On October 22, 2008, Harvard made a public commitment to a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2016. Sustainability is a core value for HUDS. We are committed to purchasing and operational practices and menu choices that sustain the health and well-being of the environment, communities, and the people producing and eating food.
Our work affords us the opportunity to influence individual behavior change, partner on group efforts and initiatives, and contribute to the long-term, strategic shift in theory and practice for which Harvard is a global leader. James Beard noted, “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” It is our honor to use this medium to demonstrate the real opportunities and surmountable challenges that lead to improved campus – and world – sustainability.
Our second annual Sustainability Report (available for download at left) documents our work in this area. Some highlights:
- Dunster/Mather LEED silver certified, first commercial kitchen in the country
- Through facility changes to refrigeration controls, exhaust fan controls, dishwashing equipment, and refrigeration waste heat capture, $245K utility savings achieved (annually), which translates to 12,454 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents; 1,088,089 kWh electricity; 4,533 MMBTU steam; 1,518,666 gallons water
- Sebastian's Cafe at the Harvard School of Public Health is a 2-Star Certified Green Restaurant®.
LOCALLY GROWN AND PRODUCED FOOD
- Seasonal food and menus
- Depending on the season, 35 to 70 percent of produce provided in the dining hall is grown locally
- 25% of food budget spent on local goods
- Purchase from approximately 250 local farms, via the MA Pioneer Valley Growers Association (PVGA) and the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP), and from Ward’s Berry Farm, Sharon, MA.
ORGANIC AND SUSTAINABLY PRODUCED FOOD
- Cage free eggs
- Fair trade coffee
- Organics: greens, oils, vinegars, cereals, legumes, beans, peanut butter tofu, granola, pasta sauce, energy bars, chocolate bars, soda
- 33% of entrees offered are vegan or vegetarian
DISHWARE AND ECO-FRIENDLY INCENTIVES
- Reusable dishware
- Recyclable disposables
- Compostable disposables
- No styrofoam
- Reusable mug and water bottle program, with discount for refill in retail operations
FOOD COMPOSTING AND WASTE DIVERSION
- 12 of 13 residential dining halls compost pre- and post-consumer waste
- 4 of 12 Retail operations compost: Northwest, Rock, Sebastian’s, Chauhaus
- Annual tonnage of compost (pre- and post-consumer combined): 26,500 pounds of waste weekly, yielding approximately 583 tons annually
- Salvageable, perishable food is donated to area food banks
RECYCLING OF TRADITIONAL MATERIALS
- Recycle all materials
- Percentage of recyclable waste diverted from traditional disposal: 59 %
- The Food Literacy Project, which encourage awareness, engagement and behavior change with regards to food issues
- The Green Skillet program, which challenges staff, in unit-to-unit competition, to reduce utility usage, conserve resources, and engage students in reducing use of these resources
- Two farmers’ markets on campus, which run weekly on two different days (in different “quads” on campus) from June through October.
And introducing . . . Keep Local Farms
Can you imagine life at Harvard without pizza, milk, cheese or yogurt? It may sound impossible, but as low milk prices force more and more small New England dairy farmers out of business, our local supply of these dairy products is in jeopardy. So HUHDS supports New England agriculture by purchasing local dairy products and by participating in the new Keep Local Farms™ program. Keep Local Farms raises awareness of the challenges facing small dairy farmers, and raises money to support farmers in need and ensure the continued stewardship of open land and wildlife that exists on small farms, as well as continued access to local dairy products. Visit www.KeepLocalFarms.org for more information and to make a contribution.
Download the innaugural 2008 Sustainability Report (Acrobat PDF) here