Working today to change tomorrow.
What does what’s on your plate have to do with climate change? A lot! Fortunately, we make it easier on our diners through our sustainable practices such as managing our waste, sourcing from local farmers and suppliers, and supporting sustainable food practices.
Since the University launched its Climate Action Plan in 2007, Penn Dining has been a strong partner in achieving Penn's sustainability goals. We continue, with Bon Appetit, to be committed to supporting this plan by managing our food services in a sustainable and socially responsible manner. A sustainable future for foodservice means flavorful food that is:
- Healthy & economically viable
- Respectful of production practices
- Consciously replenishing shared natural resources
- Committed to reducing waste
We'll take it from here
By placing all waste and dishware in the dish drops at our residential dining cafes and Houston Market, Penn ensures that all food waste, recycleables, and trash are properly separated by staff who are trained to meet local requirements. At Houston Market, we also encourage you to "Choose China" and enjoy your meal with the reusable dish- and silverware instead of disposable by requesting through the kiosk or asking a staff member.
Plant forward options
Our cafes practice Plant Forward cooking, a style of cooking and eating that emphasizes and celebrates, plant-based foods — including fruits and vegetables; whole grains; beans, other legumes, and soy foods; nuts and seeds; plant oils; and herbs and spices — resulting in craveable meals that reflect evidence-based principles of health and sustainability.
Green2Go (G2G) is Penn Dining's signature reusable to-go program designed to eliminate the number of disposable items entering the waste stream. Since the program launched in 2013, takeout container use in our residential dining cafés has been reduced by 99.3%. While the program is not mandatory, we highly encourage students to participate. To learn more, scroll down to our Green To Go FAQs.
Support of Local Farmers
At Penn Dining our first choice is to purchase seasonal ingredients from small, owner-operated farms and ranches within a 150-mile radius of your café — at least 20 percent of every dollar we spend. Food grown locally is fresher, better tasting, and often has greater nutritional value. Our commitment to local food is about preserving biodiversity, protecting open space, supporting family farmers, and keeping money invested in your community.
From food donations to stem-to-root cooking, Penn Dining focuses on a variety of initiatives targeted at reducing their impact on the waste stream. Learn more.
Use a reusable coffee mug at Accenture Cafe, Joe's Cafe, The Market Cafe in Houston Market, and Cafe West in New College House and all drip coffee is only $1.00.
Results from behind the counter
Making sure we play our part in eating smart starts behind the counter—from ensuring our ingredients are sourced responsibly, to cooking from scratch and supporting local agriculture.
How You Can help
Green2Go Program Info
What about utensils?
For students living on campus, Penn Dining provided each student with a reusable utensil kit at the beginning of the academic year. We encourage the community to utilize these when grabbing a meal to-go.
As needed disposable utensils will be provided, but highly encourage students/faculty/staff to use the set of reusable cutlery for their room/office due to the sustainable nature of the program.
Do I have to rinse the container before I bring it back?
Yes, all Green2Go containers need to be returned/exchanged in rinsed condition.
Can I put the Green2Go container in the microwave?
Can I reuse a Green2Go container or bring my own container?
- No. All containers need to be rinsed after use, but in order to assure “healthy conditions”, freshly sanitized Green2Go containers will be provided for each visit.
- Penn Dining will run all used containers through our industrial strength dishwasher at a temperature of 180 degrees. That’s 60 degrees hotter than your standard home dishwasher.
- We take responsibility for cleaning all containers to ensure proper sanitization.
I am not a Dining Plan Holder. Can I still participate in the program?
Anybody who chooses to eat at the participating locations may utilize the Green2Go Program.
Can I keep my Green2Go container?
All Green2Go containers must be turned in at the end of each semester so Penn Dining can evaluate the inventory.
What is the Green2Go Program?
Green2Go is Penn Dining's signature program to reduce disposable materials in our residential dining cafes. In practice since 2013, the program has prevented 171,000 clamshells from entering the waste stream annually.
How do students engage in the Green2Go Program?
- All students on a Dining Plan are automatically eligible.
- Green2Go Containers are provided to all campus residents when they move in.
- Diners can use the containers at Hill College House, Lauder College House, Kings Court English, 1920 Commons, Gutmann College House.
- After you enter the cafe, select your meal, fill your container and head on your way.
- Once you have finished your meal, please RINSE the container, and return it to one of the drop-off at any of the participating locations.
What locations are participating in this program?
- Diners can use the containers at Hill College House, Lauder College House, Kings Court English, 1920 Commons, New College House West.
- At this time, only Residential Dining is participating in the program.