Food Goals

food icon roundGOAL: By 2020, increase sustainable food purchases by campus foodservice providers to at least 20%.

STATUS: Achieved

GOAL: Certify at least one food service business as a green certified business.

STATUS: Achieved

Campus Performance Overview

Berkeley Student Food CollectiveFood service impacts the campus greatly, given its purchasing, waste, and engagement components.  Vendors continue to increase the percentage of their purchases of sustainable food, reaching over 20%.  Criteria for determining sustainability of food include locally grown (within 250 miles of campus), organic, fair trade or humane . 

graph of sustainable food consumption at UC Berkeley 2018

Led by the Berkeley Food Institute, the campus launched the UC Berkeley Foodscape Map, which offers extensive data on the structural factors affecting the UC Berkeley food system. Created through ongoing community dialogue and focused student research projects, the map reveals barriers in food-related learning and practice for marginalized community members and highlights opportunities to overcome these obstacles. In a companion policy document there are data-driven suggestions on how to transform the UC Berkeley food system to one where all members of our campus community experience just and nurturing food experiences.

Because UC Berkeley provides food for hundreds of meeting and events weekly, catering plays a significant role in the UC Berkeley food procurement landscape. Our campus has an opportunity to offer “sustainable and just” catering in alignment with UC Berkeley’s Principles of Community. The Berkeley Food Institute has compiled detailed guidelines for departmental use based on the combined values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Environmental Sustainability; Food Recovery; Health and Nutrition; and Labor.

STARS Performance Overview

Food and Dining Category

According to STARS, "This subcategory seeks to recognize institutions that are supporting a sustainable food system. Modern industrial food production often has deleterious environmental and social impacts. Pesticides and fertilizers used in agriculture can contaminate ground and surface water and soil, which can in turn have potentially dangerous impacts on wildlife and human health. The production of animal-derived foods often subjects animals to inhumane treatment and animal products have a higher per-calorie environmental intensity than plant-based foods. Additionally, farm workers are often directly exposed to dangerous pesticides, subjected to harsh working conditions, and paid substandard wages... Dining services can also support sustainable food systems by preventing food waste..."

Berkeley's STARS Performance

Total Points Available: 8.00

Food and Dining Points Claimed: 3.79

  • UC Berkeley’s commitment to serving fresh, sustainably sourced food shone through in its stellar STARS performance in the Sustainable Dining category.
  • The campus won 47% of available points in the category, compared to the less than 30% won on average by all research and doctoral universities.
  • The campus also works to reduce dining-related waste; in practice, that means collecting and donating uneaten food to people in need. CalDining uses Replate, a service that picks up our overproduced food and donates it to local nonprofits. 


Check out Claire Kremen’s presentation: “What is the future of farming?”

Food Highlights

The Berkeley Student Food Collective provides fresh, local, healthy, environmentally sustainable and ethically produced food at affordable prices to the Berkeley campus and greater community.

The Building Equitable and Inclusive Food Systems at UC Berkeley program has brought together more than 150 collaborators from across campus to bridge the gaps between the campus food system and the communities it serves. 

The Eat Well Berkeley Initiative integrates sustainable food practices with nutrition guidelines for healthier meetings, vending machines, catering, and restaurants. 

Almost 70% of certified green events have served sustainable food!