As one of the largest commercial services at Cal Poly, Campus Dining strives to lessen the university’s environmental impact with programs, products and services that reduce the campus’s overall ecological “foodprint.” Our sustainability efforts are focused around four key areas:

winner best practice award


Campus Dining received a Best Practice Award for its food sustainability program in the 2017 Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards Competition. Our program was recognized for increasing food sustainability through procurement, production and waste practices, building partnerships across the campus and employing community outreach and education to promote food sustainability.

How we reduce our environmental impact

  1. We support local farmers and artisans by offering over 100 local, organic and sustainable products.
  2. Our Chefs work with the student-run Cal Poly Farms to source and use their produce in the various menu items at Vista Grande.
  3. We are certified by LEED Gold at Vista Grande. LEED Gold has diverted more than 80% of all construction waste from landfills.
  4. We save over 38% of potable water with our water-efficient plumbing fixtures and save over 17 million gallons of water by using energy-efficient equipment.
  5. We offer free, reusable tumblers to all first-years with a dining plan to reduce single-use plastic.
  6. We send all our back-of-house food production water to be composted. We also partner with a 3rd party company to convert all our used cooking oil to biodiesel.
  7. This year, we started a reusable container program at Vista Grande Express that will spare 500,000+ single-use containers from the waste stream each year.
  8. We recycle paper, corrugated cardboard, aluminum cans and tins, glass bottles and jars and recyclable plastics at all venues.
  9. We make efforts to reduce food waste with our Waste Not Program and offering food donations to the Cal Poly Food Pantry.
  10. We offer a robust menu of plant-based items across campus.

How can you reduce your environmental impact?

  1. Eat local. More than 100+ local and organic products are sold on campus.
  2. Make a grocery list before shopping to prevent food waste.
  3. Pack your snacks in mason jars to reduce packaging.
  4. Landfill? Compost? Recycle? When in doubt, recycle.
  5. Make sure to bring your water bottle and use the campus water stations.