Certified Level One Green Restaurants®
Based on continuous sustainability efforts, in Fall 2019, Bolton, Oglethorpe, Snelling,
the Village Summit, and the Niche (Health Sciences Campus) dining commons were named Certified Level One Green Restaurants®. These locations have met the Green Restaurant Association’s rigorous environmental certification standards. The University of Georgia is proud of the environmental accomplishments that have
brought us to this award and we are committed to continuing to improve our environmental
practices by implementing new environmental steps in the future.
Dining Services, in partnership with the Facilities Management Division and the Office
of Sustainability, has diverted food waste from the landfill since 2014, through initiatives
such as eliminating non-compostable items in our locations.
Our dining commons practice trayless dining, which helps reduce waste, conserve water,
and save energy. Without trays, less uneaten food is discarded each day. Water and
energy are saved by not having to wash trays.
Part of our sustainability effort includes making sure that we use as many local products
as we can. This focus has gotten even closer to home with our expanding projects using
produce grown on the UGA campus.
Some of our recycling initiatives include recycling cardboard, glass, plastic, and
metal cans in all of our facilities and collecting and recycling pizza boxes at the
Niche Pizza Co. through a partnership with the Office of Sustainability.
Reducing food waste on campus is a top priority for Dining Services, in partnership
with the UGA Office of Sustainability and UGA Facilities Management Division. Some
initiatives include being 100% plastic-straw free and replacing Styrofoam packaging
with compostable fiber containers.
UGA Dining Services, with support from the Office of Sustainability, introduced Blended
Burgers in 2019. Blended Burgers are a flavorful, sustainable and healthier blend
of burger comprised of 70 percent beef and 30 percent roasted mushroom.
Dining Services purchases regional produce and food products when available and using
as many local products as we can. A variety of items in the dining commons and markets
have ingredients sourced directly from farms in Georgia and bordering states.
Dining Services is also a major contributor to both the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia
and Full Plate. These organizations ensure that our surplus food is distributed to
human-service agencies in the Athens area.