Food

Stanford Dining is committed to providing sustainably produced, locally-produced foods whenever possible, reducing food waste and composting and recycling. By doing these things, we decrease pollution from pesticides and chemicals, reduce energy use, support local small businesses and provide fresh and delicious meals.

The largest provider of food services on campus, Stanford Dining manages about half of the food service for undergraduate residences and about 25 percent of the university’s cafés. Several other campus food services, such as co-ops, row houses and private cafés, are also committed to sustainable purchasing and practices. The Sustainability Working Team (SWT) for Food and Dining was created in 2008 to bring together various food service operators to collaborate on sustainability programs campus-wide..

 

Stanford’s food choices make a difference:

Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE), which includes Student Housing, Stanford Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliary Services and Stanford Conference Services, serves more than 4 million meals annually.

 

Goals & Results

Stanford Dining aims to continually improve its sustainable food, waste reduction and composting programs. The organization, which has a Sustainable Foods Coordinator, and works closely with the Farm Educator in the School of Earth Sciences, also works to educate the university community about sustainable dining, raise awareness of campus sustainability goals and change behavior. Selected results include:

  • About 40 percent of Stanford Dining produce is organic or regionally grown (within 250 miles).
  • Stanford Dining’s partnership with the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA Organics) helps support about 30 small, organic farmers in Salinas, CA that grow organic produce for Stanford Dining.
  • The campus Community Farm and over 10 community herb-and-vegetable gardens provide organic herbs and produce to dining halls and row houses. The Farm Educator on campus teaches students hands-on organic farming techniques in these spaces.
  • Stanford Dining held a Sustainable Seafood Week in November 2008 which showcased sustainable seafood and brought experts into the dining halls to educate students about the state of the oceans and fisheries. In 2008, 74% of Stanford Dining’s seafood was in the Best or Good Category of the Seafood Watch Card and in 2009, our goal is 100%.
  • The student-run Stanford Produce Stand provides local and organic produce- some of which is grown on campus- to the community every Friday.
  • The Sustainability Working Team (SWT) for Food and Dining aims to reduce deliveries on campus, enhance access to sustainable food suppliers, and provide more comprehensive sustainability education to the campus community.
  • In 2008, Stanford composted just over 1300 tons of food waste. All dining halls and row houses and at least 8 cafes compost food waste on campus.
  • About 10,000 gallons of waste oil from dining halls and cafés is converted to biodiesel fuel each year.
“If we are to leave our children a better world, we must take steps now to create a sustainable environment. So it is critical that we model sustainable citizenship on our own campus.”
—John Etchemendy
Provost, Stanford University
The Energy Retrofit Program has delivered an estimated cumulative savings of over 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 1993 – and prevented 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
Systems retrofits to the most energy-intensive buildings on campus are expected to save $4.2 million a year and cut energy use by 28 percent.
About 40 percent of Stanford Dining produce is organic or regionally grown; some is even grown on campus.
About 60 percent of Stanford’s total contiguous land remains undeveloped.
Recycled paper is less expensive than virgin paper under the campus-wide office supply contract.
From 2002 to 2010, the percentage of Stanford employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 48 percent.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
Effective August 1, 2014:
Irrigation in Faculty & Staff Housing may occur only on Tuesday and Saturday nights for even numbered addresses, and Wednesday and Sunday nights for odd numbered addresses, between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am.
The goal of Sustainable IT is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our IT infrastructure.
The goal of Sustainable IT is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our IT infrastructure.
Stanford invests IN sustainability through a broad range of initiatives in research, education, efficiency improvement, conservation systems, new technology, student-led projects and more.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
Systems retrofits to the most energy-intensive buildings on campus are expected to save $4.2 million a year and cut energy use by 28 percent.
About 40 percent of Stanford Dining produce is organic or regionally grown; some is even grown on campus.
From 2002 to 2008, the percentage of Stanford employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 51 percent.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008 – more than 14,500 tons.
The Energy Retrofit Program has delivered an estimated cumulative savings of over 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 1993—and prevented 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
Stanford completed 50 major water efficiency retrofit projects from 2001 through 2008, pushing down average domestic use from 2.7 million of gallons per day (mgd) in 2000–01 to less than 2.3 mgd in 2007–08, despite campus growth.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.

RECOGNITION

Stanford Hospitality and Auxiliaries: Stanford Catering Chef Andrew Mayne was an invited chef at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's "Cooking for Solutions" Event (2009)

Stanford Dining: Stanford Dining's Executive Director Eric Montell served as a judge for the Acterra Sustainability Awards (2008 and 2009)

Stanford University: "A" for Food and Recycling, Sustainable Endowments Institute College Sustainability Report Card (2007 and 2008)

Stanford Dining: Acterra Business Environmental Award for Sustainability (2007)

Stanford Dining: one of the first university food service operations in the United States certified as a green business by Santa Clara County (2004)