Sustainable Vendor Preference

Dickinson College Dining Services’ Vendor Preferences and Requirements:

Dickinson Dining Services shares the values of sustainable practices held by Dickinson College and the members of the Dickinson Community.

We prefer working with vendors who have well-developed sustainability statements, policies, and practices – a simple paragraph does not reflect a serious belief in our values.

Decision-making related to the selection of vendors with whom we do business, how we choose the products we use, and our preferences for equipment and materials used in our facilities will always include important sustainability factors such as those found in LEED certification programs and that will support today’s goals and objectives as well as those of tomorrow.

We look to the future in our procurement practices of today so that we may continually improve our practices in all that we do.  We look to the future to contribute to a healthy environment for our guests, for ourselves and our families, and to leave a positive legacy that we owe to future generations.

Following are brief descriptions of considerations important to us:

  • Employee welfare
    • We do not believe in the exploitation of children nor in the use of child labor.
    • We believe all laborers should receive fair compensation for the work they perform; should have safe working conditions; and reasonable working schedules.
  • Animal welfare
    • Animals should be treated with kindness and humanity, cared for with healthful food, veterinary care, and reasonable access to movement and reasonably natural conditions in clean, healthful environments.
    • Slaughtering practices should be as humane as possible with the least stress possible for the animal.
  • Energy consumption
    • We strive to use Energy Star equipment and appliances where possible or obtain the most efficient models available.
    • Where possible we aim to use energy-recovering equipment.
  • Water use and conservation
    • Our processes and practices look to reduce water needs, recycling water, and limiting the introduction of chemicals that adversely affect life and the environment around us.
  • Local and community-based producers and products:
    • We prefer to use producers, farms, and processors located within 250 miles of our campus.
    • We prefer to source products from producers who are third-party certified such as Fair Trade Certified™, Marine Stewardship Council™ Certified, Rainforest Alliance Certified, Food Alliance Certified, Protected Harvest, Salmon Safe, Certified Humane Raised and Handled®
    • We prefer to source products from producers who are small to mid-sized and are more than 50 percent owned by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals, minorities and/or women.
  • Compostable, Recycling, and Landfill Diversion
    • We seek products that are compostable and preferably those items safe for composting in USDA Certified Organic applications
    • For those items we cannot compost, we seek recyclable products and/or packaging.
    • We prefer to source products with packaging that can be diverted from landfills
  • Food and beverages should be naturally wholesome.
    • Free of additives or treatments such as rBGH and other hormones, antibiotics[1], and artificial ingredients.
    • We strive to eliminate products that use High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and other ingredients that are highly processed or unnatural and provide little or no benefit to our guests.
    • We recognize our customers’ desire for and the benefits of consuming animal proteins; however, we also recognize the needs and significant benefits of reducing animal protein consumption, therefore we continually seek out plant-based proteins to highlight and place at the center of the plate.  We seek out partners to help us in our plant-based protein menu development efforts.
  • Public Safety
    • Vendors are expected to have well-documented HACCP programs and recall procedures.  We expect our vendors to keep the health and wellness of consumers first and foremost in the planning of their procurement, processing, storage, and delivery practices at all times.
  • Collaboration with Us and with Our Sustainable Partners
    • We expect our vendors to cooperate with student-interns who are working on sustainability projects such as sourcing data or collecting carbon and nitrogen footprint information.
    • We expect our vendors to support the efforts of groups such as the Green Restaurant Association, Farm Forward, and others as they work on our behalf to determine the “sustainable nature” of products and services provided by a vendor or in looking at similar, more sustainable alternatives.
    • We expect our vendors to be able to provide us with the sourcing details of the products they provide us: from where and when did products come, from whom and how, the miles travelled to be processed and the miles to get to us.

[1] Use for specific treatment of ailments of the animal excluded; however, we want to see documented policies related to use.