What We're Doing

We work together to continually develop and implement sustainable solutions. Through Green Thread, our environmental sustainability platform, we bring innovative and efficient solutions to life. We are passionately focused on reducing the environmental impact within our operations. Here are just a few ways we work to make our campus more environmentally conscious:

Check Local Food: Using the AASHE definition, all food sourced within a 250 mile radius of the campus is considered local. Sourcing food locally helps to bolster the local economy and community by supporting our own area farmers. Locally sourced food items are labeled daily in City Bistro and Liberty Fresh Food. Here is a map of all of the local farms that we purchased from in fall 2014 semester!

Check Zero Waste Certification:  In December 2014, Aramark at the College of Charleston began the certification process to have City Bistro certified as a “Zero-Waste Facility.” Achieving this goal will mean that more than 90% of resources leaving the facility are diverted from the landfill.

Check Vegetarian, Vegan & Kosher Options: Both vegetarian and vegan options are offered in Fresh Food and City Bistro. In addition to vegetarian and vegan options, CofC’s new Dr. Martin Perlmutter dining facility, coming early 2016, will offer kosher options to help meet the needs of ethical eaters. If you have any dietary restrictions such as kosher, gluten-free, etc., please contact Dining Services for more information on choices or menu information. diningservicescustomerservice@cofc.edu.

Check Green & Local Catering Options:  Our Catering team is proud to offer all compostable food service ware and event composting services. Locally sourced food options are also available upon request.

Check Pre-and Post-Consumer Waste Composting: Beginning October 31st, 2012, City Bistro dining hall began composting all pre-and post-consumer food waste. Through a partnership with Food Waste Disposal, a locally owned business in Charleston, in return for every 2,000 pounds of waste generated for by City Bistro, the College of Charleston will receive 40 pounds of compost to use on campus. Not only is composting one of the most sustainable processes—as it creates a new product from waste and embodies a cradle-to-cradle life cycle—but it also helps reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions emitted by the College; According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) food waste is both the largest portion of landfill waste and the biggest contributor to methane emissions, a greenhouse gas with “21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.”

Beginning in the summer of 2013 Liberty Fresh Food Company began composting all pre- and post- consumer food waste. In August 2013, Catering, Stern Center Food Court, Chick-Fil-A, and Einstein Brothers Bagels also began composting all pre-consumer food waste. Click here to see our total amount of food waste diverted during the 2013-2014 academic year.


Check Waste Stream Management: Refillable condiment containers are currently utilized in Fresh Food Company. Both City Bistro and Fresh Food Company use single serve napkins and paper towel dispensers.

All used coffee grounds from Catering and Java City are donated to the College of Charleston's Grounds Department..


Check Green Cleaning Program: Dining Services utilizes the most widely accepted definition of green cleaning established by Presidential Order 13101 of 1998: “products and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on the health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.” Currently, Dining Services is working to integrate green cleaning supplies into our janitorial operations.

Check Recycling: In addition to the cardboard, plastics, and metals that are recycled at dining facilities across campus, 100% of our used fryer oil is recycled through Quest Recycling and Valley Proteins. Click here to see how much fryer oil we have recycled since 2013.

Check Fryer Oil Recycling: 100% of our used fryer oil is recycled through Quest Recycling and Valley Proteins. Click here to see how much fryer oil we have recycled so far in 2013. 

Check Trayless Dining: Trayless dining is currently implemented in both residential dining locations. This policy conserves resources while also eliminating costs, mainly through the consumption of less energy and water usage, while simultaneously decreasing the amount of landfill waste generated by the halls. For example, in 2009 the University of California Santa Barbara found that the elimination of the use of trays in a residential dining hall helped lower the average waste generated by person by 54%. Similarly, a 2007 case study by the University of Maine Farmington found that tray-less dining reduced the amount of waste by five ounces per person per year.

Check Reusable "To-Go" Containers: City Bistro and Liberty Fresh Food Co. offer reusable containers as a method to reduce the amount of waste generated by the dining hall. All students who have a meal plan can request a box to participate. 

Check Reusable Mug Discounts: Dining Services currently offers a reusable coffee mug discount at Stern Food Court, all POD locations, Market 159, Eintsein Brothers Bagels and Starbucks. All customers using a reusable mug at these locations are charged a flat rate of $0.99.  Click here for more information on the number of mugs diverted from the landfill by location.

Check Participation in Recyclemania: Our dining program is collaborating with the College’s Office of Sustainability for this year’s Recyclemania competition. Last year, we helped to advertise the Office’s events and recycling locations on the campus.

Check Participation in Weigh the Waste Campaigns: This year our dining program celebrated Earth Day by hosting a Weigh the Waste event in Fresh Food Company during lunch. Additionally, we also partnered with the Office of Sustainability to hold an all-day Weigh the Waste; currently this is only data on the amount of post-consumer waste generated by the hall per transaction and is a great resource for implementing future waste programming. On average .3 pounds of waste is generated by each customer in Fresh Food Company.

Check Participation in Special Sustainability Events: We participated in this year’s campus Sustainability Week, including co-hosting a Farmers Market with the Office of Sustainability. Additionally, we also partnered with the Office of Sustainability and the student organization Green CofC to provide local food for Food Day in 2012. 

We hosted two main events to celebrate Food Day 2013. We sponsored the purchasing of all local food for Green CofC’s Second Annual Benefit Dinner in which all proceeds were donated to the East Coast Migrant Head Start Project, a non-profit that works to support children of migrant workers in the Lowcountry. In addition to our partnership with Green CofC, we also hosted an all local lunch in Liberty Fresh Food Company. Sourced from Charleston's food hub GrowFood Carolina, our Executive Head Chef prepared a meal from our area farmers located less than 120 miles from the heart of the city. 


 Future Initiatives:
Check Sustainable Seafood: Aramark has partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium in order to transition to 100% sustainable seafood by 2018. Partnered with the Seafood Choice Alliance, Monterey Bay has created the Seafood Watch Guide that, based on peer-reviewed research and governmental reports, promotes the sale of sustainable seafood options available. Aramark has pledged to transition to 100% responsibly sourced seafood by 2018.

Check Sustainable Food Procurement: In order to create more transparency and awareness, we are developing a system that tracks our food purchasing in the two largest dining locations—City Bistro and Fresh Food—highlighting the total purchases made from the local and regional areas of Charleston, SC, as well as any sustainably certified products including organic, Fair Trade, and Sustainable Seafood. This data will be useful in determining the overall impact of procurement, look for areas we can improve sustainable purchasing, as well as increase campus awareness of ARAMARK’s commitment to developing more sustainable practices at the College of Charleston.
Look for our Locally Grown signs in City Bistro and Liberty Fresh Food Company!.