BGSU Dining’s approach to social responsibility and sustainability is tied into our overall Balanced U wellness programming. Through a variety of innovative programs and policies, we work closely with the communities we serve to reduce the impact our operations have on the world around us. Our focus on recycling, resource conservation, and waste reduction not only helps us operate more efficiently, but it also lets us ensure that the resources we use today will be available for future generations. Our Balanced U Sustainability approach addresses four basic tenets of sustainable and socially responsible business practices: Eat Green, Build Green, Run Green, and Return Green.
Our industry is facing rapid demand for services that have a meaningful sense of environmental and social responsibility. Study after study consistently reinforce that the American consumer is engaging "sustainability" values into their daily lifestyle. The origin of food, how and where it is produced are at the top of our minds when creating dishes for our customers.
We believe that the health of our eco-system is directly connected to the health of our communities and people who live in them. Acting responsibly is part of our DNA and we are committed to offering foods that are earth, body and community friendly.
In support of that position, we are committed to the following:
Project Clean Plate is a program used in conjunction with trayless dining which helps reduce food waste in our resident dining halls and creates awareness among students. Once a semester, an educational program is run in the Oaks and Carillon Place dining facilities. Food waste is monitored at the disposal area the week prior to the event to create a benchmark. The week of Project Clean Plate, volunteers that consist of students, faculty and staff work to educate students on the importance of waste reduction and encourage patrons to turn in clean plates at the bussing station. Each student that turns in a clean plate is entered to win free Falcon Dollars to further incentivize waste reduction. An estimate of wasted food is recorded and posted in the servery showing students day-by-day results. The posted results educate students about how much wasted food is thrown out on a daily basis, which could be prevented. BGSU Dining commits to a donation to the Wood County United Way Program in the name of the students of BGSU based on the amount of waste that can be reduced during the week of Project Clean Plate. To date, BGSU Dining by Chartwells has donated $4,700 in the name of the students. The week following the event, measurements are continued to see the lasting affect of the educational program.
Trayless dining has swept across college campuses throughout America and is gaining international attention. Trayless dining curtails food waste, promotes healthier eating habits through portion control, and reduces the amount of water and energy consumption used for washing the trays. Going trayless in dining facilities is one way to combat food waste and educate students about its environmental impact.
Trim Trax is a food waste reduction program that is used by BGSU Dining to track, measure and reduce the amount of kitchen food waste in our facilities. It is designed to increase operational efficiencies and create awareness about reducing food waste and its environmental impact. This program has been extremely successful to date in reducing waste year over year.
Chartwells’ Carbon FoodPrint™ toolkit is a Web-based program designed to engage our managers and clients to work as partners and build an extensive strategy to minimize the carbon footprint of their foodservice operations. The toolkit focuses on four key areas: menu engineering, kitchen services, site equipment, and facilities management. BGSU Dining has used this toolkit to review current efforts and to find opportunities for future improvements.
BGSU Dining is one of the first offices on campus to earn the Green Office Certification from the Office of Sustainability. Dining was able to earn 81% of the possible points required for the certification. Most of Dining’s points came from recycling, purchasing, meetings and the break room. BGSU Dining will continue to work to improve our sustainability and will look for new ways to minimize our impact on the environment.
BGSU Dining is working with campus sustainability to test pilot composting at the Oaks Dining Center. The Measurement period began March 17th.
The test program will be run and measured through the spring semester. During this time, Dining will be composting pre-consumer (only produce not yet served to customers, i.e. melon rinds, stems, etc) organic produce waste only. Pickups will be made by NAT three times a week and the waste will be transported to Hirzel Farms, a class two certified composting facility in Pemberville, Ohio. This process could divert upwards of 1,000 pounds of waste from the landfill. This initiative is funded by the campus Greenfund. At the end of the semester, the numbers will be reviewed and continuation of the program will be discussed.
What is composting? Composting is essentially "recycling" for certain food wastes. It keeps this waste out of the trash and puts it into a process of re-use for creation of "compost" which is used on plants, trees and in gardens.
Why is it helpful? It will reduce the overall trash load from the dining center, and at the same time cut BGSU’s "carbon footprint" (the measure of the waste we create) and will help in the efforts of the President’s Climate Commitment. (Click here to learn more about this commitment.)
For more information, contact Campus Sustainability at email@example.com.
BGSU Dining’s goal is to minimize our impact on the environment with our primary focus on REDUCTION. Our approach is to bring awareness and education and implement best practices were viable for waste management, water conservation, energy efficiency, and pollution control. BGSU Dining is part of the Energy Management Program on campus to reduce electrical consumption.