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UCI Hospitality & Dining
Sustainability Newsletter

October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014

What is Sustainability?

Ecological Preservation:

  • Waste reduction, recycling, composting

  • Conservation of soil and water resources

  • Energy and material efficiencies to minimize impact on ecosystem

  • Protection and enhancement of wildlife habitats

Economic Viability:

  • Cost saving opportunities (e.g. energy management)

  • Support the local economy (i.e. farmers, suppliers)

  • Waste Elimination

Social Justice:

  • Support a living wage requirement

  • Overall human rights initiatives

  • Safe working conditions

Why is Sustainability important?

Seven Critical Global Trends

  • The Population Explosion

  • Diminishing Land Resources

  • Diminishing Water Resources

  • The Destruction of the Atmosphere

  • The Approaching Energy Crisis

  • Social Decline

  • Conflicts and Increasing Killing Power

Source: Green Handbook: Nielsen

What are the benefits?

For Our Students:

  • Concern for the environment

  • Support for human rights

  • Perceived quality (freshness)

For Our University:

  • Support environment protection

  • Point of differentiation for institution

  • Health concerns & nutritional value

  • Important student cause

  • Educational value

For Our State:

  • Economic impact: local employment / business

  • Environment protection

  • Nutritional value & health concerns

  • Support safe working conditions and living wage

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    Sustainability on Campus

Sustainability Programs and Initiatives

Reusable To-Go Program

UCI Hospitality & Dining offers Reusable To-Go in each of our dining commons, allowing students to enjoy their favorite foods from Pippin, Brandywine and Lot5 Dining Commons with the convenience of to-go! The reusable to-go program has avoided over 300 MTCO2e (metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent) compared to using disposables!

We Buy Local!

UCI Hospitality & Dining offers foods from a variety of local producers in all dining locations across campus, including both the dining commons and the retail restaurants! Our producers include farms such as Baloian Farms, which grows bell peppers and other fruits and vegetables along the California coast and in Bakersfield and the Coachella Valley. These local foods are sourced within 250 miles of the campus, ensuring that UCI reduces transportation emissions and provides fresh, healthy food.

Want to learn where our local produce comes from? Click here to see our map!

Weigh the Waste

Each quarter, UCI Hospitality & Dining holds Weigh the Waste events at Pippin and Lot5 Dining Commons!

Weigh the Waste is held bi-quarterly at each dining commons so that students can demonstrate what they've learned to reduce food waste.

Food Donation Program

To date, UCI Hospitality & Dining has donated over 8,000 lbs. of food through the Food Donation Program to help those in need.

Hydration Stations

Stay hydrated this academic year by filling up your water bottle at any of these locations for FREE. For more information on TGIF’s hydration stations, please visit
The Green Initiative Fund.

Click the images below for the full-size versions.

UCI Hospitality & Dining is committed to providing sustainable services on campus.

Check out some of the cool stuff we have been doing and click the image for the full-size version:


Zero-Waste and Sustainable Operations!

Pippin, Brandywine and Lot5 Dining Commons, Phoenix Food Court, Alumni Cafe, Zot-N-Go POD Market and the Bren Events Center (including concessions) are all zero-waste facilities that compost and recycle all materials! All dine-in service-ware is reusable at the dining commons, including cups, plates, and utensils. Additionally, at all retail dining locations recycling bins are available to dispose of your recyclable items, such as glass and plastic bottles. These efforts ensure that we minimize our footprint on the environment and maximize global sustainability.

We also practice post-consumer waste diversion at BC's Food Court and Phoenix Food Court. If you're ever unsure where your waste goes when you dine at BC's Food Court or Phoenix Food Court, just look at our helpful signs. All items on these signs are items from the dining locations to make it easier for you to see what goes where and contribute to achieving Zero Waste.

Meatless Mondays

Do you consider yourself health-conscious and environmentally friendly? Get involved with Meatless Monday! Meatless Monday at UCI highlights our many meatless options every Monday (though we still have our meat options available) with Meatless Monday identifiers at Pippin, Brandywine and Lot5 Dining Commons to encourage people to go meatless just one day a week for both their health and the health of the environment. 

By reducing the meat you eat by just 15% (a single day a week without meat), you limit your risk for cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and you live longer.

Want to learn more?
here for more information about Meatless Monday!
Click here for more information about the health and environmental effects of meat!


UCI placed 5th in the 2014 RecycleMania Grand Champion competition!

UCI ranked #1 among UC System schools in the 2014 RecycleMania Grand Champion Competition and also ranked #5 overall in the 2014 Recyclemania Gorilla Competition.

RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over a 10-week period, schools report recycling and trash data which are then ranked according to who collects the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate. With each week’s reports and rankings, participating schools watch how their results fluctuate against other schools and use this to rally their campus communities to reduce and recycle more.

