facilities on the impact of putting more on their plate than they can consume. If each person puts less food on their plate they do not eat, less food is wasted. Also, less food is then produced as the kitchen is not replenishing the taken food. -Dining facilities also implemented a tool where they weighed post-consumer waste in the dish room and posted the weight of food thrown away each night to create a ‘challenge’ for the community dinners to reduce the number. This process produced amazing results of 27% reduction in dish room waste over the measured period.


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:

In Rev's, Lime, and Smashburger, we provide reusable baskets to our customers. I other dining locations reusable service ware is used. In places that are more "grab and go" such as the MSC food court, we offer biodegradable consumer food packaging, plates, and utensils made from compostable materials such as bamboo and corn.


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:

Chartwells has recyclable and compostable disposables to minimize the impact our disposable products have on the environment. When choosing disposable products, Chartwells considers two issues: source and biodegradability. We offer biodegradable consumer food packaging, plates, and utensils made from compostable materials such as bamboo and corn. We help support client efforts to establish capture systems by partnering with sustainable waste management and/or recycling service companies. Units must properly identify receptacle so that the compostable disposables are properly disposed of for collection for composting.


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 Einstein's bagels, customers are awarded a discount if they bring their own coffee mugs. We have a "to-go" food program in our dining halls, where we allow customers to purchase a reusable container, fill it up with food, and leave the dining hall with their food. Our contractors like Starbucks offer discounts on reusable cups that students may choose to bring to stores.


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:

Trayless Dining: This initiative helps reduce food waste and food costs through the elimination of trays in the cafeteria. In addition to the reduction in water, detergents and energy consumption needed for washing, going trayless encourages students to take only what they can eat and helps them control their food portions.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Information for this section was supplied by Chartwells, a third-party contractor for Texas A&M University Dining.

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.