Sustainability in College and University Dining
Higher education is on the forefront of today's efforts to conserve natural resources and minimize the impact of human activity on the environment. Operating in a sustainable manner is embraced by all segments of the campus community, particularly dining services, where the selection, preparation, delivery, and disposal of food and beverages affect the environment in so many ways. The foodservice staff faces a multiplicity of decisions on how to satisfy their customers and generate a financial return to their institutions with minimal environmental degradation. It's a daunting challenge made more difficult by the fact that virtually every aspect of campus foodservice contains a sustainability component.
Practicing sustainable operations not only benefits the environment, it helps collegiate dining departments foster positive relationships with academic and administrative departments, students, and other constituencies. Because sustainability is such a critical component in modern college and university foodservice, NACUFS supports the association membership with an increasing number of resources to help dining staffs effectively integrate "green" initiatives at their institutions, including professional development programs and educational resources such as the NACUFS Sustainability Guide.
NACUFS Sustainability Responsibility Statement
As adopted by the NACUFS Board of Directors, September 2012
NACUFS members have the unique challenge and opportunity to be transformative leaders and catalysts for change in the sustainable business practices movement within the food service industry. NACUFS members embrace, support, and actualize the globally accepted Triple Bottom Line philosophy of People (social equity factors), Planet (environmental factors), and Profit (economic factors) through an understanding that optimal sustainability is only possible when all three components are considered and balanced in operational decision making.
NACUFS members actualize sustainable business practices by:
- Committing to a gradual but significant increase in sustainable procurement practices, e.g., food, equipment, cleaning supplies, paper products, furniture, construction materials, etc.
- Recognizing that there may be initial costs associated with achieving sustainability; however, it may ultimately result in energy and resource conservation, waste management, and ecologically sound business practices and sustainable construction standards that promote environmental stewardship, and may also result in cost savings.
- Engaging their campus community and industry partners in dialogue and education relating to food security, health and nutrition, agricultural economic development, and other aspects of a globally sustainable food system.