Food & Dining

Introduction

Modern industrial food production often has deleterious environmental and social impacts. Institutions can use their food purchases to support their local economies; encourage safe, environmentally friendly and humane farming methods; and help eliminate unsafe working conditions and alleviate poverty for farmers. These actions help reduce environmental impacts, preserve regional farmland, improve local food security, and support fair and resilient food systems. Dining services can also support sustainable food systems by preventing food waste and diverting food materials from the waste stream, by making low impact dining options available, and by educating its customers about more sustainable options and practices.

953 resources

Reusable to-go Program at Northwestern Dining During a Global Pandemic

  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Chartwells Higher Education (NY)
  • Compass Group (NC)

Northwestern University opened its dining commons during the COVID-19 pandemic in the fall of 2020 with an emphasis on reusable to-go service ware. This program used the O2GO OZZI containers ...


University of Oregon GrowPod Tomato Harvest

  • University of Oregon (OR)

University of Oregon students and staff harvesting tomatoes in the experimental GrowPod.


University of Connecticut Dining Services

  • University of Connecticut (CT)

Photos from UConn dining sustainability initiatives.


Lafayette College Sustainable Food Loop

  • Lafayette College (PA)

LaFarm is a sustainability initiative at the College and the cornerstone of the Lafayette College Sustainable Food Loop.

Our mission is to integrate curriculum and practice in sustainable food and ...


Lafayette College Sustainable Food Loop

  • Lafayette College (PA)

LaFarm is a sustainability initiative at the College and the cornerstone of the Lafayette College Sustainable Food Loop.

Our mission is to integrate curriculum and practice in sustainable food and ...


IUPUI and Butler Collaborate to Launch Commercial Food Compost Program in Indianapolis

  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) (IN)

IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) has an ongoing partnership with Butler University to employ a large waste hauler for food waste compost collection. Both universities leveraged their respective networks to ...


Colorado State University SCI 2020 Pictures

  • Colorado State University (CO)

Several photos are attached that highlight sustainability initiatives at Colorado State University for the 2020 CSI including food recovery, student engagement, solar arrays, and a living wall.


Smith College - Global Flavors at Climate Equity and Justice Conference

  • Smith College (MA)

To open Smith's 19/20 Year on Climate Change, we held a "Solutions in Action: Climate Equity and Justice" Conference. For the conference, student communications intern Rosie Li '20 ...


Carbon Negative: Reducing Dining’s Carbon Foodprint at Penn State

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

Abstract Diet is an often unrecognized, but large contributor to our carbon footprint. An average American diet has a carbon footprint of 1.72 metric tons of CO2-eq every year ...

  • Posted Sept. 11, 2020
  • Publications
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On-Campus Composting: How to Start, Evolve, and Overcome Challenges

  • Colorado State University (CO)
  • Fort Lewis College (CO)
  • Princeton University (NJ)
  • St. John's University, New York (NY)
  • Western Michigan University (MI)
  • AASHE (PA)

Is your campus considering starting an on-site composting program, but doesn’t know where to start or which system to choose? Or does your campus want to grow its program ...

  • Posted July 16, 2020
  • Videos & Webinars
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Integrating climate and food policies in higher education: a case study of the University of California

  • University of California, Office of the President (CA)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)

Most climate change mitigation policies, including those of higher education institutions, do not include food system greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE). Yet the food system contributes ~30% of anthropogenic GHGE, mostly ...

  • Posted July 10, 2020
  • Publications
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Navigating Michigan Dining Towards Carbon Neutrality

  • University of Michigan (MI)

In Fall 2018, the University of Michigan made a public pledge towards carbon-neutrality. This pledge, along with pressure from concerned citizens at the local and global level, make it essential ...

  • Posted July 10, 2020
  • Publications
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A Holistic Approach and Model for a Sustainable Food System

  • Harvard University (MA)
  • AASHE (PA)

The Harvard Office for Sustainability (OFS) convened a multi-disciplinary committee of world-renowned faculty to translate their research into action on campus to create a more sustainable food system that contributes ...

