UMass Amherst Dining Services Wins Gold Sustainability Award

AMHERST, Mass. – Dining Services at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected as a gold recipient for procurement practices in the 2014 Sustainability Awards given by the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS).

More than 55 colleges and universities across North America submitted entries, which were judged by a team of collegiate dining professionals, including foodservice directors and sustainability coordinators.

The Sustainability Awards annually recognize and honor member institutions that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the promotion and implementation of environmental sustainability as it relates to campus dining operations. An overall grand prize-winner will be chosen from the gold recipients in the competition’s four categories: procurement practices, outreach and education, waste management, and energy and water conservation.

The NACUFS Sustainability Awards support the globally accepted triple bottom line philosophy, a method of evaluating operational performance by measuring financial success as well as environmental sustainability and social responsibility—also known as “people, planet, profit.”

“Sustainability is a growing trend in foodservice,” said committee chair Sheryl Kidwell of the University of Kansas. “Dining services play a pivotal role in the overall sustainability goals of a campus.”

Each year’s winning entries are displayed at the NACUFS national conference and award winners are publically recognized. The grand prize winner will be announced in July at the NACUFS national conference in Baltimore. All winners also receive recognition with a feature article in NACUFS’ magazine, Campus Dining Today.

“We are honored to receive the Gold Award from NACUFS,” said Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst. “I know my team is working very hard to procure food that is fair trade, humanely raised, community based, and ecologically sound while continuing to meet our financial objectives. Kudos go to our sustainability manager Rachel Dutton, purchasing manager Chris Howland, director of residential dining Garett DiStefano and the entire Auxiliary Sustainability team for helping develop a new campus food systems model one day at a time.”

Founded in 1958, NACUFS is the professional trade association for foodservice professionals at institutions of higher education in the United States, Canada and abroad. NACUFS provides its more than 550 institutional and 500 industry members with educational, networking, and professional development opportunities and a variety of informational publications. NACUFS is also heavily involved in industry research.

The mission of NACUFS is to foster exceptional campus dining programs through a passion for food and by leadership in education, professional development, networking, information exchange, and innovation in a culture of volunteerism.