In honor of Earth Day, learn how UNH Dining is a proud champion of environmental sustainability.

sustainable UNH

Sustainable food procurement is one of our key focus areas. We significantly expand purchases of plant-based and ethically produced products year to year. We have partnered with Farm to UNH, a food production field experience class offered through the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA). Students learn about sustainable agriculture while producing fresh, healthy food for Dining. High tunnels and fields produce a variety of crops ranging from lettuce to edible flowers. In 2023 Farm to UNH supplied 7,300 pounds of food to Dining.

UNH Dining also composts food waste at roughly 2,000 pounds daily, closing the nutrient cycle. Dining's innovative waste oil collection system converts cooking oils into biodiesel fuel, powering UNH farm equipment and heating high tunnels.

unh biofuel and compost

UNH's Sustainability Indicator Measurement and Analysis Platform (SIMAP®) tracks carbon and nitrogen footprints, setting the University of New Hampshire apart in sustainability efforts. The UNH Sustainability Institute tracks the carbon and nitrogen footprints from Dining’s food and beverage purchases and is working to establish university carbon and nitrogen reduction targets for its food procurement.

UNH's commitment extends to raising awareness about just and equitable food systems, exemplified by participation in the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. Additionally, each year, UNH celebrates University Day, or U-Day, where students, staff, and the community are invited to explore 200+ student groups, departments, and businesses. During our 2023 event, Dining featured BBQ-style food with an emphasis on local items including Maine Family Farm burgers, Duane Family Farm apples and New England ice cream.

chef zach

UNH Dining has a commitment to sustainably grown ingredients, including growing microgreens right in the dining halls to use as garnishes for menu items. With certifications like 4 Star Green Restaurant® and ongoing student engagement, UNH demonstrates its effectiveness in promoting sustainable practices. UNH Dining’s sustainable initiatives underscore its role as a leader in sustainable procurement and environmental responsibility, inspiring positive change within the university community and beyond.