  • Posted July 9, 2020
  • Videos & Webinars
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Connecting Food Security, Community, and Sustainability

  • AASHE (PA)
  • Daytona College (FL)

At a time when college costs continue to climb considerably faster than general inflation and more students are facing food insecurity, tying food security to sustainability can show students the ...

  • Posted June 12, 2020
  • Videos & Webinars
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Understanding Food Waste at Johnson County Community College: A Multi-Method Approach

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)

Food waste and food insecurity are vastly different, yet inextricably linked, social, economic, and environmental problems which afflict societies throughout the world. This study contributes to the literature on individual ...


Chartwells Higher Education Curates Sustainable, Plant-Based Pop-Up Stations for Vegan Options

  • Northeastern University (MA)
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County (MD)
  • University of North Florida (FL)
  • Chartwells Higher Education (NY)

Chartwells Higher Education is continuing their ongoing commitment to sustainability with the introduction of new plant-based options on campus. Vegan Awareness Month, which is in November, provided the perfect opportunity ...


Living Earth Festival 2018: MA‘O Organic Farms

  • Leeward Community College (HI)
  • University of Hawaii - West Oahu (HI)

This video, taken at the Living Earth Festival in 2018, highlights efforts by MA'O Organic Farms in Waianae, Hawaii to uplift the local community through employment opportunities and local ...

  • Posted May 28, 2020
  • Videos & Webinars
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U.S. Sustainable Food Market Generation Z Consumer Segments

  • Iowa State University (IA)

This study explores the interaction between environmental consciousness and sustainable food attributes as predictors in the market segmentation process for sustainable foods with respect to United States (U.S.) Generation ...


Housing Sustainability Assistants - Compost Pilot

  • Carnegie Mellon University (PA)

Carnegie Mellon University’s Housing Sustainability Assistants team supported a 4-week composting pilot within on-campus housing to ensure successful composting implementation in the future. The student team was tasked with ...


Sustainable Food and Dining: Swat2Go 2019-2020 Final Report

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

The Swat2Go reusable container pilot program was developed to avoid and reduce waste through the implementation of this reusable container pilot program. Over the course of the last year, this ...


St. Lawrence University Green Café Farm To Table Course

  • St. Lawrence University (NY)

St. Lawrence University's student-run Green café class is a collaborative and multi-stakeholder venture with Dining Services, Seed to Table (student food justice club), undergraduates from across disciplines, and three ...


Reducing Smith College’s Dining GHG emissions: An analysis of beef and milk substitutions

  • Smith College (MA)

The life cycle of food is responsible for over a quarter of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through production, processing, distribution, and waste. The environmental impact of food varies by ...


“#ACGGoesPlasticFree Campaign: ACG Cares for a plastic-free future!”

  • The American College of Greece (Aghia Paraskevi)

The #ACGGoesPlasticFree Campaign is an ongoing project that was launched in July 2018 by the ACG Center of Excellence for Sustainability (CES) which operates under the Office of Public Affairs ...


Pop-Up People's Pantry- Feeding those in need in response to COVID-19

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

The Pop-Up People's Pantry at the 18th St. People's Garden popped up in response to COVID-19 to feed our food insecure community healthy and nutritious food, predominantly fresh ...


No Food Left Behind: A free text service to reduce food insecurity and food waste

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

No Food Left Behind is a free text messaging service that connects students, staff and faculty at the University of California, Merced to events that might have food leftover. People ...


Diversity Food Services: Leading the Way on Socially and Environmentally responsible Campus Dining in Canada

  • University of Winnipeg (MB)

The University of Winnipeg Campus Sustainability Office would like to nominate Diversity Food Services for an AASHE Campus Sustainability Achievement Award.

Diversity Food Services is a joint venture of the ...


TAMU Urban Farm United (TUFU) Campus Food Forest Serves Aggies in Need

  • Texas A&M University (TX)

The TAMU Urban Farm, TUFU for short, is a new concept organization on the campus of Texas A&M University (TAMU), whose mission is “Grow to Serve”. The project was made ...


