MISSOULA – UM Dining at the University of Montana recently won the National Association of College and University Food Services 2014 Grand Prize for Sustainability. Each year, the NACUFS sustainability awards recognize member institutions that demonstrate outstanding leadership in the promotion and implementation of environmental sustainability – specifically as it relates to campus dining operations.
The NACUFS Sustainability Awards support the globally accepted triple bottom line philosophy, also known as “people, planet, profit,” a method of evaluating operational performance by measuring social responsibility, environmental impact and financial success.
More than 55 colleges and universities across North America submitted entries in five categories, including procurement practices, materials and resources, outreach and education, waste management, and energy and water conservation.
In April 2014, UM Dining was awarded the NACUFS Gold Award in the Outreach and Education category. On July 10, during the association’s national conference in Baltimore, a team of collegiate dining professionals, including foodservice directors and sustainability professionals, selected UM Dining from among the individual category Gold Award winners as the grand prize winner.
According to the criteria for the award, the grand prize award winner models exemplary excellence in the pursuit of a sustainable dining practice, resulting in a significantly reduced environmental impact and providing a best-practice model for the NACUFS membership. NACUFS also will present UM Dining with the gift of a living tree indigenous to Montana.
“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.”
Sharing creativity and knowledge with other foodservice professionals is a core value for NACUFS members.
“The grand prize acknowledges UM Dining as the best model of collegiate sustainability programs this year,” said Mark LoParco, director of UM Dining. “We will continue to provide UM students, faculty and staff, as well as local, regional and state organizations, access to our learning laboratory of sustainable business practices.”