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Sustainability is a core value for HUDS. We are committed to purchasing and operational practices and menu choices that sustain the health and well-being of the environment, communities, and the people producing and eating food.

In our purchasing, we focus heavily on local foods (defined as items within a 250 mile radius).

Highlights of our work include:


  • Undergraduate dining halls are all 2- or 3-star Certified Green Restaurants®. Certification recognizes ongoing efforts to operate efficiently and source sustainable products.
  • Sebastian's Cafe at the Harvard School of Public Health is a 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant®.
  • Dunster/Mather dining hall is LEED silver certified.
  • Through facility changes to refrigeration controls, exhaust fan controls, dishwashing equipment, and refrigeration waste heat capture, $245K utility savings achieved (annually), which translates to 12,454 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents; 1,088,089 kWh electricity; 4,533 MMBTU steam; 1,518,666 gallons water



  • Menus are seasonal to take advantage of locally sourced ingredients - not just produce but also baked goods, pasta, dairy, seafood, groceries and more.
  • 32% of our food budget is spent on local goods.
  • Depending on the season, 20 to 70 percent of produce in a dining hall is grown locally.
  • We purchase from approximately 250 local farms, via the MA Pioneer Valley Growers Association (PVGA) and the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP), and from partners such as Ward’s Berry Farm (Sharon, MA), Backyard Beauties (Madison, ME), Wilson Farm (Lexington, MA), Green Thumb Farm (Fryeburg, ME) and more
  • Beginning in Fall 2015, marinara sauce served in residential dining is made from locally-sourced, gleaned tomatoes, typically fruit that has dropped from the vine or is otherwise not resaleable due to imperfections

View a map of HUDS' local vendors!



  • Cage free eggs
  • Fair trade coffee
  • Organically certified greens, oils, vinegars, cereals, legumes, beans, peanut butter, tofu, granola, pasta sauce, energy bars, chocolate bars, soda
  • Working with Barton Seaver, refined seafood offerings to emphasize choices that are abundant species, locally or domestically sourced, certified, or making use of the whole fish (off-cuts). Offerings include:
  • Farmed Salmon from Northern Harvest, 4-star certified under Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA)’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standards
  • Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) or Marine Stewardship Council certified
  • Weekly “Catch of the Day” selections, caught by Boston-based fishermen and featuring a fair wage for under-utilized by-catch
  • 33% of entrees offered are vegan or vegetarian



  • Reusable dishware
  • Recyclable disposables
  • Compostable disposables
  • No styrofoam
  • Reusable mug and water bottle program, with discount for refill in retail operations



  • All facilities compost pre-consumer waste; most also compost customer (or post-consumer) waste
  • Annual tonnage of compost (pre- and post-consumer combined): 26,500 pounds of waste weekly, yielding approximately 583 tons annually
  • Salvageable, perishable food is donated to Food for Free. Donations in the 2014-15 school year equaled more than 45,000 meals.
  • Post-consumer food waste audits in undergraduate dining halls raise awareness and help contain plate waste to an average of approximately 1.6 ounces per person per meal



  • Recycle all materials
  • 59% of recyclable waste diverted from traditional disposal



  • The Food Literacy Project, which encourage awareness, engagement and behavior change with regards to food issues
  • Two farmers’ markets on campus, which run weekly on two different days (in different “quads” on campus) from June through November.