Addressing Food Insecurity on Campus

  • Colorado State University (CO)

Approximately 10% of students at Colorado State University experience food insecurity. In the past five years, CSU has been aggressively tackling food insecurity through the creation of innovative programs under ...


Addressing food insecurity in Australia through education for sustainability

  • Deakin University

Within Australia food insecurity affects an estimated 4 million people annually. Health promotion degrees traditionally prepare pre-service graduates to address food insecurity from a social determinants perspective, little consideration of ...


Transitioning towards a sustainable food city

  • Bournemouth University (Dorset)

This paper aims to provide a case study of a capacity building project and critical reflection in relation to transitioning to a sustainable food city.


The real meal deal: assessing student preferences for “real food” at Fort Lewis College

  • Fort Lewis College (CO)

Fort Lewis College committed to purchasing 20% real food by 2020 as part of a national campaign called the Real Food Challenge, an initiative on college campuses that aims to ...


The Working Farms Fund: Partnership to Build a Sustainable Local Food System

  • Emory University (GA)

Emory University and The Conservation Fund have formed a new partnership to support next-generation farmers in Georgia and help build the local food supply across metro Atlanta with a first-of-its-kind ...


Utilizing Freezers for Compost Collection at Holy Cross’ Student Apartments

  • College of the Holy Cross (MA)

The College of the Holy Cross added compost collection for student food waste in two college-owned apartments, William Hall and Figge Hall. Instead of traditional indoor collection bins, small freezers ...


The Real Food Database

  • AASHE (PA)
  • Real Food Challenge (MA)

What food products are Real? Which vendors are verified as fair, ecological, and/or humane? Now, institutions of higher education can find out through the Real Food Database! Compiled from ...

  • Posted March 25, 2020
  • Videos & Webinars
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The Healthfulness of Eateries at the University of Waterloo: A Comparison across 2 Time Points

  • University of Waterloo (ON)
  • Trillium Health Partners Institute for Better Health (ON)

Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the healthfulness of a sample of campus eateries at 2 time points, 2 years apart.

Methods: Five eateries at the University ...

  • Posted March 6, 2020
  • Publications
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UVM's Food Values Campaign

  • University of Vermont (VT)

The UVM Eco-Reps program consists of 20 students that are divided up into five community teams, with each team assigned to a specified residential area on campus. Each semester, Eco-Reps ...

  • Posted Feb. 27, 2020
  • Case Studies
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Increasing Vegetable Intake by Emphasizing Tasty and Enjoyable Attributes: A Randomized Controlled Multi-site Intervention for Taste-Focused Labeling

  • Stanford University (CA)

Healthy food labels tout health benefits, yet most people prioritize tastiness in the moment of food choice. In a preregistered intervention, we tested whether taste-focused labels compared with health-focused labels ...


Frederickson Court Trial Compost System

  • Iowa State University (IA)

With a campus compost facility already in operation, Iowa State University’s Compost Team sought to utilize the facility in more places around campus. The team identified Frederickson (Freddy) Court ...


Can a Campus Become a Cornucopia?

  • College of Charleston (SC)

As an urban campus in a food desert, the College of Charleston (CofC), lacks accessible produce. The only grocery store within a mile of campus caters to a high-income area ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Weigh the Waste: Assessing Food Waste at Winthrop University

  • Winthrop University (SC)

Food waste makes up nearly half of all municipal solid waste produced in the United States. EPA estimates that 40% of all food produced for human consumption is wasted. The ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Raising Food Waste Awareness in Residential Halls - Michigan State University

  • Michigan State University (MI)

A large factor in creating a more sustainable economy will come from changes in human behavior with an effort to live more sustainability. Part of this change will be individuals ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Clean Plates at State-Raising Food Waste Awareness in Residential Halls at Michigan State University

  • Michigan State University (MI)

