Office of Sustainability

Our Sustainable Dining Initiatives

Upholding Brandeis’ commitment to Coolfood |  This means that we are committed to reducingcoolfood certified low carbon our greenhouse gas emissions associated with food purchasing by at least 25%. We are aiming to do so even earlier than the Coolfood Pledge’s 2030 goal, and we hope to achieve this by 2027. 

Brandeis Hospitality is also working with the World Resource Institute to introduce Coolfood Meals badges on menus to help diners choose climate-friendly dishes. Coolfood Meals have a carbon footprint that falls below an established per-meal threshold that meals should have by 2030. The Office of Sustainability tracks all of Brandeis Hospitality’s food purchases and uses the Coolfood Calculator to analyze its impacts. Look for the Coolfood Meal badge on our menus. 

Coolfood Takeovers | We do Coolfood Meal takeovers in each dining hall every month. That means once a month at Usdan Kitchen and at the Farm Table/Kosher Table at Sherman, Coolfood meals will be featured by default. The locations of the takeovers alternate and are listed on the Brandeis Hospitality website in advance.

Plant-forward dining at the Farm Table in Sherman  | Utilizing the principles of Greener By Default, menus at the Farm Table in Sherman Dining Hall will always promote plant-forward eating by default. Shifting toward diets that prioritize plant-forward eating is one of the most effective strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach climate targets.

Expanded composting with retail locations at The Hive Culinary Studio in Upper Usdan, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Dunkin’, We Proudly Serve Starbucks, and Collective Catering | To reduce the environmental impact of our to-go dining and catering operations, compostable food containers and cutlery will be utilized as much as possible. Collective Catering provides zero waste events by default, meaning that at least 90% of all waste generated from each event is diverted from landfills or incineration. Additionally, coffee grounds in Einstein Bros. Bagels, Dunkin’, and We Proudly Serve Starbucks will be composted.

Zero waste catering | Collective Catering’s events are zero waste by default, meaning that at least 90% of all waste generated from each event is diverted from landfills or incineration. Avoiding individually packaged foods and condiments, using compostable dishware and cutlery, and avoiding single-serving beverages are the norm in Collective Catering.

Reducing individually wrapped disposable condiments | In order to further divert as much waste as possible from landfills, individually wrapped disposable condiments have been removed across most of our locations.  Bulk condiment dispensers are used instead, avoiding up to 17,000 individually wrapped disposable condiment packets per year.

Sustainable purchasing commitments | Brandeis Hospitality prioritizes choosing products with no antibiotics or hormones, and prioritizes sourcing from local vendors. When local products are not available, our regional and national partners who meet these criteria are able to fill the gaps. Look for the signs in our dining halls that highlight our locally-sourced ingredients every day.

Support student food security with Swipe Out Hunger | During the first two weeks of each semester, students with meal plans will be able to donate up to 10 meal swipes, which will be distributed to students experiencing hunger. 

More organic sourcing | Brandeis Hospitality prioritizes organic products as much as possible for their environmental and health attributes. Tractor Organic Beverages, Rishi Organic Teas, Downeast Coffee Roasters, and Heiwa Tofu are just a few of the vendors whose certified organic products are featured at Brandeis. 

More scratch cooking such as salad dressings, salsas, soups, and burgers are now available, which is a key principle that distinguishes Brandeis Hospitality's dining approach.

Fryer Oil Recycling | One hundred percent of Brandeis Hospitality's used fryer oil is recycled by Restaurant Technologies, Inc. to be used for biodiesel.