We work together to continually develop and implement sustainable solutions. Through Green Thread, our environmental sustainability platform, we bring innovative and efficient solutions to life. We are passionately focused on reducing the environmental impact within our operations.
Here are just a few ways we work to make our grounds more environmentally conscious:
- Five of our dining locations are Certified Green Restaurants. The Green Restaurant Association is a third-party reporting tool for transparently assessing the environmental impact of a restaurant.
- All three of our residential dining locations (O'Hill, Fresh Food Co., and Runk) and our retail location The Castle are 3 Star Certified Green Restaurants®. The Fine Arts Café is a 2 Star Certified Green Restaurant®.
Did you know UVA Dine sources food from local farmers, growers and distributors?
UVA Dine is committed to supporting the local food system through partnering with local producers and businesses. We support our local food system to invest in our local economy, foster diversity, and equity within the supply chain, and provide greater transparency to where food is sourced.
UVA Dine defines local as food that is grown, raised, or caught within 250 miles from Grounds or sourced from an independently owned businesses within 250 miles from grounds.
UVA Dine partners with 4P Foods, a food hub, to regularly bring locally grown ingredients to grounds.
UVA Dine also partners with Morven Kitchen Garden to purchase produce grown by UVA students. Learn more about MKG here.
Interactive Local Producer Map: Check out this interactive map to learn about the local vendors and producers that UVA Dine sources food from!
Sustainable Food Collaborative: UVA Dine is a key member of this collaborative that was established in 2016 to implement food related goals outlined in the UVA Sustainability Plan. Find out more about the collaborative here.
Humanely Raised Proteins
We source seafood, including fin-fish, shellfish, and canned tuna from sources, whether fished or farmed, that maintain healthy marine life and ecosystems, and respect seafood workers and communities throughout the supply chain.
We are committed to addressing deforestation risks in our supply chain. We source sustainably produced soy and palm oils and continue to assess and address forest-related risks in beef and paper products.
While we do our best to avoid creating food waste, there are still some instances when Dining Services has excess safe, unserved food available. We partner with Food Assist to donate these leftovers to local food pantries, which helps feed our local community and keeps prepared foods out of landfills.
We also partner with the UVA Community Food Pantry to address food security on campus through programs like our Stock the Pantry events.
Low Carbon Menu Options
Cool Food Meals:Cool Food Meals have fewer animal-based products and are more plant forward, resulting in a lower climate footprint. Each Cool Food Meal is certified by the World Resources Institute as climate friendly. Certifying Cool Food Meals starts with a daily carbon allowance. If the carbon footprint for a meal, measured from farm to fork, meets the Cool Food requirements it is certified as a Cool Food meal. They are offered every day throughout all three dining halls and you can easily identify them by looking out for the Cool Food logo designation. Cool Food meals are a simple and delicious way to help the planet! Learn more about the program here or by reading the Green Dining blog post.
We define plant forward as a style of eating that shifts the focus away from animal products and instead emphasizes vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts
. You can find Plant Forward options in our dining halls by looking for the Plant Forward menu icon.
Vegan and Vegetarian Options:
We have one station at each dining room dedicated to serving exclusively vegan and vegetarian options during each meal period. At least once a semester, we host a “Veg Out” meal where a dining room features all vegetarian entrees.
The Castle: The Castle is our plant forward café that features fresh wraps, salads, and grain bowls.
Nitrogen Working Group: We partner with the UVA Nitrogen Working Group to calculate the Nitrogen footprint of UVA Dine’s food purchases and implement solutions to help meet UVA goal of reducing reactive nitrogen emissions by 30% relative to 2010 levels by 2030.
Recycling and Composting
UVA Dine partners with UVA Recycling to recycle and compost waste from all dining locations across campus. Our compost is brought to a local composting facility, Black Bear Compost. You can learn more about our composting program here and check out our video about our composting program here. We appreciate your efforts to sort your waste by following the waste bin signage. Learn more about composting and recycling around grounds on the Office for Sustainability page.
Recycling 100% of cooking oil. UVA Dining partners with Filta Environmental Kitchen Solutions to recycle our used fryer oil into biodiesel!