Support UCI and your environment by recycling your cardboard, plastic bottles, and cans on campus.

Pick a Plate at Panda Express

At Panda Express and other restaurants at UCI, by picking a plate instead of a to-go container, you reduce your carbon footprint by approximately two-thirds. By picking the plate, you commit to reducing our carbon footprint and yours! Over the course of a quarter, because of customers picking the plate, we save over 1 ton of CO2 at Panda Express!

Sustainable Coffee

UCI Hospitality & Dining serves Fair Trade, USDA Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees. Fair Trade, USDA Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee are among the different labels used to evaluate coffee and the principles of its production.

Fair Trade Certified Coffee is always available at the campus Starbucks, Cyber A Café and Brandywine, Pippin and Lot5 Dining Commons. Cyber A Café is a licensed ecoGrounds coffee house. Fair Trade Coffee reflects and ensures a fair price and wage, environmental sustainability, fair labor conditions and workers' rights, direct trade, democratic and transparent organization, and community development. Fair Trade Coffee comes from all over the world, but it always shares these principles. Fair Trade offers a unique trade model that organizes small farmers into cooperatives and links them with coffee importers. Fair Trade regulations guarantee that farmers receive a minimum price for their coffee, which in turn helps them to afford healthcare, education and housing for their families. Some Fair Trade principles include: fair price, fair and safe labor conditions, protects against child labor, and environmentally sustainable farming methods. Transfair USA is the nonprofit certification organization that manages the rules, membership and certification process of Fair Trade. For more information visit:
To learn more about sustainable coffee practices by Starbucks, please visit their website
To learn more about sustainable coffee practices by Java City, please visit their website at:

Rainforest Alliance certification requires reduced agrochemical use, and guarantees of worker health and safety and ecosystem conservation. The Rainforest Alliance is committed to conserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods.

USDA Organic Certification and the seal which says "USDA Organic" mean that a product is made from at least 95% organic ingredients. A product labeled "100% organic" must be made entirely with certified organic ingredients and methods. The USDA Organic label extends only to whether or not the food is organic, and not to any other factors of the food.

Cage-Free Eggs, the Sustainable Choice

Dining proudly serves 100% cage-free eggs at the following locations:

Cage-free eggs are a natural product produced from free-range hens. Additionally, many of the eggs served are organic, with no hormone or antibody treatment, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The hens are allowed to roam freely outside a poultry barn, rather than housed in battery cages. The Humane Society of the United States supports free-range treatment of hens as it allows them to partake in natural activities, such as scratching and dust bathing as needed.

Sustainable Plates and To-Go Containers

UCI Dining is constantly looking for ways to engage in sustainable food service practices. We proudly phased in the use of biodegradable plates and to-go containers at all retail dining locations during Spring 2007. Biodegradable products offer many benefits to the environment. The biodegradable products we use are made out of bamboo, which takes only 6 months to grow back, while a tree would take 60 years to grow back. Other product benefits include: the product breaks down and can be used to fertilize land, no harmful materials leach into the ground or landfills and it doesn’t exploit the natural environment or disturb the ecological system.

Additionally, we also provide recycled-content containers at Organic Greens to Go, which can be recycled again when you're done with them. The containers are even produced locally, ensuring that transportation emissions are kept to a minimum.

How are these containers made?

Save a Cup, Save the Environment

Help the environment by saving a cup! Fill up your 20oz and under mug, cup or bottle with our Java City coffee or a fountain beverage for only $1.49, or save 10 cents off your Starbucks beverage or Java City espresso beverage! This offer is good at the following locations:




Sierra Cool Schools!
UCI ranked #1 in Sierra Magazine's 2014 Cool Schools competition!

This ranking recognizes the greenest colleges and universities in America! Click here for more information!

To determine rank, Sierra sent out hundreds of detailed questionnaires to sustainability experts at various schools. Eight topics, including efficiency, energy, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, and administration, all in regards to sustainability, were used to identify which schools were the most eco-friendly.


Congratulations, UCI, for making Top 3! See more at Peta2's website:

Drum Roll, Please!

UCI’s Mesa Dining Commons is the FIRST ZERO-WASTE facility in the UC system!


Wow, go Anteaters in protecting our planet!

EPA Food Recovery Challenge Climate Profile

See the 2012 Climate Profile!

UCI Hospitality & Dining achieved GHG reductions of 81.81 metric tons CO2 equivalent in 2012 through food waste diversion as part of the EPA Food Recovery Challenge! This is the equivalent of the annual emissions of 4 households!

UCI Moving Forward in Sustainability
Click on any of the images below to learn more!

How we Recycle at UCI

UCI Annual Waste

UCI Ahead in Sustainability