WE ARE COMMITTED to serving nutritious and sustainable food. Our commitment to our customers consists of menu items and offerings made from scratch with fresh, natural, and seasonal ingredients, with minimal additives, processing, and pesticide use. Our dedication to wellness – personal and environmental - includes offering a large variety of healthy and sustainable food choices.

Our Sustainable Food Commitments

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We are DEDICATED to meeting the UC goal to procure 25% sustainable food products by 2030 as defined by AASHE STARS.

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We are COMMITTED to providing our customers and food service staff with access to educational materials that will help support their food choices.

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We are PASSIONATE in our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through globally- inspired, culturally- acceptable plant-forward menus. As we develop recipes and menu selections, we use the lens of sustainability.

Sustainable Food Sourcing Practices

Initiatives

Campus Dining is committed to reducing food waste in our operations. This is accomplished through a number of successful initiatives.

Food Recovery

Fully funded by HDAE, the Miramar Food Pantry, located at Sierra Madre Villages, opened its doors to offer support to our campus community to help address food security. It has been our goal to support student’s academia, health, and overall well-being. The pantry offers free food items in a large open space with cold storage bins, making it possible to offer fresh produce and staple items.
 
In the fall of 2019, Campus Dining took the next step and set its sight on food recovery; in order to continue efforts in addressing food insecurity while also reducing its environmental impact, Campus Dining created our first Food Recovery program. The program works toward both goals by utilizing food items that would otherwise be composted from Portola Dining Commons, providing them to patrons at the Miramar Food Pantry. 

Food Waste Diversion

Campus Dining is a partner of UCSB FoodCycling. FoodCycling focuses on collecting food items that would otherwise be composted from our C-Store and Tenaya Market & Eatery. Once collected, these items are provided to the AS Food Bank and Miramar Food Pantry to reduce food waste and address food security.

Cooking Oil Recycling

Campus Dining collaborates with a local vendor to recycle our used cooking oil into biodiesel.

Compost

Campus Dining composts 100% of pre-and post-consumer food waste.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds and other pre-consumer food scraps are collected by the AS Department of Public Worms to help manage their vermicompost systems. The compost that is created is used to grow fresh produce for students on campus.

Disposables

Campus Dining strives to source and provides compostable products to our customers. We are actively involved in meeting the requirements of UC policy on Sustainable Practices, which incorporate the ban on a variety of single-use plastics with a timeline of full completion by 2030.

Reusables

In our commitment to reducing waste, Campus Dining has implemented reusable programs. These options were created and designed to reduce waste while offering a convenient to-go option. The dining commons permit and welcome reusable mugs and water bottles brought in by customers.

Coral Tree Cafe started a reusable food container program to reduce its environmental impact. These bright green reusable containers allow customers to make a personal and simple behavior change to reduce cafe waste.

Sustainability isn’t just about food; it also includes our buildings and vehicles. Review the ways in which we have modified our buildings and vehicles to be more sustainable.

  • Green Business Certified – all Campus Dining - satisfying stringent standards set by the Santa Barbara County Green Business Program.
  • Portola Dining Commons received LEED Platinum, making it one of the first dining commons in the UC system to receive such a distinction.
  • Trayless dining saves water, energy and reduces food waste. It saves water and energy by reducing the number of dishes that need to be washed.
  • Purchasing Energy Star-rated and Energy Efficient equipment.
  • Installing “ventilation on-demand” systems in our kitchens saves hours of wasted electricity usage.
  • Incorporating energy-saving lighting systems in our renovations and new construction.
  • Using electric, hybrid and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles.

Campus Dining sponsors annual events focused on sustainability. Follow us on social media for event details.

  • Sustainability Week: Campus dining staff and interns facilitate peer-to-peer tabling events to develop sustainability knowledge. Event activities focus on current sustainable practices accomplished by Campus Dining. This is paired with our sustainable vendors being welcomed to campus to share their experiences and stories.
  • Green Mondays: Green Mondays have a simple message: one day a week, go vegetarian. This campaign is designed to inform students about the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Three Mondays per quarter are dedicated to an entirely vegetarian menu. Come join us in celebrating the wellness and environmental benefits of a vegetarian diet.
  • Sustainable Seafood Day: Campus Dining purchases green and yellow seafood options defined by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Sustainable Seafood Day focuses on why we source sustainable seafood. We focus on how it helps push suppliers to source more environmentally responsible products. And how students can take this powerful action with them the next time they purchase seafood.
  • Earth Day: Campus Dining participates in annual Earth Day celebrations. During this celebration, we take the opportunity to educate and activate environmental awareness. Menu offerings focus on five core principles, including buying local and organic foods, reducing meat and dairy consumption, avoiding processed foods, and reducing food packaging.


Internship Opportunities

Campus Dining has a strategic vision of partnering with others to research and implement ‘Best Practices’ in sustainability. In order to reach our strategic vision, Campus Dining offers an internship for interested students seeking valuable work experience in dining and sustainable practices. Interns are given the opportunity to work alongside professionals in the field and do meaningful work across our dining department. We want to provide a learning opportunity for individuals to grow and be challenged to develop their capabilities. Find out how you can contribute to gain invaluable experience.

Contract our Dietitian, Danielle Sinclair, at dsinclair@ucsb.edu or (805) 893-5519 for more information.