Chartwells Offers A Host Of Sustainability Features In College Dining, Including Canteen’s 2bU Vending Program

Aug. 30, 2012

Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, the leading U.S. academic foodservice provider, delivers cutting edge sustainable programs and practices to over 230 college campuses nationwide, including the Canteen's 2bU vending program which offers a variety of premium, all-natural snack and beverage products in a cutting-edge, energy-efficient machine. Through Balanced U, Chartwells' award winning health, wellness and sustainability platform, clients and students are experiencing the latest eco-friendly innovations available to college campuses today.

Chartwells President and CEO Steve Sweeney said in a prepared statement, "We understand that potential clients make sustainability a key consideration when making a decision to partner with a commercial foodservice provider. Being aligned with and wholeheartedly supporting an academic institution's commitment to sustainability is critical to being awarded a dining services contract."

Sweeney added, "The sustainability component of our proprietary Balanced U platform allows our teams to implement sustainable operations policies that lead to a healthier environment, improved student life and a stronger academic institution."

Chartwells at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania supported a local community festival and served over 500 samples of solar cooked vegan bowtie pasta with veggie marinara sauce and fresh chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Professor Ben Culbertson at the University made three solar cookers using recycled materials. Chartwells' culinary team took on the eco-challenge and cooked the food on-site using the solar cookers with energy generated from the sun. According to Nick Iula, Chartwells' resident district manager, "We want to make sustainability fun and accessible to the campus and will introduce the solar cooking experience to students at our next sustainability event. It's a great way for students to see green power firsthand."

Through a partnership with Canteen, the nation's largest vending operations company, Chartwells is able to offer colleges and universities some of today's most innovative and socially responsible vending solutions. An example is Canteen's 2bU vending program which offers a variety of premium, all-natural snack and beverage products in a cutting-edge, energy-efficient machine. The machine features an interactive LCD touch screen, dual temperature zones and motion sensors to conserve energy, but perhaps its most compelling features are the products. Each has been selected to support a dietary option such as organic, gluten-free, vegan or kosher.  2bU products are also sourced locally whenever possible to help preserve the environment and may support a range of charitable organizations.

Favorite restaurant brands can be found on college campuses managed by Chartwells made possible by partnerships with eco-leading franchise chains including Pinkberry and freshii. According to Mike Brandon, director of brand development for Chartwells' parent company Compass Group, "Having strong performing, earth conscious concepts that can provide positive dining choices to college students is a true asset to a college or university campus. From serving organic food to being Green Restaurant Association certified, many quick service brands are aligned with today's college campus green initiatives."

Within resident dining and Outtakes convenience stores, Chartwells offers certified biodegradable, to-go, reusable food containers and greenware made from plant based materials including plates, bowls, drinkware and cutlery. Post-consumer recycled fiber products include Ecotainer™ paper cups and napkins just to name a few. Biodegradable commercial food packaging is important to any foodservice operation since it can break down quickly and completely when composted.

One purpose of teaching portion control is to prevent students from throwing away good food.  Chartwells continues to promote tray less dining in resident dining halls to encourage students to take only what they can eat. Chartwells also promotes a proprietary food waste reduction program called Project Clean Plate to further educate students about portion control and food waste within dining halls. With Project Clean Plate, a waste reduction goal is set. Dining hall food waste is collected, weighed and monitored. When reduction goals are achieved, a donation is made to a local hunger charity.
According to Chartwells' vice president of marketing and creative services, Patti Girardi, "Green initiatives that were groundbreaking five years ago are now considered common practice. Chartwells intends to contribute to improving environmental performance within foodservice through our long-term commitments to clients, students and each community we serve. We have an obligation to ensure value in our dining operations by providing environmentally preferable, ethically produced products through healthy partnerships that contribute to preserving the environment."