/ Sustainability

Dining Services

Hope College Dining Services prides itself on its green initiatives while maintaining a high standard for quality food and service.

Our Dining Services team has recently been awarded Gold Certification in the Sustainability and Ecological Engagement and Development (SEED) Program of Creative Dining Services, reflecting on-going commitment to environmental stewardship.

Water Quality and Reduction Initiatives
  • Use of phosphorus-free dish detergent
  • Went trayless in 2010, saving 120,000 gallons of water and eliminating tons of food waste each year
  • Refrigerated salad bar requires less energy and water than ice
  • Installed a new dishwasher in 2013
    • Saves 613,000 gallons of water per year
    • Reclaims heat from the exhaust system and returns that energy into the hot water reservoir
    • Reduces detergent and rinse additives by 1,500 pounds per year
Waste Reduction Initiatives
  • Compost 40 tons of food waste and paper materials for campus care
  • Partner with Alternative Energy Solutions (AES) to recycle our waste vegetable oil and convert it to biodiesel used to produce electricity
  • Donate excess prepared food to the Community Kitchen 
  • 43% of all food and goods are grown, packaged or manufactured within 250 miles
  • Use an on-campus herb and vegetable garden
  • Recycle over 120,000 cardboard boxes each year as well as tin, glass and plastic
  • Napkins are made from 100% recycled paper and processed without chlorine
  • Food and napkin waste is mechanically mulched to reduce volume by 50% before composting
  • Use environmentally friendly disposable products made of PLA (corn-based), potato, and pre- and post-consumer waste items
  • Food containers at athletic concessions are compostable or recyclable
  • Used food service equipment is sold or dismantled and recycled where possible
  • Purchasing items grown, manufactured or produced within 150 miles
    • The benefits of local purchasing support local agriculture, manufacturing and small business development
    • Dollars spent locally reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to shorter transportation routes, and, importantly, also create and support local and regional jobs
  • ECO Purchasing – These purchases are not grown or produced locally, but would have another sustainable designation:
    • USDA Organic
    • Marine Stewardship Certified
    • Cage Free
    • Fair Trade Certified
  • Participation in Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) shares for procurement of farm-direct produce