Seattle University and Redhawk Dining are excited to announce joining Farm Forward’s Leadership Circle. Farm Forward is a nonprofit that promotes conscientious food choices and supports higher welfare farming. Members of the Leadership Circle leverage their buying power to encourage higher welfare farming practices and to support farmers who are third-party certified for animal welfare standards. Seattle U is the 16th institution to join the Leadership Circle, which includes other leading institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley, Villanova University, and Harvard Business School.
As a member of the Leadership Circle, Seattle U has committed to buying 100 percent of its eggs from farms that are certified higher welfare and to align with the Leadership Circle’s sourcing requirements. Seattle U is the first Chartwells institution to join the Leadership Circle and they hope other Chartwells schools follow along in their path. “Chartwells believes that wellness goes beyond our dining halls” said Brianna Ballard, Wellness and Sustainability Manager with Redhawk Dining. “We are excited to join the Leadership Circle, highlighting our commitment to providing sustainable options to help guests live their life to the fullest.”
Joining the Leadership Circle is part of Seattle U’s broader effort to become a more sustainable university. Seattle U has a goal to reduce their carbon emissions 12 percent by 2020, and 51 percent by 2035; however, food is currently not a part of these measurements. Yolanda Cieters, Sustainability Manager with the SU Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability, stated, “Since livestock are responsible for 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally, an understanding of Seattle U’s emissions from food is necessary to obtain a more accurate emissions count. We are working with Redhawk Dining this year to set a baseline for food emissions.”
Redhawk Dining is also interested in incorporating more plant-based meals and plant-forward menus on campus, so they can decrease their carbon emissions while serving delicious, healthy food to students and faculty. To make it easier for other school departments, conferences, and meetings to serve less carbon-intensive foods and still give diners the option to opt in for animal products, they are looking to develop a DefaultVeg catering menu in the new year as well. “From sourcing our ingredients to preparing our menus, we keep health and wellness at the forefront of everything we do,” said Andrew Gaynor, Executive Campus Chef. “Plant-based options benefit the well-being of our community as well as the sustainability of the planet.”
For more information, contact Brianna Ballard at [email protected].