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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 Silver
Overall Score 52.49
Liaison Alexi Lamm
Submission Date Nov. 1, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Utah State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 2.00 Corey Cozzens
Sous Chef
Dining Services
"---" 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:

Dining Services has a sustainability mission: "'Creating an Excellent College Experience' by developing and incorporating policies and procedures of sustainability that balance social responsibility, customer preferences, and financial concerns." Sustainability has a page on their website: https://dining.usu.edu/about/sustainability.


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:

We sell the Student Organic Farm produce in our food court.


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 Student led USU Farmers Market is a program developed through the Blue Goes Green Grant. It is open to local farms and vendors, The USU Student Organic Farm, Student Clubs and Diversity Groups, as well as Arts and Music.


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:
---

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:

We are participating in Meatless Mondays. Our on-campus restaurant provides a meat free menu every Monday.


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:

We have a local Bike to Breakfast event twice a year. One is scheduled in the spring and other in the fall. It is a zero waste event.


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:
---

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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:
---

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:

As the sustainable representative of Dining Services, sous chef Corey Cozzens, goes to conferences and classes on sustainable food practices.


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:

Dining Services is all part of Aggie Be Well Program provided by the University.


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:

Dining Services has a student-run Food Recovery Program.


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:

After an internal waste audit conducted by USU Dining Services in the summer of 2008, USU implemented trayless dining. Food costs and food wasted decreased dramatically. Reduction of food waste is an essential part of USU Dining Services‘ sustainable efforts. Trayless dining reduces food waste, conserves energy, reduces water waste, reduces chemical waste, and encourages healthier eating habits.


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:

Utah State University donates food to two local food banks on a daily and weekly basis. Dining Services took a daily average of 300lbs of food waste to the landfill. Concerned with the food that would normally go to waste, Dining Services has taken it upon themselves to donate their leftover foods to the S.N.A.C. department (Student Nutrition Access Center) and the Cache Valley Food Pantry. The Cache Valley Food Pantry serves more than 400 families in the county as well as many of the local Senior Centers.


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 send all our non usable meat scraps and fats to the Willow Park Zoo. To date Dining has donated more than 4000 lbs of meat scraps.


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:

In January of 2015, USU bought a composter from Green Mt. Technologies. The composter receives all of the pre-consumer waste made by Dining Services.

https://dining.usu.edu/about/sustainability


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:

In our Retail locations we have to option for customers to throw compostable material into a labeled bin.


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 locations have the option to use ceramic plates and cups.


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:

In the spring of 2014 Dining Services purchased 250 reusable take-out containers. We have since purchased a little more than 500 more. The program is available in our 2 dining halls. As an incentive it has be made available at a discounted price. The program is a huge success.


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:

As mentioned above, Dining offers reusable take-out containers at a discount and most of our retail operation offer discount on beverages purchased in a reusable container. We also give a portion of any refill to our on-campus bike program.


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)?:
No

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
---

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.