Why it Could Mark the Tipping Point for Campus Dining as a Critical Lever for Scaling Climate Solutions – Food Tank


R&DE Stanford Eating has joined Drawdown Labs, a consortium of personal sector companions working to scale local weather options. Stanford Eating is the primary university-based member and the primary foodservice group to be a part of Drawdown Labs’ community of daring enterprise leaders taking accelerated local weather motion. Led by Undertaking Drawdown—which goals to assist the world obtain drawdown, the purpose sooner or later when greenhouse gasoline emissions cease rising and begin reducing—Drawdown Labs now consists of 14 organizations, from Google and Unimaginable Meals to Netflix and Common Mills.

Stanford Eating becoming a member of Drawdown Labs is essential for a number of causes. First, it displays the distinctive potential of campus eating packages as a essential, untapped lever for scaling local weather options:

  • by the daring campus sustainability targets these giant foodservice operations have;
  • by their substantial institutional buying energy (schools and universities have the entire buying energy of all chain eating places);
  • by influencing college students’ meals identities and preferences for years to return, as college students will eat billions of meals all through their lifetimes.

“As we work intently with universities the world over, now we have a typical core perception that college students are the most effective and strongest approach ahead in the direction of making a more healthy, extra sustainable future,” mentioned Eric Montell, Government Director of R&DE Stanford Eating. “To supply perspective by way of Stanford college students, we’re serving over three million meals every year. That’s quite a lot of meals which might be being supplied to college students every year, and these meals are scrumptious, wholesome, and sustainable, and impression college students’ meals selections whereas at Stanford. Nonetheless, should you have a look at the quantity of meals these identical college students will eat over their collective lifetimes, it’s a shocking 200 million meals! We additionally know that our college students might be tomorrow’s leaders, many will create their very own corporations which will embrace strong meals packages for his or her workers, and they’re going to even be dad and mom. This implies the variety of meals they affect is exponentially greater than the 200 million meals they are going to individually eat. If you happen to multiply this throughout your entire campus eating sector, then it’s billions of future meals.”

Second, Stanford Eating’s membership in Drawdown Labs displays an open invitation to different visionary leaders in foodservice to make the most of the methods introduced by Undertaking Drawdown and the significance of meals techniques change as one of the vital efficient options for reversing world warming. Meals techniques account for a few third of all greenhouse gasoline emissions globally. Stanford Eating is specializing in the customarily missed impression of food-related options for tackling the local weather disaster. Undertaking Drawdown ranks meals waste discount the primary resolution for reversing world warming out of a rising record of over 80 options, together with the same old focus areas from the vitality and transportation sectors. Plant-rich diets are additionally ranked quantity three in Undertaking Drawdown’s record of most impactful options. That is exactly why we and the The Culinary Institute of America co-lead the Menus of Change College Analysis Collaborative, a world community of 270 forward-thinking students, foodservice leaders, govt cooks, and directors from over 60 schools and universities, and our focus is on analysis, schooling, and innovation particularly to scale back meals waste and advance plant-forward diets.

Stanford Eating learns from and contributes to transformative initiatives such because the MCURC’s Collective Influence Initiative, which has a collective goal throughout all member establishments to scale back food-related greenhouse gasoline emissions (GHGE) by 25 % by 2030. Our most up-to-date work on our respective campuses was synthesized within the publication, “2020 MCURC Collective Influence Early Learnings Report,” which might help any foodservice chief attain related targets for lowering GHGE.

Stanford Eating is constructing on its long-standing sustainability initiatives of lowering meals waste by committing to additional cut back our meals waste by 25 % by the top of 2022. Our partnership in Drawdown Labs will assist us study and form not solely long-term meals waste targets however broader food-related local weather targets over the months to return. Stanford Eating has additionally not too long ago joined REGEN1, a consortium of meals system leaders in Northern California supporting farmers who’re using regenerative agriculture ideas that enhance air, water, and soil high quality, improve biodiversity, and prioritize larger inclusion and fairness for all.

“Sustainability is a core worth for Residential & Eating Enterprises (R&DE),” mentioned Dr. Shirley Everett, Senior Affiliate Vice Provost, Residential & Eating Enterprises, Stanford College.” As leaders, we’re dedicated to service excellence in all of our operations. We’re targeted on preserving our planet, which incorporates regularly implementing insurance policies and practices that protect our pure sources and cut back our total impression on the setting. By a variety of strategic tasks and packages, R&DE is integrating long-term sustainable initiatives into how we function throughout the campus to supply enhanced ecological choices to our valued college students and prospects.”

Our impression on regional meals techniques all through Northern California and extra broadly all through the worldwide community of suppliers inside our buying community is huge. Stanford Eating is uniquely positioned to behave as a frontrunner in school and college foodservice—and even institutional foodservice at giant, from Ok-12 faculties to company eating, hospitals to nursing properties—with respect to scaling local weather options due to its lengthy historical past of pioneering new methods of effecting change in assist of sustainable meals techniques. As co-founder of the MCURC, Stanford Eating has been working with meals leaders in each academia and eating operations to push the boundaries of sustainability for the reason that Collaborative’s inception in 2014.

Montell explains, “Our strategy to climate-smart eating is rooted within the resounding message from local weather scientists that our actions to handle the local weather emergency have to be exponential in nature; we’re previous the time when incremental change is sufficient. College eating packages could be on the forefront of constructing change and be a key car for local weather motion. It’s not simply concerning the work we do as particular person operators, however about how we work collectively with college students to scale back our local weather impression. We educate college students concerning the EAT-Lancet report on meals, planet, and well being, which clearly reveals how the well being and environmental impacts of meals are linked collectively. The meals system accounts for 37 % of all carbon emissions and but 90 % of all nations within the Paris Local weather Accord fail to take a meals system strategy to scale back their carbon emissions. College students can reshape the political willpower and create higher alternatives in the direction of local weather motion.”

So, nonetheless large or small, whether or not you’re able to affect a fellow campus eating program or every other establishment—a college, an employer, a hospital system—be part of us in responding to this pressing name to motion. We all know from scientists like these at Undertaking Drawdown that in precept the options are at our fingertips. Now it’s as much as each foodservice chief on the market to grab this name to motion and put these concepts into apply. Because the UN Secretary-Common Ban Ki-moon mentioned in 2013 at Stanford College: “There could be no Plan B as a result of there is no such thing as a planet B.”

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