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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 41.99
Liaison Eva Rocke
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Montana
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
-- 0.00 / 2.00 Eva Rocke
ASUM Sustainability Coordinator
ASUM
"---" 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:

Sustainability is integral to the operations of UM Dining. The triple bottom line philosophy guides UMD to engage in business practices that are environmentally sound, socially just, and profitable. Central to the goal of sustainability are purchasing locally and sustainably produced goods, water and energy conservation, waste reduction and diversion, education and outreach, and collaboration with campus and community partners.

UMD Sustainable Business Practices Guiding Principles:
1.) Commitment to a gradual but significant increase in sustainable purchasing and business practices.
2.) Recognize that there will be initial cost associated with achieving sustainability; however, it will ultimately result in cost and energy savings, ecologically sound business practices, and clear health benefits to students and community.
3.) Engage the campus community in dialogue and education relating to food security, LEED certification, health and nutrition, environmental stewardship, agricultural economic development, and other aspects of a more sustainable global food system.


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:

UM owns and operates two campus gardens, one immediately behind our main campus cafeteria in the Lommasson building, and the second just 4 blocks away from main campus that is four times larger and located next to graduate and non-traditional student housing. All of the produce grown in both locations is used in UM Catering menus or in the Food Zoo, UM's cafeteria.


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:

UM Dining operates the Grizzly Green Market, a seasonal on-campus farm stand that sells local or campus garden-produced vegetables in season. It operates from May through October. UM also supports a CSA pickup location for faculty and staff on campus. The CSA is managed by the Western Montana Growers' Cooperative in Missoula, but UM Dining has coordinated with human resources at UM to provide payroll deduction for those who want to purchase a CSA share. Additionally, all UM employees who purchase a share are able to pick up their weekly box of produce in a central on-campus location.


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:

• The Food Zoo Dining Room offers, at a minimum, a vegan lunch or dinner entrée every weekday.
• Every weekday one of 9 new vegan and gluten-free salads will be available on the Vegan Salad Bar.
• Vegan Salad Bar every day in the Food Zoo.
• Retail Dining also offers a vegan entrees at all UDS operated operations in the Food Court
• Catering always has a vegan option


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:

UM Dining supports Meatless Mondays and has also integrated some creative practices into its menu to reduce the volume of meat consumed by customers. Currently, our regional beef burgers (Yellowstone Grassfed Beef) have chopped mushrooms added to them to add to the nutritional content of the burgers and to reduce the amount of red meat consumed in the Food Zoo, our primary cafeteria on campus.


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:

UM Dining plans and hosts the Welcome Feast in September for all students and UM employees. It is a seasonal celebration of local and regional food that highlights our food producers and UM Dining sustainability initiatives. All students on the meal plan can use their Griz cards to enjoy this meal, which is typically celebrated outside on the Oval.


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?:
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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:

Signage has been strategically placed around campus convenience stores to identify healthier, local, and low-impact food options. In the food zoo and in the food court, both operated by UM Dining, signs accompany all meals that include local, regional, or on-campus produced ingredients.


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:

In addition to a variety of food-related events around campus, UM Dining's farm manager and sustainability director engage students and employees by offering guest lectures, classroom visits, internship opportunities, and employee professional development workshops (like the Green Thumb gardening workshops).


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:

UM, as part of the Montana State University system, is included in the health and wellness incentive program offered to all state employees. This program includes nutrition workshops, menu planning, and fitness goals and challenges. UM Dining regularly offers meal options that are culturally diverse and provide educational opportunities to customers. This includes special events and meals that accompany religious or spiritual holidays, Native American foods and cultures, and supporting the International Food Festival each spring.


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:

UM Dining transitioned to trayless dining in 2008 and hasn't looked back. We currently pulverize and dehydrate all of our post-consumer food waste at all on-campus food service locations. Our kitchens and food prep systems have also been designed to minimize waste. All food that is prepped for meals gets weighed by chefs and compared to post-consumer food waste weights. All of the pulverized/dehydrated food gets sent to the PEAS farm, a 2 acre farm just north of campus that offers farming apprenticeships and internships to UM students, to be added to their compost rows.


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:

During Earth Week 2008, in an effort to reduce waste, save money and promote healthy eating, UM Dining Services turned their main dining facility, the Food Zoo, into a trayless facility. Without trays, students generally take less food, and therefore, waste less!
In one week:
Before Trayless - 3148 lbs
After Trayless - 2376 lbs


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:

University dining services donates more than 20,000 lbs of leftover food to the Missoula Food Circle every year. The Food Circle is a food recovery program organized by the local Missoula Food Bank. The Food Circle safely collects excess prepared and perishable food from local establishments and volunteers repackage and distribute the food to people in need and non-profit agencies.


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 save all of our cooking oil for a local biofuels company.


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 waste is composted in the Lommasson Center at the Food Zoo and Cascade Country Store. All coffee grounds from campus are composted.
• Food waste is collected in the kitchens in 5 gallon buckets and transported to our dish room where we pulp the materials along with post-consumer waste and then process them in a Somat dehydrator.


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:

• UM's primary waste reduction method involves two types of machines and collaboration with the PEAS Farm, a university owned program. Kitchen and post-consumer food waste along with napkins and biodegradable corn-based utensils are sent through the system. It begins with a Hobart WastePro 1200 Pulper. The machine transforms food and solid waste into a semi-dry pulp, reducing waste volume by up to 88%. The pulper recycles its water while in operation, reducing water use by 66% from normal garbage disposals. It also provides a useable pulp product rather than sending food waste down to the treatment plant.

The product from the pulper is then transferred to our Somat eCorrect 100 machines. We have found that these machines turn 210 pounds of post consumer waste into 30-40 pounds of a nutrient rich material that could be used as a mulch or soil amendment. These further reduce waste volume by 80-90% without the use of fresh water or chemicals, all in less than 24 hours.

The light weight material that comes out of the Somat eCorrect dehydrators is then ferried up to the PEAS Farm by a group of student volunteers, where it’s incorporated into their windrow composting system. Dining Services will benefit by receiving compost from the PEAS Farm for on-campus gardening efforts.


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:

All of our plates, bowls, cups, and utensils are reusable.


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:

Reusable to-go containers are available to students for a $5 fee. Dining Services will wash the containers and provide a steady supply of sanitized containers for each use.


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:

All dining facilities offer reuseable mug discounts on coffee. User simply present their mugs to get the discount.


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)?:
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A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
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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.