Clean Plates at State is a food waste audit conducted in all nine residential dining halls on Michigan State University's campus. This program helps to put environmental sustainability into ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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University of Kentucky Organic Waste Composting Pilot Project: Growing Sustainability Partnerships

  • University of Kentucky (KY)

In 2019, the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, UK Dining, Aramark, UK Physical Plant (Waste, Recycling, & Grounds), and UK Sustainability began a strategic partnership ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Don't Let it Go to Waste: Three Scrappy Strategies for Managing Food Waste and Organics in Kentucky

  • University of Kentucky (KY)
  • University of Louisville (KY)
  • Western Kentucky University (KY)
  • Aramark (PA)

Food waste is all too often seen as nothing more than 'trash.' Yet capturing food waste for positive transformation can and should be a key component of campus sustainability efforts ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Closing the Loop: Connecting Education and Operations with a Food Waste Dehydrator Project

  • Western Technical College (WI)

In October 2018, in order to meet our sustainability goals and provide relevant connections to coursework in several of our program areas, Western Technical College student government and the facilities ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Fighting Irish, Fighting Food Waste: Converting Food Waste into Energy at Notre Dame

  • University of Notre Dame (IN)

Nearly 40% of all food in the United States goes uneaten, and 95% of all wasted food winds up in the landfill. At Notre Dame, food and hospitality is a ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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California State University Says Goodbye to Single-Use Plastics

  • California State University, Chancellor's Office (CA)
  • California State University, Long Beach (CA)
  • California State University, Los Angeles (CA)

The California State University includes 23 campuses, 500,000 students and sustains more than 150,000 employees. A new system policy enacted in December establishes purchasing practices aimed at eliminating ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Sustainable and Local Food Diversity and Affordability: Successful Procurement Case Studies

  • Aramark (PA)
  • FarmLogix, LLC (IL)

Sustainable and local sourcing was once a movement of privilege used by high-end chefs to delight dining patrons. In this informative session, you will be taken into several case studies ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Food Waste to Energy: Partnering with Dining Halls for Waste Diversion and Electrical Production

  • Central Connecticut State University (CT)

Central CT State University has partnered with our food service vendor to collect food waste from our dining halls. The waste is brought to nearby Quantum BioPower where it produces ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Food Insecurity, Recovery, and Redistribution: Sustainable Food Practices for Institutions

  • Bemidji State University (MN)

Bemidji State University finds itself in a paradoxical struggle: many of our students struggle with food insecurity, but we are so overwhelmed by an excess of food that much of ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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This tab provides access to data collected through AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community. Additional content and advanced benchmarking tools will be added to this tab over time.

Benchmarking Data

The following links connect to specific Content Displays on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Programs and Initiatives

The following links connect to specific Content Displays on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Scores

The following link connects to the Score Display on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Food & Dining Partners

AGreenOZZI, LLC

Narragansett, RI
Business Affiliate
Sustainability-minded AGreenOzzi has created the OZZI Collection System. This patented technology will help eliminate the use of traditional disposable take-out containers and replace them with sustainable reusable containers.

Aramark

Philadelphia, PA
Business Affiliate

Creative Dining Services

Zeelend, MI
Business Affiliate

Eagle Protect PBC

South Lake Tahoe, CA
Business Affiliate
Eagle Protect helps reduce waste with high-quality disposable gloves and clothing products.

Eco-Products

Boulder, CO
Business Affiliate
Green Is All We Do. A leader in environmentally preferable foodservice packaging.

Fair Trade Colleges & Universities

Oakland, CA
Business Affiliate

Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Arden Hills, MN
Business Affiliate
Land O'Lakes is a farmer-owned cooperative dedicated to feeding human progress, from seed to feed to plate.

Preserve

Waltham, MA
Business Affiliate
Preserve is a sustainable consumer goods company that produces eco-friendly products using recycled and biodegradable materials.

The Campus Kitchens Project

Washington, DC
Business Affiliate
Empowering students to create innovative and sustainable solutions to food waste and hunger.