Sustainable Practices

Fair Trade Certified

Campus Dining is proud to earn a 3 Star Green Restaurant Certification for the sustainability efforts at Engrained.

Campus Dining is continually increasing its sustainable practices while serving the campus community high quality foods and top-notch customer service. Below is a list of our current sustainability initiatives.

Fair Trade Certified

Fair Trade is a humane approach to goods produced in third-world and developing countries.

Fair Trade Certified goods ensure that farmers and producers are paid fair and adequate wages. Benefits of buying Fair Trade products includes:

  • Raises the standard of living for producers in third-world countries
  • Pays farmers fair market wages
  • Builds communities through Fair Trade co-ops
  • Ensures ethical and humane treatment of farmers
  • Encourages sustainable agricultural development
  • Disallows slavery and child labor practices

Fair Trade certified coffee and tea is located at all Java City locations on campus. Look for the Fair Trade logo when choosing your coffee.

Rainforest Alliance Certified

Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee, available at all Java City locations on campus, supports cooperatives engaging in sustainable coffee growing practices which protect tropical rainforests from deforestation and promote biodiversity in the local ecosystems.

Shade grown coffee is the practice of growing coffee trees under the canopy to take away the need to strip the land of its natural flora and fauna.

Local Vendors

  • Produce: Sysco MI produce line, when available
  • Bread Crumbs: Drakes, Marshall, MI
  • Ice Cream: Hudsonville Ice Cream, Hudsonville, MI
  • Baked Goods: Sandy’s Bakery, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Concessions: Kowalski Hot Dogs, Detroit, MI
  • Dressings: Chadalee Farms, Lowell, MI
  • Vending: Karr’s Nuts, Detroit, MI
  • Concessions: Grand Rapids Popcorn
  • Dairy: Country Dairy
  • Engrained uses a variety of local vendors, look for more information on the digital menus inside this restaurant.

Note: Using local vendors is an important sustainability initiative because it requires the use of less fuel to deliver the food to campus.

Sustainable Products

  • Coffee and tea brands including ecoGrounds, Java City, Seattle's Best, Starbucks, Bewley's and Tazo offer Fair Trade Coffee and Tea.
  • Fair Trade chocolate, dried tropical fruit, ice cream, sugar and tea are available in Campus Dining restaurants.
  • Biodegradable disposable-ware is utilized as often as possible. This includes plates make of sugar cane, corn-based cutlery and portion cups made from natural and renewable produces.
  • Uniform shirts are made from 100% organic cotton.
  • The Freshens locations in Fuel and The Lobby Shop both use biodegradable cups.

Waste Management/Recycling

  • Waste sorting stations used for composting, office paper, plastic and glass bottles are used at all Campus Dining locations.
  • Metal, plastic and glass are separated and recycled in campus kitchens.
  • Participation in Zero-Waste Football and other athletic games. In 2012, Grand Valley was named the #1 school for zero-waste games for Division II and III universities.
  • $1 coffee refills at all Campus Dining locations
  • All locations have collection sites for pop cans, plastic bottles, glass and paper.
  • Used kitchen oil is utilized to make bio-fuel. In 2012, we recycled 1,328 gallons of oil.
  • Campus Dining participates in Recyclemania, a 10-week competition among colleges and universities. More information can be found at Results specific to GVSU can be found here.
  • The use of trays at Fresh Food Company was eliminated to reduce energy, water and detergent usage. This resulted in saving 1,619,000 gallons of water from 2007 to 2008.
  • Low emission fluorescent lights are used in Campus Dining coolers.
  • A flex-fuel vehicle is used for food deliveries.
  • Composting programs at Kleiner, Kirkhof, Connection and Commons that directs waste from landfills.
  • When requested, Campus Dining offers "Zero-Waste" meals, where all disposable-ware is either compostable or recyclable.
  • Campus Dining also uses compostable trash bags in dining locations.
  • Compostable take-out bags used in C-Stores and retail locations.
  • Implementation of digital menu boards at The Connection, Argo Tea, and Seidman Opportunity Cafe.
  • Use of eco-friendly cleaning products in dish machines.
  • Use of 100% recycled office paper at all dining locations.

General Sustainable Efforts

  • Campus Dining participates in the Adopt-a-Highway program.
  • Healthy food options are available in vending machines.
  • Employees are educated on sustainability through a mandatory training course.
  • Campus Dining has a manager dedicated to sustainability.
  • Participation with Sustainability Week and Sustainable Chef Challenge.
  • Participation in GVSU Farmer's Market.
  • Management of plot in the GVSU community garden.
  • Campus Dining also participates in Meatless Monday at Fresh Food Co., Engrained and Fusion. More information about this effort can be found here.

Social Benefits

  • Campus Dining partners with the Michigan Department of Transportation to participate in Adopt-a-Highway. Employee volunteers clean up a 2-mile section of I-196 three times a year in an effort to make Michigan's highways beautiful.
  • Campus Dining manages an organic community garden plot at the Sustainable Agriculture Project, located on Luce Street one mile from the Allendale Campus.
  • The Campus Dining Green Team educates students at dining locations to promote sustainable waste management through proper disposal of compostable and recyclable waste.

Franchisee Guidelines

All sub-contracted foodservice providers of Campus Dining must, at a minimum, comply with Campus Dining’s guidelines with respect to composting food waste and providing compostable or otherwise recyclable service ware.  Also, in an effort to reduce the need for materials management operations in Campus Dining cost centers, additional consideration for procurement and contracts shall be given to vendors who offer materials reduction programs (i.e. take-back options or reusable pallets) that enable Campus Dining to make progress toward meeting its zero waste goals.


For more information on sustainable food, visit

For more information about sustainability at GVSU visit


Page last modified June 23, 2017