In This Section
Marist Dining Services is committed to taking a leadership role in environmental stewardship by integrating awareness, local action, as well as regional and global thinking into our planning and decision making. In light of this responsibility, Marist Dining will incorporate, to the extent possible, best practices in food sourcing, waste minimization, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
Marist Dining Services reports to the Division of Student Affairs and is managed by Sodexo, the leading provider of integrated food and facilities management in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Transitioning from Composting to Food Waste Digestion
After seven years of running a successful kitchen and dining hall food waste composting program, Marist College Dining Services transitioned to an on-campus food waste digester solution in August 2013. In this transition case study we share what we’ve learned to assist other institutions who may be considering a similar switch.
The New Marist Dining Hall - Now We Can Do More
The new Marist Dining Hall is a state-of-the-art food preparation and serving facility, designed to integrate and support the latest technology and best practices for sustainable and socially responsible (as well as safe, nutritious and delicious) food production.
We’re proud and excited to share some of the new programs and initiatives we have launched with service in the new dining hall, and to highlight some of the other practices we have had in place for years, and will continue to use and build on.
Saving Energy / Reducing Carbon
Green design best practices, new equipment and system upgrades have reduced our energy consumption and carbon footprint.
The new dishwasher uses less water and less electricity for every wash, rinse and sanitizer cycle.
A hyper-accelerated food decomposition system turns all organic kitchen production waste and dining room food waste into an organic liquid that goes directly down the drain. This completely eliminates the need to truck the waste off campus for composting.
New ovens, kitchen equipment, walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers all require less electricity.
A green roof and advanced windows, lighting and heating units are all part of a kitchen/dining hall and building renovation design that has decreased our energy consumption even as it has increased overall dining hall seating capacity.
Reducing Food Waste
Food waste reduction protects arable land, decreases water usage, conserves resources and saves money.
Our new dining hall, kitchen and equipment have empowered us to implement additional service and production methods that have increased our overall waste reduction.
By decreasing the number of serve-yourself stations, waste from over-portioning has been reduced.
Tighter integration of the weigh-the-waste Lean Path program has improved production management by pinpointing foods that are being overproduced, leading to more waste reduction.
By providing more cook-to-order stations, the amount of display foods that must be discarded if not eaten has decreased.
Expanding the variety of offerings at every meal increases satisfaction with our trayless dining initiative, begun in 2009, which reduces food waste, water usage and energy consumption.
Protecting Our Environment
Practicing environmental stewardship requires action. Through big and small steps, we are moving ahead.
Using our buying power to encourage sustainable fishing best practices by only purchasing seafood that meets Certified Marine Stewardship guidelines.
Adding drinking fountain/water bottle filling stations to encourage use of reusable water bottles, which decreases reliance on disposable bottles that consume limited resources and add to landfills.
Promoting zero-waste catering events with Eco-Ware compostable products and sustainable planning.
Cooking oil reclamation for bio-diesel or repurposing.
Participating in all forms of recycling that are available on campus.
Encouraging students to bring reusable cups to retail cafes by offering a 25 cent discount per drink.
Supporting Our Local Economy
Buying local foods and using local services reduces energy consumption, shipping waste and greenhouse emissions, while it increases local employment and the vitality of our Hudson Valley farms and community.
Hudson Valley Fresh dairy farm cooperative supplies all of our whole, 2%, skim and chocolate milk.
Winter Sun Farms supplies all of our apples, corn and green beans, as well as portions of many other fruits and vegetables, grown by 24 independent farms.
Red Barn, Baldor and Freshpoint distributors provide us with local and regional meats, cheeses, condiments, grains, fruits and vegetables sourced from 150+ local and regional farms.
Rockland Bakery makes daily deliveries of fresh rolls, breads and bagels from Nanuet NY.
We also donate leftover meals to Hillcrest House of Poughkeepsie, and provide free food for selected non-profit, on-campus fundraising events.
Using Fair Trade Products
Fair Trade commerce helps improve the lives of subsistence farmers and their families by guaranteeing a minimum price for small farm harvests, and encouraging organic and sustainable cultivation methods that are safer for communities, as well as the environment.
The cultivation of coffee, in particular, has become an issue with both environmental and human rights implications. Marist Dining Services serves only Aspretto by Sodexo coffee. This coffee is guaranteed to be 100% Fair Trade and Rain Forest Alliance LTO compliant.
We also serve Aspretto Numi Organic Teas. All of the tea blends are certified organic and ethically sourced. Six of the eight Numi varieties are also certified Fair Trade teas by Transfair USA.
2011 Organics Reduction Champion
Marist Dining Services was named the 2011 “Organics Reduction” Champion of the EPA’s 2011 Game Day Challenge!
"Reducing, reusing, and recycling moves our nation towards an environmentally and economically greener, sustainable tomorrow," says Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “These schools and fans have taken the lead through the Game Day Challenge, and now they are ready and equipped with tools and resources to continue to reduce waste across all campus activities and beyond.”
