3 Year Sustainability Action Plan 2013 - 2015
The goals mark our intentions to continue to improve the sustainability of Gourmet Dining.
1) Sustainability Education and Collaboration.
We will continue to work with students, faculty, staff and the administration to find and implement sustainable solutions. We will continue to focus our marketing campaigns to increase engagement on issues of nutrition, eco-friendly products, local food, and sustainable foodservice choices.
Things we do:
- Low-Impact Lunches. Sourcing 75% of lunch that day within 150 miles, highlighting what’s local and in season.
- Meatless Mondays, every Monday, throughout the year.
- About Meatless Mondays:
Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. Our goal is to help you reduce your meat consumption by 15% in order to improve your personal health and the health of the planet.
Presidents Wilson, Truman and Roosevelt galvanized the nation with voluntary meatless days during both world wars. Our intention is to revitalize this American tradition. We’re spearheading a broad-based, grassroots movement that spans all borders and demographic groups. By cutting out meat once a week, we can improve our health, reduce our carbon footprint and lead the world in the race to reduce climate change.
2) Gourmet Campus Gardens continued growing and campus engagement.
What We’re Doing:
- Connecting with hundreds of students, faculty and staff across our campuses to share our appreciation for local, organic food and connecting with nature.
- Hosting workshops, planting and harvesting events that introduce new gardeners to growing food locally.
- Provide an outdoor classroom for all students and campus members to study, enjoy the green space and taste local food.
- Provide an internship to a few students on each campus to learn organic gardening methods and act as the stewards of their campus garden.
We have installed Gourmet Campus Gardens on the Seton Hall University campus in South Orange, NJ, the NJIT campus in Newark, NJ, the Manhattan College Campus in Riverdale, NY and we have collaborated on the Kean University Community Garden in Union, NJ.
3) Continue to source local food and serve seasonal items in dining locations.
Sourcing locally from NJ, NY and PA farms provides us access to some of the best produce in the country, when in season. We love local produce because of it’s superior taste, improved nutrient density, and because our campus communities love it too. We will continue to build strong relationships with local farmers, relationships that are mutually beneficial.
What We’re Doing:
Currently, we estimate that we are sourcing about 40% produce locally from June through November. From December to May, we estimate our local sourcing at about 20%. That brings our average throughout the year to approximately 30% local produce sourcing.
What We’re Working On:
We are working on an improved tracking system that will improve our ability to track and increase local purchasing. This system will be implemented by June, 2013. We hope to increase our local
buying by 5% during the 2013 summer and fall season.
4) Source more eco-friendly products that align with our sustainable goals.
Thanks to an era of sustainably-minded students, many of our suppliers recognize the need to manufacture and source sustainable products. Third party certifiers like the EPA and the Rainforest Alliance have increased visibility in many sectors. We look to these certifiers as leaders in the sustainable movement and reliable sources to determine and label truly sustainable products.
What We’re Doing:
- Eco-friendly cleaning products in use. This includes Designed for the Environment Multipurpose Cleaner, Glass Cleaner, Dishwashing Soap, Multipurpose Degreaser.
Provided by Sanolite and Performance Food Group.
- Re-usable mug program with monthly drawing. We offer a $.10 discount on any drink purchase to all customers. We’re also adding in a monthly drawing. For each time a customer uses a reusable mug, they will receive a ticket to enter the raffle for a monthly drawing to win a sustainable prize.
- Exclusively serving Cage-Free Shelled Eggs. All shelled eggs served on Gourmet Dining campuses are Cage-Free certified eggs. Since 2011, we have implemented our Cage-Free Standards and are proud to offer these eggs at all relevant dining stations.
Our Goals for September 2013:
- 100% Recycled Hot Paper Cups. We are changing over all of our coffee cups to be made of 100% recycled material. While compostables are great products, post-consumer recycling is not currently a reality in our daily environments. Instead, we believe the best solution right now is to use recycled products that have already been through the recycling chain at least once.
- Distilled Water in Refillable Glass Water Bottles. All catering menus will offer refillable glass bottles with the option of still or sparkling water. All water will be distilled and bottled on campus.
- Rainforest Alliance Certified Products available for sale. Develop our partnership with Rainforest Alliance to sell Rainforest Alliance Certified products like chocolate, coffee, and tea on all campus and engage students in the value of these certified products. We currently sell Lipton RFAC Tea, and Dove RFAC Chocolates.
- Digital Marketing and Communications. Convert large scale marketing campaigns to digital media, scaling back our resource consumption on paper and transportation for marketing purposes. With TVS installed in many of our locations as our main communication outlets, along with the popularity of smart phones, we believe we can reach just as many of our students, if not more, with digital communications.
Our Goals for September 2014:
- Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee. It is our goal to implement Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee into all of our Resident Dining Programs. We are working with suppliers to find the best solution to a range of coffees that meet this certification.
- Comply with Sustainable Seafood recommendations. Currently, we have begun taking steps to meet these recommendations. However, we must work with university and college administrations to mutually agree upon these policies.
- Implement e-cube Energy Saver. We will also work with our host institutions to implement the use of the E-Cube, a simple mechanism added into commercial refrigerators that can provide up to 40% energy reduction with existing equipment.