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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 Platinum
Overall Score 85.51
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date July 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of New Hampshire
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 David Hill
Assistant Director, Culinary Operations
Dining
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
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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:

The UNH Dairy Bar and University Conferences & Catering source greens and vegetables directly from high tunnels on UNH’s Kingman Farm. Food that is not used at these locations is routed to the University's main dining locations. In addition, UNH’s dining halls source food items from the University's research farms, such as squash, that would otherwise be tilled back into the fields.


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:

UNH Cooperative Extension provides education and technical support to producers who grow food for sale at farmers markets, CSAs and other direct markets across New Hampshire. In addition, Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener Program often sends volunteers to answer gardening inquiries at local farmers markets.


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:

Dining Services offers labeled vegan options at every meal daily in each of the three dining halls. The Stillings and Holloway Commons dining facilities both offer full option vegan food stations every day. Philbrook dining hall has an allergen-friendly station with vegan options across food groups, excluding the primary protein offered. However, at least one of the main course options outside of the allergen-friendly station at Philbrook is always vegan and includes a protein source. Students can also go online to view the daily menu for each dining hall, which includes a vegan category.


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:

UNH Dining hosts low impact events such as the "Flavor Forward Luncheon" (March 6th), which includes only plant-based items on the main food line. “Flavor forward” messaging has been adopted to address low attendance at dining events that were previously marketed as “meatless.” The event is focused on lower impact and healthier food choices by focusing on plant-based options that are 2 stars or higher within the Guiding Stars Program.


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:

The "Local Harvest Feast," last held on November 16, 2016, is an annual event that focuses on highlighting Dining's initiative to source local food. This year, all food was sourced from within 150 miles to align with the school's 150th anniversary campaign. Other events, such as the "Sustainable Seafood Dinner," (4/13/16) are also held during the year.


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:

UNH Dining supports the University Dairy Bar, which is a 3 Star Green Restaurant certified dining facility. The restaurant's initiatives focus on reducing waste and providing both sustainable and healthy food options. This is advertised to patrons through signage that highlights procurement from local farms, steps and criteria that led to Green Restaurant certification, and other practices that the Dairy Bar implements towards sustainability.


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:

All UNH dining halls feature an infographic with the Menus of Change principles, which focus on supporting healthy and environmentally sustainable food choices. In 2016, a rotating Menus of Change principle was featured weekly on the dining halls’ table tents to get patrons engaged and thinking about sustainability. More information on Menus of Change is available here: http://www.menusofchange.org/principles-resources/.


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:

Currently, UNH dining has completed two plate waste studies with a third in-process. Dietetic Interns from UNH’s Nutrition program conduct the waste studies, with the dual goals of providing training for students and ultimately reducing food waste from dining. Posters have been produced that explain the plate waste initiatives and make their findings meaningful for students. For example, posters often quantify the amount of food wasted or waste avoided campus-wide (e.g., 4,700 eggs) to convey that small amounts of individual waste add up.


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:

UNH Dining hosted a "Guide to Healthy Dining Lunch" (3/2/16), which focused on educating patrons on Guiding Stars healthy menu options. They also focus on providing a number of culturally diverse dining events. The latest events are "Flavors of Latin America", being hosted March 29, 2017, and "Italian Coast Cuisine Dinner", being hosted April 19, 2017.


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:

UNH Dining facilities use the Aurora System FoodPro Food Management System to help make more efficient dining decisions. Unused food is weighed at the end of the night, which generates a weekly report. Dining then uses these reports to reduce excess waste for specific food items based on consumption trends. In conjunction, Dining incorporates a “Take Less, Waste Less” initiative focused on educating patrons on reducing food waste.


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:

There are three dining halls on the UNH campus. Stillings Hall and Philbrook Hall are completely trayless (Philbrook November since 2008, Stillings Hall since January 2009). Holloway Commons, due to its multi-floor design, still provides patrons the option to use trays. However, UNH Dining began eliminating trays from Holloway Commons facility through “Trayless Tuesdays” in January 2008. The result of this program has been that many students have voluntarily ceased using trays. UNH Dining facilities also feature the "Wildcat Plate", which features food group guidance to promote healthy eating and help with portion control.


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 each semester, the dining facilities donate all perishable food items to local food pantries.


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:

UNH Dining and the New England Center have invested in waste oil collection systems that allow cooking oils to be saved and used for biodiesel fuel. Two companies collect waste vegetable oil from all three UNH dining halls and process it into biodiesel, which powers farm equipment and heats greenhouses on campus farms. UNH Dining also manages the collection and delivery of the waste oil. See: http://www.unh.edu/dining/sustainable-efforts


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:

UNH University Hospitality Services collects between 25,000 - 40,000 lbs. of pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste per month. All UNH dining areas - Holloway Commons, Stillings, Philbrook, Huddleston, and the Memorial Union Building - have installed food-waste pulpers to pulverize food waste into very small pieces and to extract liquid. The result is a dry paste-like material that composts quickly due to increased surface area, thereby increasing the speed with which the food waste decomposes which eliminates the problem of odor. The University Hospitality Services staff load buckets of waste onto their compost truck and take them out to Kingman Farm for composting. All of the UNH dining halls, as well as the Dairy Bar, run pre-consumer food waste composting programs.


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:

UNH University Hospitality Services collects between 25,000 - 40,000 lbs. of pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste per month. All UNH dining - Holloway Commons, Stillings, Philbrook, Huddleston, and the Memorial Union Building have installed food-waste pulpers to pulverize food waste into very small pieces and to extract liquid. The result is a dry paste-like material that composts quickly due to increased surface area, thereby increasing the speed with which the food waste decomposes which eliminates the problem of odor. The University Hospitality Services staff load buckets of waste onto their compost truck and take them out to Kingman Farm for composting. All of the UNH Dining Halls run post-consumer food waste composting programs.


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 UNH dining halls provide reusable dining plates, cups, and utensils for all "dine in" meals. All dish washing equipment uses sustainable detergents to further reduce environmental impacts.


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:

Both the UNH Dairy Bar and Union Court facilities provide compostable to-go trays. All dining halls have the option to purchase reusable to-go plates for $3 and plates are returned, cleaned, and then redistributed. The University's new Wildcat Stadium is working toward becoming a zero waste facility, and all to-go containers are compostable or recyclable.


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 UNH Dining retail locations such as the Dairy Bar, Wildcatessen, and Philbrook Cafe offer beverage discounts for bringing in reusable mugs.


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:

The university dining facilities alter practices in order to reduce waste and improve overall sustainability. Examples include returning plastic pallet wrapping to a large vendor for recycling and changing yogurt distributors to reduce packaging waste. For the latter, switching to another local vendor that supplies yogurt in larger containers had the added health benefit of also sourcing a product with lower added sugar.


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.