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Being good stewards is one of BASC’s core company values. Not only do we strive to manage resources efficiently to create and preserve value for our customers, but we also take steps to care for our environment. BASC breaks it down into three categories: living green, learning green, and working green.

Visit the College Sustainability webpage (new window) for more information on campus-wide initiatives.

Green is Gold

Living Green

We help our campus community members live green and reduce their carbon footprint through the following initiatives:

  • Dining Services offers customers a Refillable Mug Program at The Square and cafes. It is estimated that the participants in this program have collectively diverted approximately 1,750 paper cups from the landfill each year.
  • Many of the to-go foods are packaged in recyclable containers enabling our customers to recycle them.
  • Recycling bins are available. Remember to recycle properly to avoid contaminating the recycling stream. 
  • Dining Services offers a number of plant-based menu items in all dining locations across campus. Eating more plant-based meals is a great for your health and the planet!
  • Dining Services sources local foods whenever possible. Approximately 90% of the dairy products served on campus are produced locally and about 12-15% of produce is sourced locally through our prime vendors.
  • Our prime food vendor, Sysco, works in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to improve the sustainability of its seafood procurement. Through this partnership, Sysco works with its supply chains to transition fisheries and aquaculture farms globally to more sustainable and responsible resources. Look for sustainable seafood menu items we serve that have the WWF seal of approval.
  • Each recipe has a specific portion for served items. In the dining halls, customers can always ask for more (or less – especially when wanting to sample a food item first). Portions are in place to help eliminate food waste. Customers are encouraged to take only what they know they’ll eat and come back for seconds.
  • The Barnes & Noble College Bookstore offers students used and rental book options. These are great ways to save money and reduce your carbon footprint!

Learning Green

BASC takes an active role in informing and educating our community about sustainability initiatives

  • BASC worked collaboratively with BSG to inform students about impact of plastic straws on our planet and successfully phase them out on campus. Straws were eliminated from the dining halls in the fall of 2018. Beginning in the fall of 2019, all plastic straws have been eliminated from dining locations. It is estimated that this will divert approximately 300,000 straws from the landfill each year.
  • BASC has partnered with the student club, ECOS, to:
    • Educate students about the importance of bees in food production during the Fall 2018 Be Our Guest event at Brockway and Harrison dining halls. Local bee keepers also participated in this educational dinner. The event earned a prestigious Loyal E. Horton gold award from the National Association of College & University Food Services.
    • Educate the campus community about proper recycling in a program called, Trash Talkers. View our Trash Talker video here.
  • In 2015, BASC hosted a Harvest Celebration in Brockway and Harrison dining halls that featured many foods sourced locally. This event helped to inform the campus community about what is (and isn’t) local to our area as well as what’s in season during the fall. This event earned a prestigious Loyal E. Horton bronze award from the National Association of College & University Food Services.
  • In 2012 and 2013, BASC held two Farm to Table Dinners where students traveled to Robb Farms located in Spencerport to watch our chefs cook using ingredients produced from the farm and dine in the middle of an apple orchard.
  • Members of the BASC team work collaboratively with student groups, faculty, and departments on educational initiatives. Examples include, sharing information with the Greenhouse Living & Learning Community and sharing initiatives with the Sustainability in Recreation class.

Working Green

We implement sustainable business practices whenever feasible to be good stewards of resources and care for our environment.

  • We use a sophisticated Food Management Software system to input recipes, manage inventory, and project the quantity needed for each recipe. This enables Dining Services to most accurately prepare the appropriate quantity of food for any given meal, and thus reduce food waste.
  • Leftover food from serving lines or food that never left the kitchen that meets quality and food safety standards is properly stored and served at a next meal.
  • Pre-consumer food waste (egg shells, coffee grounds, vegetable peels, etc.) and food that doesn’t meet quality and food safety standards is composted via our partnership with Natural Upcycling. It is estimated that 85,000 lbs of scraps are diverted from the landfill each year through this program. Watch our Natural Upcycling video to learn more.
  • At the end of the semester, foods set to expire before reopening are donated to local food banks.
  • The dining halls are tray-less. Tray-less dining helps to reduce food waste by discouraging customers from taking more than they can eat. Plus, it saves resources from not having to wash trays.
  • In partnership with the National Humane Society, our chefs and team members received plant-based culinary training to increase the number of delicious plant-based menu items served on campus. Learn more here.
  • A fryer oil filtration system is used in Brockway and Harrison Dining Halls, and The Square, to extend the life of the oil. Once the oil has reached its maximum usage, BASC then recycles the fryer oil via a third-party vendor who converts it to bio-diesel, animal feed, and other uses.
  • Our refuse vendor, Suburban Disposal, uses collection trucks that use cleaner burning natural gas.
  • BASC has a shut-down schedule for our equipment over breaks to reduce energy usage.
  • After equipment has exceeded its useful life or needs replacement, we aim to replace it with energy efficient models. For example, all laundry and vending machines on campus are energy star rated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Dining Services buy local foods?

BASC contracts with Giambrone, a Rochester produce food distributor, for fresh produce. Giambrone provides local produce whenever possible. There are signs in the dining halls that communicate weekly local produce. Local farms include Kirby's Market, Garden Farm, Hill-View Farms, Sodoma Farms, Intergrow, Smith's Farm Market, and many others. Approximately 90% of the dairy products served on campus are produced locally and about 12-15% of produce is sourced locally through prime vendors.

Does Dining Services have a compost program?

Dining Services partners with Natural Upcycling to compost pre-consumer waste. Vegetable scraps, egg shells, and coffee grounds are collected from Brockway Dining Hall, Harrison Dining Hall, and The Square at the Union to turn it into a renewable resource - such as electricity or natural gas – through a process called anaerobic digestion. It is estimated that 85,000 lbs of scraps are diverted from the landfill each year through this program. Watch our 0 to learn more.
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Are energy efficient appliances used in Dining Services?

When equipment has exceeded its useful life or otherwise needs replacement, BASC aims to replace it with energy efficient models. Replacement kitchen equipment, including stoves, ovens, steamers, and refrigeration, are sourced not only for quality of construction, but also energy efficiency.

In 2012 the refrigeration units in Brockway were converted from a water-based cooling and heat transfer system to a Glycol-based closed system, dramatically reducing water usage while increasing energy efficiency.

Are environmentally-friendly disposable containers used in eateries on campus?

Nearly all of the to-go containers used by Dining Services are recyclable. Please remember to remove any food debris before recycling these containers. In addition, some disposable containers like portion cups and straws in the dining halls have been eliminated altogether to help reduce waste.

What happens to the used fryer oil on campus?

In Brockway and Harrison Dining Halls the fryer oil is filtered to extend the life of the oil. Once the oil has reached its maximum usage, BASC then recycles the fryer oil via a third-party vendor. 

Why are the dining halls tray-less?

Tray-less dining helps to reduce food waste by discouraging customers from taking more than they can eat. Plus, it saves resources from not having to wash trays. Both dining halls have experienced reductions in food waste as a result of not using trays. In fact, after the initial switch to tray-less Harrison Dining Hall was able to eliminate two of their six refuse pickups per week. Brockway Dining Hall is currently at two pickups per week.

What is the Refillable Mug Program?

Dining Service's Refillable Mug can be purchased at the BASC Business Office or any cafe on campus for only $5! This mug saves you 20% off on the 16 oz. price when purchasing fountain beverages (soda, juice, Revolet), coffee or tea, hot chocolate or cappuccino from the machine at The Square or Eagle's Nest. This mug may not be used in Brockway or Harrison Dining Hall.