Our campus has been recognized as a leader in energy conservation and sustainability and tuition affordability according to PRNewswire. University Dining Services is proud to have contributed to the overall campus wide sustainability program.

University Dining Services is committed to eliminating all avoidable waste to landfills by 2025, and more specifically, we eliminated all avoidable plastic straws from the McCarthy Center Dining Commons.* 

We also sell reusable straws in the Red Barn Cafe in the Whittemore Library. 

71%of sea birds and 30% of sea turtles have been found with plastic in their stomachs. Help us build a better tomorrow for everyone by limiting your straw use in our campus restaurants! #skipthestraw

*Should you require it, straws are available by request.

University Dining Services recycles thousands of pounds of waste oil into biodiesel every year with the help of our partner FiltaFry. 

Food waste is a huge problem of breathtaking scope: nearly 40% of the food produced in the US is wasted. This waste has significant financial and environmental impacts. Financially, food costs are on the rise—up 42% in the last decade—so the food that’s being thrown out has a big price tag. Environmentally, food waste is filling up landfills at a staggering rate, producing 135 million tons of greenhouse gases every year and using up natural resources. That’s why here University Dining Services weighs out all waste, and keeps track of it, so we can have a greater impact the environment.

As part of its commitment to increase the sustainability of its operations, University Dining Services uses Ecolab’s Apex™ dishwashing system. Apex combines technology and products designed to save water and energy, minimize the impact of products on the environment, and has a built-in method of measuring results. Apex uses a unique combination of detergents, rinse additives, equipment and consultative services to address the operational challenges in food-service operations. The Apex management approach uses a tablet PC and wireless technology to communicate with the system's controller to download, process and analyze data to establish each food-service operation's "rack-to-guest ratio." By monitoring and improving this ratio, the system helps reduce the amount of water and energy used at each facility, and improve total operational efficiency.

All locations will benefit from using less water, energy and labor, thus minimizing their operations' overall environmental impact. In addition, the Apex system further supports Dining Services' sustainability initiatives with non-caustic chemistry and 95% less packaging material than current methods. Apex products come in a compact solid form that significantly reduces transportation shipments compared to bulkier liquid detergents.

XPressnap dispensers are another solution to reducing energy and waste. They use 30% less paper than traditional napkin dispensing mechanisms which helps the environment while helping to keep costs down. The napkins are made of 100% recycled paper and the dispenser will encourage customers to take (and waste) less napkins. Energy is saved because less power is used to recycle paper products than to create them from virgin material. According to Xpressnap, enough is saved through using recycled napkins to power 600 American homes for an entire year! More than half a million gallons of oil were saved ‘ 38 tanker trucks worth ‘ and 41 tons of pollutants were kept out of the environment. Using recycled napkins diverted 4,131 cubic yards of paper from landfills. This is enough to cover a football field with a stack of paper two and a half feet deep. Find these napkin holders at all campus dining locations!
Our New England location means access to some of the freshest, most delicious and responsibly sourced fish and seafood possible. Our seafood partner Red's Best™ of Boston is committed to only distributing from small, local fishing boats supporting a vital fishing industry and tradition. Most of University Dining Services fish is caught just miles from our campus. And with access to over 60 different species daily, we have fully integrated Red's Best™ into our dining program year round serving Red's Best™ daily catch for dinner every Thursday. Additionally, Red's Best™ has implemented a simple yet brilliant QR code technology allowing the consumer to know what fish they are eating but who the actual fisherman was who caught their dinner! Learn more about Red's Best™ in Edible Boston and National Geographic.