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Cornell University


Cornell Dining is passionately committed to sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint.

Cornell Dining partners with our colleagues at Sustainable Cornell and submits data to AASHE on our efforts to reduce landfill, energy and water waste, in addition to providing a diverse array of sustainable food choices.

Cornell Dining has introduced a number of sustainability initiatives:


  • Switched to "Wild Planet" canned tuna, a more sustainable alternative
  • Increased percentage of MSC-certified seafood on the menus
  • Introduced Fill It Forward app to help track reusable takeout containers in residential dining rooms


  • Resumed Reusable Mug Program in our retail locations
  • Resumed the Consumer Waste Educational Initiative (Food Waste/Choice Studies done by the Student Sustainability Coordinators)
  • Forward Food Pledge


  • Signed Forward Food pledge to increase the number of plant-based offerings on our retail menus by at least 5-10% per year over the next 5 years
  • Began tracking pre-consumer waste in all of our residential dining room kitchens in Fall 2021
  • In fall & spring every student on a meal plan was given one free reusable container
  • Distributed free reusable utensils sets to incoming students


  • Hired a full-time Sustainability Coordinator in January
  • Increased the number of Student Sustainability Coordinators from three to five to help develop and promote existing and new sustainability initiatives and increase student engagement


  • Switched to SmartPower™ dishroom chemicals which are better for the environment as they are biodegradable, have low or no added phosphorus and are non-toxic to aquatic life
  • Introduced bakery cases at two additional locations, and as of December 2019 eliminated total of 182,559 plastic bags since the beginning of the program
  • Distributed 3,000 reusable straws to first-year students; also sold at select retail locations


  • Introduced bakery cases at seven retail locations, thus eliminating individual plastic bags
  • Began serving the Impossible™ Burger at select retail locations - Trillium Dining, Ivy Room and McCormick’s Restaurant

You can find more information on Cornell's sustainability efforts by visiting the following:

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Contact us at