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:

Local Food

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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!


Zero Waste Certification

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In December 2014, Aramark at the College of Charleston began the certification process to have City Bistro certified as a “Zero-Waste Facility.” We also began working to earn this accreditation in 2016 at our Dr. Martin Perlmutter dining facility, also known as Marty’s Place. Achieving this goal will mean that more than 90% of resources leaving the facility are diverted from the landfill. 

Vegetarian, Vegan & Kosher Options

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Both vegetarian and vegan options are offered in Fresh Food and City Bistro. In addition to vegetarian and vegan options, Marty’s Place, which opened in 2016, offers 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

Green & Local Catering Options

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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.

Pre-and Post-Consumer Waste Composting

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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. These practices are also executed in Stern Center Food Court, as well as Marty’s Place. In August 2013, Catering, 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 from 2013 through June 2017. 

Waste Stream Management

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Refillable condiment containers are currently utilized in Fresh Food Company. Single serve napkins and paper towel dispensers are used at City Bistro, Fresh Food Company, Marty’s Place, and Stern Center Food Court. In an effort to minimize single use plastics, plastic straws are no longer available in City Bistro, Fresh Food Company, and Marty’s Place. Additionally, styrofoam cups and containers are no longer offered in any of our dining facilities, as these products cannot be recycled easily.

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

Green Cleaning Program

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In order to create more transparency and awareness, we have developed 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 is useful in determining the overall impact of procurement, looking for areas we can improve sustainable purchasing, and increasing awareness of Aramark’s commitment to developing more sustainable practices at the College of Charleston. We are also working to provide more local products at our retail locations, including POD’s and Stern Center Food Court, in order to support local businesses and decrease transportation emissions associated with shipping products. Look for our Locally Grown signs in City Bistro and Liberty Fresh Food Company!

Future Initiatives, Sustainable Food Procurement

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In order to create more transparency and awareness, we have developed 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. The data is useful in determining the overall impact of procurement, looking for areas we can improve sustainable purchasing, as well as increasing campus awareness of ARAMARK’s commitment to developing more sustainable practices at the College of Charleston. Most recently, we have begun sourcing beef products from a regional farm that has earned a Step 4 “Pasture Centered” Rating from the Global Animal Partnership. 

Look for our Locally Grown signs in City Bistro and Liberty Fresh Food Company!
 

Animal Welfare

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We are committed to offering meat, egg, and dairy-based dishes from products that are sustainably produced, healthier for you, and from animals raised responsibly and humanely. We provide great tasting options and choices to meet the varying dietary needs and tastes of the College of Charleston community. In addition to humanely raised animal products, we also appreciate the value of plant-based meals for consumers. To read more about our progress toward our animal welfare commitments, coming soon.

Trayless Dining

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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.
 

Reusable "To-Go" Containers

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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. 

Reusable Mug Discounts

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Dining Services currently offers a reusable coffee mug discount at Stern Food Court, the POD’s inside the Education Center and Harbor Walk, Market 159, Einstein Brothers Bagels and Starbucks. All customers purchasing drip-coffee or tea with a reusable mug at these locations are charged a flat rate of $0.99. Specialty drinks are discounted by $0.10 per beverage at Starbucks. Click here for more information on the number of mugs diverted from the landfill by location.

Participation in Weigh the Waste Campaigns

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Each year we partner with various groups on campus, including the Office of Sustainability, to host Weigh the Waste events in Fresh Food Company. Such events are a great resource in examining data on the amount of post-consumer waste generated by the location per transaction and have helped us to implement better waste programming. They also increase consumer awareness of the food waste they generate and how it contributes to the food waste problem. Data generated helps us to order optimal amounts of ingredients to prepare. On average, .3 pounds of waste is generated by each customer in Fresh Food Company,

Participation in Special Sustainability Events

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We participated in this year’s campus Sustainability Week, including co-hosting a Sustainable Nutrition panel featuring plant-based and locally sourced hors d’oeuvres. Additionally, we participated in the Post Landfill Action Network and Office of Sustainability’s Street Fair, sharing sustainable living tips and ways we’re working to make our campus more sustainable. We periodically hold waste sorting education events in Stern Food Court and City Bistro to ensure that students are disposing their waste properly. 

Future Initiatives, Sustainable Seafood

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Through our partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Aramark is working toward our goal of purchasing 100% sustainable seafood. 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

Future Initiatives, Sustainable Food Procurement

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In order to create more transparency and awareness, we have developed 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. The data is useful in determining the overall impact of procurement, looking for areas we can improve sustainable purchasing, as well as increasing campus awareness of ARAMARK’s commitment to developing more sustainable practices at the College of Charleston. Most recently, we have begun sourcing beef products from a regional farm that has earned a Step 4 “Pasture Centered” Rating from the Global Animal Partnership. 

Look for our Locally Grown signs in City Bistro and Liberty Fresh Food Company!