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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 66.39
Liaison Maria Kirrane
Submission Date July 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University College Cork - National University of Ireland, Cork
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Caroline Jensen
Ms
KSG
"---" 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:

KSG are the primary dining services contractor for UCC. Their published environmental policy states:

"WE ARE COMMITTED TO RESPONSIBLY INTERACTING WITH OUR ENVIRONMENT.
- We comply with all environmental, waste management, legal and other
requirements that apply to our activities.
- We minimise waste, energy and resource consumption by evaluating operations and
ensuring they are as efficient as possible.
- We actively promote and encourage recycling and waste segregation both internally
and amongst our customers and suppliers.
- We develop a culture that reduces, reuses and recycles.
- We source and promote a product range to minimize environmental impact.
- We ensure that all processes are carried out in an environmentally responsible
manner.
- We employ only licenced waste disposal services to ensure that each waste stream is
managed correctly.
- We maintain awareness of changing environmental needs.
- We promote local sourcing to minimise our carbon footprint."

UCC’s catering company, KSG, has been awarded the highest accolade from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, a three star “Food Made Good” award.


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:

In 2016, UCC became the first University in Ireland to have fresh vegetables harvested from its own land and served in six of its restaurants. 80 to 100 tonnes of root vegetables are harvested throughout the winter months. The plot is managed by the family-owned “Waterfall Farms” who deliver the fresh produce to our catering company KSG. The vegetables also go into our soups which are served in 13 outlets across campus. KSG also run a greenhouse on main campus, where they grow the herbs that are used in their cooking.


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:

UCC Green Campus Farmer's market began in the spring of 2018, hosting stall selling low impact products for the campus and surrounding community. The market included an organic vegetable stand and homemade jams. The market is in it's infancy and it is hoped that it will grow into a bigger more permanent presence in the next academic year.


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:
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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:

Meatless Mondays have been happening in the main restaurant in UCC for the last two academic years. In 17/18, there were two events per semester, however it is hoped to increase this in 18/19 to once per month.


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:
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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 Bio Green Cafe launched in September 2018, and is a single use disposable free cafe on UCC campus. The café has eliminated single-use plastics from its operations, all plastic drink bottles have been replaced with glass bottles and cans. There are no plastic sachets of sauces, disposable cutlery, or plastic wrapped snacks. Meats and cheeses are sourced from the local market and delivered without wrapping, while the vegetables come from the university farm.
More details on the cafe are available here https://www.independent.ie/life/food-drink/irelands-first-plastic-free-caf-opens-today-37305145.html


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:

The main restaurant in UCC is decorated with displays informing students of the "Farm to Fork" initiative and the fact that the root vegetables that they are eating are from the campus farm less than 5km away. As students enter the food service area there is signage next to the menu board informing them of the sustainability credentials of the other foods on offer, for example local meats and sustainable fish.


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:

The KSG manager for UCC ia a member of UCC's Green Forum and attends all meetings. This means that the dining services contractor is involved with and feeds into all activities in UCC that relate to sustainability and in the delivery of UCC's Sustainability Strategy.


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 KSG manager for UCC sits on the "Food, Nutrition and Sustainability" working group of the UCC Health Matters programme. UCC Health Matters is a collaboration of staff and students who are working towards a healthier university environment for all. It utilises the World Health Organisation's "Health Promoting University" framework which takes into account three things:
- The protection of health and the promotion of wellbeing for staff, students, and the wider community through policies and practices
- Relating health promotion to research and teaching
- Developing health promotion alliances and outreach links in the community.


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:

Food that is still sealed and unwanted is brought to Penny Dinners, a local service that provides meals to the homeless people of Cork. This is done on a ad hoc basis.


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:

Cooking oil is supplied by Frylite, who collect waste oil and return it to their depot to be cleaned and reused - http://frylite.com/uco/


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:

As per regulations in Ireland, all pre-consumer food waste from KSG outlets is collected by GreenStar and taken to Acorn recycling in Tipperary. Here it is composted and it is then used on agricultural land in the Cork region.


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:

Post-consumer composting is available in a number of the larger campus food outlets. Segregated bin systems with appropriate signage direct customers to dispose of compostable waste separately. The food waste is collected by GreenStar and taken to Acorn recycling in Tipperary. Here it is composted and it is then used on agricultural land in the Cork region.


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:

Dine-in service ware is available in a number of the larger food outlets on campus, including the main restaurant.


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:

All KSG outlets on campus utilise compostable coffee cups.


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:

A 10cent discount is available across campus for customers who use their own reusable coffee cups.


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:

As part of Green Campus drive to become a disposable plastic free campus, KSG are working with suppliers to find ways of reducing the amount of packaging coming onto the site. The Farm to Fork initiative, and use of campus greenhouses to grow herbs, also reduces the distance traveled and amount of packaging used in getting food supplies to te kitchens.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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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.