sustainability initiatives

contributing to a responsible food system

Our dining team strives every day to create a responsible dining program. From working to minimize waste, support local partners with responsible sourcing, and creating green dining facilities, we are always looking for new ways to care for our world through a sustainable food system.

responsible sourcing

Our chefs work closely with local food systems to source your food responsibly. To us, sustainable food means plant-based ingredients sourced from local and community-based vendors that are 3rd party certified as having been sustainably or responsibly produced and distributed.

From the 2018-2019 academic year to the 2020-2021 academic year, we are proud to say we have increased our third party certified sustainable and plant-based food and beverage sourcing from 27.3% to 43.5%, and we're just getting started!

Our team is passionate about incorporating local, seasonal ingredients into menus as much as possible. Elon Dining has implemented a preferential purchasing system that identifies food grown or produced within 150 miles, and its sustainable attributes. Local produce is harvested closest to its peak for a fresher, more flavorful nutrient-filled result. Not only do local foods tend to be fresher, local purchasing reduces transportation carbon emissions and invests money into community based operations. Look for locally grown signage to taste the best flavors our area has to offer, celebrate the seasonal selections, and support the efforts of our local community!

our operations

Sustainable practices extend to our facilities, where our team members work to ensure that daily operations contribute to a healthy environment.

Since 2019, McEwen has been a registered Green Restaurant with the Green Restaurant Association (GRA). As of the beginning of 2022, Lakeside and Clohan are both also registered with the GRA and McEwen has reached a 3-star ranking. This is meeting efficiency standards in water conservation, waste reduction, sustainable food, and pollution reduction.

waste minimization

Through the implementation of reusables and composting programs, education, practice, and careful planning, our teams strive to manage and reduce all forms of waste.

We compost all pre and post-consumer food waste from each of our kitchens across campus. Diverting our food waste to compost decreases our landfill footprint and contributes to nutrient-rich soil in North Carolina. In 2019 Elon Dining composted 160 tons of organic material. Click here to read an article about the third party company, Brooks Contractor, that collects and converts our compost!