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UMBC adds sustainability requirements to dining contract

November 15, 2017 1:49 PM
UMBC is about to renew or start a new contract for dining services. 

To learn more about eating sustainably visit: 

The solicitation for a contract now includes sustainability requirements- added after numerous student, staff and faculty advocates have suggested the campus offer more local, sustainable, organic, humane, healthy, and ethical options. Agriculture is a leading contributor of carbon emissions and climate change, and UMBC has committed to becoming carbon neutral. 

Some examples of the sustainability requirements outlined in the new contract are included below: 

The Contractor shall develop partnerships on food-related issues (e.g. food recovery, food insecurity, etc.) with the campus community.

- Wellness Expectations – Careful attention to product mix to ensure a good selection of nutritionally healthy and healthily prepared and portioned food at all service locations. Provision of a full-time, on site, licensed dietitian to assist and educate on the subjects of nutrition and menu planning, weight management, and wellness for the campus community, with a particular focus on our students. The Contractor is expected to participate and collaborate with the University’s Wellness programs.

- Sustainability Expectations – A comprehensive sustainability plan that addresses the following:

(a) Purchase and transport of food to minimize environmental impact such as seasonally available local (within 150 miles) foods, grown and harvested using ecologically sound principles such as sustainable seafood, and certified as fair trade (with a target that 25% of food will meet one or more of this criteria);

(b) Initiatives to ensure that management, kitchen and serving operations deploy resource-saving practices such as energy efficiency tactics;

(c) Practices to minimize food waste;

(d) Incorporate sustainable design principles in construction projects undertaken on campus;

(e) Provide education to both customers and employees about innovations and reasons for operational decisions in food service; and,

(f) full participate in the University’s recycling program. Include one paid Sustainability student intern position in the staffing plan each year at wage rates that are competitive with other student employment options on campus.

Sustainability Plan. In coordination with the University’s “Sustainability” initiatives, Contractor shall develop and implement a comprehensive sustainability plan for the dining program; for further information, see .

Services Provided by the University. The University will furnish, at its cost, the following in support of the dining program:

1. Reasonable electrical, gas and water service, except as otherwise noted. Contractor shall aggressively manage energy use, in conjunction with the University’s sustainability program.

Sustainability: Provide an initial but comprehensive sustainability plan for the dining program, including use of locally grown foods (within 150 miles), foods grown and harvested using ecologically sound principle such as sustainable seafood, and certified as fair trade (and the percentage of food that will meet one or more of this criteria), recycling, composting, etc.

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