The Sustainable Food Program

Live Sustainable

Students Mattias Lanas & Kate Kyder with freshly harvested lettuce from Wilbur garden.


The Sustainable Food Program is a collaborative effort led and managed by R&DE Stanford Dining that includes strategic partnerships with vendors and suppliers, students, staff, faculty and other campus stakeholders. Through these partnerships, the Sustainable Food Program seeks to create positive impact across three areas of focus: education, outreach, and awareness; collaboration and partnership; and operational and culinary excellence.

Sustainable Food Program Strategic Objectives

In keeping with the mission of R&DE Stanford Dining and its parent organization, Residential & Dining Enterprises, the Sustainable Food Program is guided by the following strategic objectives:

  • Develop additional food-related curricula with faculty that explore theoretical frameworks through the lens of meaningful, practical, and hands-on experiences
  • Continue to design awareness events and ongoing sustainability campaigns that align with and support our strategic partners
  • Expand opportunities for students to design, implement, and manage Sustainable Food Program initiatives
  • Establish an ongoing initiative with faculty, researchers and student groups to implement creative design solutions that promote and encourage healthy and sustainable eating habits and behaviors in our dining halls
  • Fully integrate our culinary standards and sustainable food purchasing metrics into our internal reporting processes, with the goal of doubling our sustainable food purchases by 2015
  • Achieve 100 percent transparency for all food purchases, including origin, production method, ownership structure and labor practices

2013-2014 Initatives

Current Sustainable Food Program Initiatives

  • 40 percent local and organic food purchasing
  • 100 percent cage-free eggs
  • 100 percent Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program “Good” or “Best" choice seafood
  • 25,000 pounds of wild Alaskan salmon purchased annually directly from Taku River Reds family fishery
  • ALBA Organics (Agriculture and Land-Based training Association) produce
  • Fryer waste oil to biodiesel
  • Spa water infused with fruit and herbs
  • Wash Your Mug program
  • Dining in the Daylight
  • Food waste composting at all dining halls
  • Trayless Dining
  • Support of SPOON (Stanford Project for Hunger)
  • Sustainably-raised pork
  • Organic whole apples (#1 on the USDA’s Dirty Dozen list)
  • Fair Trade Coffee
  • Local and organic salad greens from Earthbound Farms

Recognition and Awards for our commitment to sustainability

R&DE Stanford Dining was one of the first university food service operations in the United States certified as a green business (by Santa Clara County).

R&DE Stanford Dining won the Acterra Business Environmental Award for Sustainability

Stanford received an “A” for Food and Recycling on the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 College Sustainability Report Card.

PG&E Award for Leadership in Applying Green Building Design 2006.

Sierra Club

Cool Schools: Annual Ranking of America’s Greenest
Third in Nation
R&DE Stanford Dining

2012 Gold Rating
Dining Services
Stanford University

NACUFS Sustainability Award
2012 Silver Award
Outreach and Education
Sustainable Food Program- Living Laboratory

United States Congress
2007 Special Recognition Sustainability
R&DE Stanford Dining