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  • AASHE-STARS

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 69.02
Liaison Sara McKinstry
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, San Diego
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lisa Joy
Interim Director of Dining
Housing/Dining/Hospitality
"---" 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:

Sustainable Foodservices
1. Campus and Medical Center Foodservice Operations
Campuses and Medical Centers shall develop sustainability goals and initiatives in
each of the four categories of sustainable foodservice practices listed below.
a. Food Procurement
Each campus and Medical Center foodservice operation shall strive to procure
20% sustainable food products by the year 2020, while maintaining
accessibility and affordability for all students and Medical Center foodservice
patrons.
b. Education
Each campus and Medical Center shall provide patrons with access to
educational materials that will help support their food choices.
c. Engagement With External Stakeholders
Campus and Medical Center departments, organizations, groups, and
individuals shall engage in activities with their surrounding communities that
support common goals regarding sustainable food systems.
d. Sustainable Operations
Campus and Medical Center foodservice operations shall strive to earn thirdparty
“green business” certifications for sustainable dining operations.
2. Retail Foodservice Operations:
a. Retail foodservice tenants will strive to meet the policies in III.H.1.a-d. above.
Given the constraints faced by nationally-branded franchises that must
purchase food through corporate contracts, location departments managing
retail foodservice tenants will have the option of meeting III.H.1.a. (procuring
20% of all sustainable food products by the year 2020) by aggregating the
purchases of all retail entities under the jurisdiction of a single operational unit
on location.
b. Locations will include Section H of this Policy in lease language as new leases
and contracts are negotiated or existing leases are renewed. However,
locations will also work with tenants to advance sustainable foodservice
practices as much as possible within the timeframe of current leases.


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:

UC San Diego has several campus gardens and one San Diego community garden that promote education and the growth of sustainable food and local produce. While they gardens do not yet provide Dining or other food eateries on campus with items, they hope to move in that direction over time and following all Environmental Health & Safety protocols. In addition, they hope to donate items to the on-campus food pantry and Hub.

HDH does purchase from local farms Dassi Family Farms and Go Green


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 university hosts a farmer's market on campus every Tuesday during the 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?:
Yes

A brief description of the vegan dining program:

UC San Diego was recognized by Peta2 as a Top 10 Vegan Friendly University in 2010 and 2011 and as a Most Vegan Friendly University in 2012. In 2011 we opened the Root's Restaurant, the first dedicated Vegan Restaurant in the UC System. Root's offers exclusively vegan entrees, salads, sides, and smoothies. Roots is the university’s first exclusively vegan eatery and lounge. UC San Diego also works with students and campus stakeholders to identify desired menu options, locate sources locally, and promote sustainable and healthy food options to students.

In the other campus dining facilities on campus, 20% of main courses and up to 80% of side dishes are vegetarian or vegan.

The Food Co-op is an exclusive vegan and vegetarian student-run food store that features a fresh, organic salad bar, bagels, trail mix, soups, and a variety of other foods and beverages. Since its introduction to the campus in 1978, the Food Co-op has committed itself to providing the UC San Diego community with a natural food alternative, as well as, a resource for environmentally conscious products and information. The Food Co-op carries a variety of food and non-food products such as baked goods, juices, sandwiches, fresh organic produce, macro-biotic options, ethnic foods, cruelty-free cosmetics, and environmentally safe cleaning products. Many foods are stocked in bulk to reduce the price to the customer and the waste of packaging.


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:

All HDH dining halls participate in Meatless Mondays, every Monday during the school year.


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:

Dining is looking to host a sustainability-themed meal in April 2018. In the past UC San Diego HDH has won a NACUFS Loyal E Horton Award for Special Events for its Pine's Harvest Festival.


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:

In 2011 we opened the Root's Restaurant, the first dedicated Vegan Restaurant in the UC System. Root's offers exclusively vegan entrees, salads, sides, and smoothies. Roots is the university’s first exclusively vegan eatery and lounge. UC San Diego also works with students and campus stakeholders to identify desired menu options, locate sources locally, and promote sustainable and healthy food options to students.

Sixty-four North features a mix of California cuisine featuring local vegetables and trending international dishes.


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:

Dining often posts signage about Fair Trade and organic items alongside nutrition information. The HDH EcoNauts, student employees of HDH, educate other students about Fair Trade, organic and other sustainable food purchasing standards, especially those followed by Dining.


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:
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:

HDH is an active member of UC San Diego's Healthy Campus Network, which brings faculty, staff, students and community members togehter to infuse health and wellness across all of UC San Diego. https://hdh.ucsd.edu/wellness/pages/


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:

HDH educates students to only take what they need to eat. The student chapter of the Food Recovery Network on campus educates students about food waste and works to get uneaten food to students. Through the university's zero waste efforts and UC-wide My Last Trash campaign, students have been educated about not wasting food.

HDH also partners with the Triton Food Pantry and participates in the nationwide Colleges Rock Hunger competition, receiving recognition from the San Diego Food Bank in 2013, 2014, and 2015.


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:

Some HDH restaurants have trays, but not all. They go 100% trayless in the summer with the exception of student groups that have that specific requirement in their contract for federal aid.


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:

HDH donates uneaten food to the Rescue Mission, donating over 9 tons in FY17. During student moveout, non-perishable food is collected from students (along with usable clothing, furniture, electronics, etc.) In total, 31 tons were donated to the Disabled Veterans of America (DAV) local chapter in spring 2017. The student organization Food Recovery Network recovered nearly 3 tons of uneaten food from student org and other students events for donation in FY17. In 2018, HDH Dining worked with Student Affairs to provide the campus's new Basic Needs Coordinator and her student staff with food safety handling training to help their program: https://basicneeds.ucsd.edu.


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:

HDH sends its used cooking oil to a local refiner that turns it into biodiesel.


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:

Pre-consumer food scraps are collected from HDH restaurants, markets and Catering kitchens and taken to the City of San Diego’s Greenery Food Scrap composting program. Pre-consumer composting also occurs at University Centers (with its retail food vendors), Sunshine Market, and through Campus Rec (through on-site Earth cubes.) For example, organic waste from Yogurt World, Tapioca Express, and coffee grounds from Starbucks and Sunshine Market are composted at student-run Roger's and Ellie's Gardens. In Fiscal Year 2017, nearly 266 tons of food waste was composted.

In 2018, HDH is piloting a new post-consumer composting effort at Root's Restaurant in partnership with Ellie's Garden. HDH EcoNaut students will table at post-consumer compost bins to help patrons separate items properly.


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:

As of Spring 2016 some auxiliary vendors in University Centers are composting post-consumer waste with student gardens and an outside vendor starting. The City of San Diego, however, requires 100% contamination, making post-consumer food scrap composting difficult. The forthcoming North Torrey Pines Living Learning Neighborhood will have an anaerobic digestor, and we are now exploring a possible anaerobic digestor for the rest of campus in partnership with local breweries and other community partners.


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:

Housing Dining and Hospitality (HDH) at UC San Diego uses reusable service ware for all “dine in” meals.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:
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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:

UC San Diego provides discounted rates for reusable mugs or bottles for cold beverages. $0.05 discounts for mugs and $0 .99 discount for reusable bottles.


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:

Water refill stations have been installed across campus, including in housing and dining areas, to provide the campus community with free, filtered, chilled water. In addition, all residents are given a 24-oz reusable bottle upon arrival at UC San Diego. https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=18OFCg3GFp6wl5mCwioSvU9fdGAA&ll=32.88071220215271%2C-117.23632714999997&z=16


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.