Local and Regional Foods on Campus
- The Valley Cafe—Sustainable Tuesday Lunches for Locavores and More—is a locally-sourced buffet prepared by our Executive Chef Anthony Legname. Each meal showcases a different cuisine from around the world, or features a meal based on a theme. All ingredients used in preparing Valley Café dishes are purchased locally or regionally, whenever possible. The Valley Café buffet is served in the Cabaret Lounge, from 11:30am to 1:30pm. To allow more students to experience the cuisines introduced at the Valley Café lunches, highlights from the Tuesday lunch are cooked fresh and served at dinner on Thursdays in the Marist Dining Hall.
- Hudson Valley Fresh - Dining Services stocks only Hudson Valley Fresh milk in the Marist Dining Hall, and makes it available at all retail locations on campus.
Hudson Valley Fresh is a not-for-profit dairy cooperative dedicated to preserving the agricultural heritage of the Hudson River Valley by promoting it as one of the premier farming regions of the United States.
- Sustainable Agriculture – HVF’s mission is to secure a living wage for the farmers and their families who are part of the HVF cooperative. By ensuring a fair price for their dairy products, more local farmers are kept in the business of farming, which means preventing the loss of their land to development. The Hudson Valley Fresh cooperative farms are currently preserving 8,000 acres of open land within the Hudson Valley!
- Locally Produced and Processed –
All Hudson Valley Fresh milk is sourced solely from farms located in Dutchess, Columbia and Ulster Counties of New York State. These farms are all within 20 miles of each other and the processing plant. All HVF dairy products are processed at Boice Brothers Dairy in Kingston, NY. HVF milk is the only milk processed at this facility, and it is never co-mingled with milk from other farms or regions. This guarantees the quality of HVF products. Using a local processing facility also supports local employment, increases creative commerce and entrepreneurship, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions due to product transportation.
- Awards for Excellence – Hudson Valley Fresh cooperative farms have won the National Dairy Quality Award and NYS Environmental Stewardship Award, as well as other commendations and certificates of best practices.
- FreshPoint Connecticut is a regional distributor that gives us access to vegetables and produce from almost 150 local farms in the New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut tri-state region. Freshpoint is focused on delivering locally grown produce and vegetables through its extensive distribution network for multiple reasons. Among these are that it encourages farmland preservation, bolsters local economies and increases local employment. It also leads to a cleaner environment due to less fuel burned to stock and deliver orders, reduced carbon emissions and a reduction in the use of agricultural pesticides and chemicals.
- Local Partners - Campus Dining Services purchases products through many local vendors such as Rockland Bakery, Hudson River Fruit Dist. in Milton NY, Red Barn in Highland, NY, Turncali Farms in Marlboro NY, Porpiglia Farms in Marlboro NY, Dressel Farms in Gardner NY, AJ Dembroski in Plattekill NY and Trapani Farms in Milton NY. Click here for a complete list of our local partners!
Aspretto Coffee - While it is not local, Aspretto Coffee is driven to supporting sustainable initiatives while offering GREAT COFFEES AND TEAS! Check them out online and click here for a presentation about what they do.
Campus Dining Services purchases food products through many local vendors such as Bobby’s Salsa, Hudson Valley Fresh, and Rockland Bakery.
Campus Dining Services adheres to guidelines for its purchase of seafood according to the Marine Stewardship Council for sustainable seafood.
Energy and Waste Reduction
- Tork – All napkins and paper products used by dining services are manufactured by Tork. We are happy to partner with Tork because of their strong commitment to sustainability and the environment. Click here for a presentation about what Tork – SCA Tissue does every day to improve our world.
- SYSCO - Marist Dining Services has an extensive partnership with Sysco. Click here to read about the programs and initiatives that Sysco has implemented to make their distribution system more sustainable and to reduce its impact on the environment.
- Sodexo Standards - Marist Dining Services is managed by Sodexo who has a strong commitment to sustainability and improving the quality of life for us all. The standards set through Sodexo reflect the commitment of sustaining our environment.
- Eco-Ware Products - Campus Dining aims to promote zero-waste events in our catering program and offers eco friendly packaging throughout our retail operations.
- Recycle Mug Program - We encourage our customers to recycle, reduce, and reuse. All of our retail locations participate in this program. By rewarding sustainable practices, we hope to encourage implementation in everyday life.
- Trayless Dining - Initiated in fall 2009 resulting in a reduction of discarded food
- Marist College and the Game Day Challenge!
- Sodexo at Marist named Organics Reduction Champions for the 2010 EPA Game Day Challenge.
- In our concessions operations at the Homecoming Game on October 16, 2010 we collected, separated and recycled 540 pounds of paper. We received and recycled 100% of the bottles we sold. Additionally, we composted 495 pounds of food/organic material.
- Click here for a presentation on what we did!
- Recycle, Reduce, Reuse Campaign
- Hillcrest House food donation program
- Community and manufacturing partners
- Campus Sustainability Advisory Committee - Marist College