Sustainability is a huge focus for our campus. As such, we continue to strive for sustainable practices within all aspects of dining.
- Local Food is a driving force for our program. Currently on campus, over 56% of all of the items we sell and serve on campus are grown, raised, or wholly manufactured within New York State. We have also created a program called UR Local that highlights local products, farms, towns and more within each of our locations. We’ve also created a logo for this program to help us visually associate our local products in every respect.
- We have instituted a back of house waste program that has reduced our pre-consumer waste by over 10%.
- We worked with our students to create a Rochester chapter of the Food Recovery Network, which reclaims unused food from our dining halls and delivers it to a local soup kitchen. To date, we have delivered over 150lbs of reclaimed foods to a local soup kitchen. Also this program has helped us further adjust our production to minimize food waste and eliminate unnecessary orders.
- Team Green. The Dining Services department also employs a team of student interns whose sole focus is to push and promote sustainable practices within dining.
- Established by Team Green, the EcoRep program establishes representatives on each floor of our residence halls who are responsible for pushing sustainable practices within the University. We work very closely with this group on hall events, event dinners, and special events to support the program and help this team spread the important message of sustainability.
- Real Food Challenge. Last Spring, we met with a group of students to discuss the possibility of participating in the Real Food Challenge. After reviewing the program closely, we are happy to see that we are already operating within the constructs of the program and share the same values. We are hoping to take the next steps with the student group this fall and begin participating in the program.
- Our campus community can also easily participate in our eco-friendly clamshell and refillable mug programs. Students can use their meal plan to join the clamshell program which provides them with a reusable clamshell container that they can fill in our residential dining facilities to take meals to go, thereby eliminating waste. Patrons can then return a dirty clamshell for a clean one or in exchange for a keychain that they can then trade for a new clamshell the next time they need one. Customers then don’t have to worry about cleaning the clamshell and once they join the program, they can participate for their entire time at the University. We also allow anyone to get a discount cup of coffee when using a refillable mug in any of our coffee shops.