BU Dining Services

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A lot of research and planning goes into every bite you take on campus. For instance, did you know that nearly 800,000 pounds of food prep and post-meal scraps are composted annually?

The Dining Services Sustainability Program is a campus wide effort to develop environmental management systems to and create processes and procedures to analyze, control, and reduce environmental impacts.

In order to accomplish this goal, Dining Services partners with their suppliers, Facilities Management & Planning, Sourcing and Procurement, and recycling and composting companies like Save That Stuff. Together, they’re working to identify environmentally-friendly products and practices that encourage reusing, recycling, and reducing the need for energy, fuel, and water.

A few of the University’s recent projects:

  • Food waste is collected at a rate of 800,000 pounds per year; cans; plastic bottles and paper at a rate of 450,000 pounds per year; and cardboard at a rate of 180,000 pounds per year.
  • Cooking oil is collected at all dining locations at a rate of 42,000 pounds per year.
  • Over 90% of the grab n’ go products are now in compostable containers.
  • Dining trays were eliminated in all residence dining locations in September 2008.
  • Sponsors a weekly farmers market from June through October outside the Student Union featuring local products from area vendors.

Since January of 2009, green cleaning products are used in all dining locations.

The Ecolab products are designed to maximize operational efficiency and lower energy and water consumption without compromising effectiveness. Additionally, the products are designed with minimal packaging.

  • Purchases local products from 40 farms and 85 producers in the region.
  • Consults with publications such as Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Guide for more responsible product procurement.
  • Partners with campus groups to promote programs and develop new initiatives.
  • Identifies recycling and reuse vendors for used kitchen equipment.
  • Raises awareness among BU community on sustainability issues related to food and waste reduction.
  • Reviews monthly waste figures and identifies areas of improvement.

Projects Under Development:

  • Converting dining fleet to more environmentally-friendly vehicles.
  • Conducting energy audits of large retail and residential kitchens on campus through NSTAR and National Grid.
  • Eliminating non-compostable disposable products
  • Implementing post-consumer composting in the George Sherman Union Court.
  • Developing a Green Catering Guide which incorporates zero-waste principles
  • Partnering with Clean Air Cool Planet on developing “foodprint” purchasing tool for universities.
  • Evaluating current kitchen equipment and identifying appropriate replacements with more energy efficient models.
  • Establishing a waste cooking oil-to-fuel program to be used in campus heating applications.
  • Developing an annual Dining Services Sustainability Report.