Sustainability

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 every day. Check out some of our sustainability efforts below.

Waste Reduction

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

1. Implemented trayless dining at Fresh Food Company and Gator Corner 
Dining Center
2. Gator Dining reusable cup and mug program
3. Compostable to-go containers, bowls, plates & cups are available at all locations as well as GDS being 100% Styrofoam and plastic bag free”
4. Reusable to-go container program at campus dining halls
5. Coffee grounds and lemon rind composting
6. A robust, comprehensive food waste tracking system
7. Robust recycling program
8. Partnership with UF Office of Sustainability and Waste Cooperation of America

Energy & Water

9. Energy and Water Conservation employee training
10. Energy Star® procurement policy in place for all new dining & office appliance purchases
11. Energy and water conservation program in place campus-wide

Responsible Procurement

12. Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance & USDA Certified Organic coffees offered campus-wide
13. GDS is plastic bag and Styrofoam free in all campus dining locations
14. Local/regional produce sourced for two dining halls
15. Vegetarian and vegan items available in convenience stores

Education, Engagement, Health, and Nutrition

17. Sustainability Training and Onboarding
18. Vegan and vegetarian-friendly

Social Equity

19. Living Wage implemented for all full-time employees
20. Green Team developed to allow employees to play an active role in the advancement of our sustainability program
21. Gator Dining Sustainability Manager mentors and enables employees to learn, inform and take action with our operations and among other employees

Transportation

22. Responsible vehicle procurement program
23. GDS strives to minimize our impact by purchasing the best, most efficient transportation fleet options. The analysis is conducted to optimize employee driving style and fuel efficiency
24. GDS offers a Bicycle Benefits program
25. Customers who participate in the program receive nominal discounts to our dining hall facilities. We support sustainable mobility in all shapes and forms

Additional Info

Alligator – Greening Dining Article  The Independent Florida
Alligator (January 2008)

Reusable Mug Article  Gainesville Sun (February 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  -The Independent Florida Alligator
(October 2008)

Trayless Dining  – Gainesville Sun (October 2008)

Reusable To Go Program  (January 2009)
Gator Dining Green Team (January 2010)

Gators Go Foam Free  – On-Campus Hospitality Magazine (MMarch 2012)

BURGERevolution sustainable dining party  – The Independent Florida Alligator (March 2012)