Gator Dining Services, the university’s official dining services provider, has made
strides towards ensuring a more sustainable dining operation on our campus. From
the purchasing of local produce, to fostering more partnerships with local businesses,
to evaluating ways to cut down on energy and water usage, campus dining at the University of Florida is becoming greener everyday.
Check out some of our sustainability efforts below.
Student Testimonial: “I have to say how proud I am at the initiatives that you took
for Earth Day. Not only the trays being taken away, but also the education was just
amazing. Everyone seemed to do just fine without trays and it can help save food
waste and water. That makes me proud to go to the University of Florida.” – Alex
Klein, UF Student
A) By removing the trays from our dining halls, in one year we will prevent 60,000 lbs. of
uneaten food from being thrown away and 470,000 gallons of water from being used. Did you know that between 3-5 oz of editable food is wasted per person in UF’s residential dining halls everyday? * Based on waste audits from 2013 by GDS Sustainability manager, UF and the UF Zero Waste Coordinator.
B) Gator Dining Services offers a discount of $0.25 for using a reusable mug and offers a $0.99 discount for your fountain beverage refills using your GDS branded reusable cup. Anyone can purchase the GDS branded reusable cup at any of our dining locations on campus.
C) These products are made from renewable resources instead of petroleum-based plastics or Styrofoam. These products are made from renewable resources instead of petroleum-based plastics or Styrofoam. By eliminating Styrofoam packaging, GDS has approximately diverted 1.2 million units of foam products from landfills.
D) The reusable to go program diverts approximately 278,000 disposable containers. For More Information: Click Here!
F) Enables informed and sensitized information for operational management.
Energy & Water9. Energy and Water Conservation employee trainings
& office appliance purchases
guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy. In addition, low flow water fixtures and advanced LED lighting technology enables GDS to minimize our built environmental impact.
Responsible Procurement12. Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance & USDA Certified Organic coffees offered campus-wide
Education, Engagement, Health and Nutrition
17. Sustainability Training and Onboarding
18. Participant in RecycleMania
and list of available local produce
22. The association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and sustainability tracking, assessment and rating system. (STARS) U. GDS and UF actively tracks, monitors and reports metrics of sustainability in higher education.
24. Vegan and vegetarian friendly
- Living Wage implemented for all full-time employees
- Green Team developed to allow employees to play an active role in the advancement
of our sustainability program. Learn more here
- GDS Sustainability manager mentors and enables employees to learn, inform and take action with our operations and among other employees.
25. Responsible vehicle procurement programX) GDS strives to minimize our impact by purchasing the best, most efficient transportation fleet options. Analysis is conducted to optimize employee driving style and fuel efficiency.
expand title=”26.GDS offers a Bicycle Benefits program”]Y) Customers who participate in the program receive nominal discounts to our dining hall facilities. We support sustainable mobility in all shapes and forms.[/expand}]
Alligator – Greening Dining Article The Independent Florida
Alligator (January 2008)
Office of Sustainability E-Newsletter (January 2008)
Reusable Mug Article Gainesville Sun (February 2008)
College Services Magazine (PDF format) (April 2008)
Trayless Dining - USA Today (July 2008)
Trayless Dining - The Independent Florida Alligator (July 2008)
“Erase the Waste” Campaign - Gainesville Sun (October 2008)
“Erase the Waste” Campaign - Wastedfood.com (October 2008)
“Erase the Waste” Campaign -The Independent Florida Alligator
Trayless Dining - Gainesville Sun (October 2008)
Reusable To Go Program (January 2009)
Gator Dining Green Team (January 2010)
Campus Dining Locations adopt Meatless Monday -The Independent
Florida Alligator (November 2010)
Foam packaging removed from campus dining program -The Independent
Florida Alligator (December 2011)
Gators Go Foam Free - On-Campus Hospitality Magazine (March
BURGERevolution sustainable dining party - The Independent
Florida Alligator (March 2012)
Students Plan Herbs for Use in Campus Dining Centers - The
Independent Florida Alligator (September 2012)
The Alligator, “PETA bring new vegan options to campus POD Markets” Oct 2 , 2014 volume 109, issue 28