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Cornell University

Sustainablility

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:

2020

  • 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

2019

  • 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

2018

  • 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

2017

  • Began using beef and mushroom burger blend (70% beef, 30% mushrooms) at select retail locations - Ivy Room and Franny’s food truck
  • Introduced the Eco-Takeout reusable container program.

2016

  • Introduced Food Waste Studies conducted by the Student Sustainability Coordinators to raise awareness of food waste and gain valuable feedback from students

2015

  • Joined Menus of Change collaborative
  • By following the Menus of Change principles, Cornell Dining reduced its red meat purchases, increased produce purchases, reduced sugary beverages at All You Care To Eat locations, eliminated products with added nitrates and nitrites, introduced rBST free dairy and focused more on local ingredients and seasonal menus. The kickoff was followed by 5% reduction in red meat purchases and 9% increase in produce purchases.

2014

  • Began partnering with Food Recovery Network (FRN), a student organization that recovers food from four All You Care to Eat (AYCTE) dining rooms, redirecting food that otherwise would go to waste to Friendship Donation Network in Ithaca
  • In the school year 2018/19, FRN redistributed 6255 lb of food.
  • Changed to permanent dishes and cutlery at Ivy Room

2013

  • Opened Café Jennie with permanent dishes and cutlery

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

 

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Contact us at sustainabledining@cornell.edu.