Log In

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Aug. 2, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.1

Virginia Tech
OP-6: Food and Beverage Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Elena Dulys-Nusbaum
Sustainability Coordinator
Dining Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of food expenditures that meet one or more of the criteria for this credit (0 - 100):

A brief description of the sustainable food and beverage purchasing program:

Dining Services began to actively seek inclusion of local and sustainable foods in 2008. Since then, our program has grown considerably and successfully. Dining Services added an exclusively local, sustainable, and organic venue titled The Farms & Fields Project in 2009 located in one of our largest dining centers, Owens Food Court. It is titled “project” because our commitment to the improvement thereof is an ongoing process. Farms & Fields Project is a showcase for Dining Services’ gold standard of sustainability.

Since 2008, the Sustainability Coordinator in Dining Services has actively pursued including local and sustainable foods wherever possible in all other dining units. Local special meals have now become a twice-annual tradition; meat produced and processed on campus is incorporated in most units year-round, and our token coffee shop purchases direct-trade coffee from a sustainable plantation in Nicaragua which our leaders in the department have personally visited. One of our most popular dining centers, West End Market, features fresh fish every day that meets the standards of Monterey Bay Seafood Watch’s “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” in order to protect our waterways and fish populations.

One of our greatest accomplishments began as a small herb plot in 2009 at our land grant research farm, Kentland Farm. More than tripled in size since its humble beginnings, our Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm provided thousands of pounds of sustainably-managed produce to many of our dining centers. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, mixed greens, asparagus, peppers, zucchini, and many more vegetables and herbs are grown, processed, and served within ten miles of campus. Facilitated by the Sustainability Coordinator, led by two paid students, staffed by Dining Services employees, and aided by a student volunteer program, the garden has been a thriving project for Virginia Tech Dining Services. With over two acres and a new berry plot, the garden’s harvest will likely double in 2011 as compared to 2010.

Into the future, Dining Services will be improving and expanding existing programs, as well as more actively tracking sustainable purchases to track and measure progress.

For more information about Dining Services please see http://www.dining.vt.edu

To view an article about Dining Services partnering with Virginia Tech Meat Science Center to bring local products to campus dining centers, please see: http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2011/06/062411-dsa-meats.html

The Website URL where information about the institution's sustainable food and beverage purchasing efforts is available:

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.