We continue to bring new ideas to the forefront to protect the environment and make decisions that are fiscally and environmentally responsible. Reducing our environmental footprint and integrating sustainable practices is vitally important. Each team member is encouraged to conserve and treat resources with respect. Simple things like switching off lights to major initiatives to reduce environmental impact are a part of the company’s culture and beliefs.
We customize and develop our sustainability plan for each location, focusing on your goals and employing aggressive practices and ground-breaking practices. Below is a list of sustainability efforts in effect within the Dining Services operation:
Dining services partnered with the sustainability office in the fall of 2012 to begin a kitchen waste composting program. This program was very successful. In a three month time span 9,440 pounds or 4.72 tons were diverted from the waste stream. This has led to a full composting program campus wide including pre and post consumer waste.
Cardboard, paper, cans, and bottles are recycled.
RECYCLED OFFICE SUPPLIES
Paper and ink cartridges are recycled.
RECYCLED COOKING OIL
All of the cooking oil we use on campus is recycled and converted to biodiesel fuel.
All locations on campus use greenware produced from a resin derived from corn; 100% compostable.
Discounts are given for the use of reusable mugs in the retail locations.
NAPKINS & NAPKIN DISPENSERS
It has been determined that napkin usage declines by 50% when napkins are available at the table rather than at a central location. Single serve dispensers decrease usage nearly 80% compared to stacks. Napkin dispensers are located on the tables in the dining hall. Napkins are made from 100% post-consumer material.
Dispensers are used to avoid individual condiment packet waste in dining venues.
FOOD WASTE REDUCTION
The culinary technique of "batch cooking", where frequent smaller quantities of food are prepared throughout the meal service, is employed to reduce food waste. We also use a production system to track usage and waste.
All of our dining facilities are trayless which helps to reduce waste as well as reduce the amount of chemicals and water that are needed to wash the trays.
Annually, Dining Services sponsors events on campus highlighting local produce, seafood, products, and other sustainable items. In the fall, a harvest dinner is held featuring locally grown produce. In the spring on Earth Day a vendor fair is held. Farmers, fisherman, and local companies are featured on campus. They are able to show their products and answer students' questions. Interactive stations are also available during this event featuring activities such as making your own beauty products and herb plantings.
Dining Services (through AVI Fresh) has an ongoing initiative to purchase items locally. Some of the current farms and local businesses from whom we are purchasing are: Highlawn Farms, Garelick, Sushi Sushi, Iggy's, and Spindrift among many others.
We purchase most of our beef and pork products through Niman Ranch. This is a network of independent American farmers and ranchers that use all natural, sustainable, and humane farming practices. The products are hormone, antibiotic, and nitrate free.
PURA VIDA FAIR TRADE ORGANIC COFFEE
By partnering with our coffee purveyors, we can provide a high level of commitment to the environment and the farmers.
T&B Naturally is served in all of our dining halls on campus. The coffee is certified 100% organic and fair trade.
CANE SUGAR CONVERSION
Cane Sugar Conversion- We converted over from granulated to cane sugar across campus and in our bakery recipes. This is not only a less processed item, but the company we purchase from also uses sustainable practices. They produce their own electricity using the leftover cane fiber from processing as well as a sustainable irrigation system.
RESPONSIBLE SEAFOOD PURCHASING
All seafood purchased is either local or Marine Stewardship Council Certified.
RED’S BEST SEAFOOD PROGRAM
A small fleet of boats on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod that responsibly harvest local fish
GULF OF MAINE RESEARCH INSTITUTE CERTIFIED
One of two College dining programs currently in New England that have taken the lead with GMRI to ensure that seafood is being responsibly and sustainably harvested
PURCHASING GUIDELINES - SUPPLIERS
As we procure products and services, suppliers are asked to carefully look for ways we can minimize our environmental impact.
- Product reengineering to reduce packaging.
- Different distribution points.
- Reusable transportation containers.
- Utilizing sustainable ingredients and methods.
- Concentrated products to lessen manufacturing and transportation resources.
- Working with transportation providers to minimize travel of products.
- Providing options for purchase of organic and environmentally friendly products.
- Providing solutions with recyclable packaging or content.
- Providing our procurement managers with electronic files instead of hard-copy
- books for products.