PLNU Dining recognizes that we have a responsibility to use our resources wisely and to protect them for future generations. Natural materials, foods, and packaging, proper training and trade practices, and innovative recycling programs are just a few of our sustainable practices. We strive to be good stewards of the resources under our care, and have committed to make Creation Care one of the main considerations behind every decision we make.
Every day, we touch the lives of thousands of people at Point Loma Nazarene University. Each encounter is an opportunity for us to help a person make the choices that support their values and concerns for their health, their community, and the planet. It's one more way we help make every day a little bit better.
In addition to educating students, the PLNU Dining team leadership believes personal growth and education is also important for its own employees. To facilitate convenient and updated information being shared, Sodexo created online sustainability courses. These courses are called the PLANit Modules and every manager on campus is required to complete the first four sessions: Waste Management, Local Foods, Organics and Recycling.
In 2010, Sodexo announced it's "14 Commitments for a Better Tomorrow". PLNU Dining is committed to meeting these fourteen commitments. Sodexo's Commitments for a Better Tomorrow are shown below.
In the summer of 2008, the dining facilities on campus converted to the dishwashing detergent “Apex”, a state of the art dishwashing detergent that saves water and energy and uses 95% less packaging than previous products. This change was made in all Sodexo accounts throughout the nation and ties in perfectly with the goals and programs at Point Loma Nazarene University.
The PLNU Dining team and PLNU's ASB and student groups also partnered to eliminate trays in the dining hall in April of 2009. Each day trays are eliminated from the Dining Room, over 300 gallons of water are saved. Eliminating trays also helps reduce food and paper waste.
In the Summer of 2009, PLNU purchased a new, energy-efficient dish washing machine for the Nicholson Dining Room. This machine has helped PLNU Dining to save water and energy due to the efficiency of the new machine.
Local foods and products are purchased year round as available. Matching Southern California’s growing season with demand during the academic year is a challenge the dining team faces, though the benefits are well worth the effort.
The Point Loma Nazarene community can be proud that every time they eat a sandwich at PLNU, they’re not just eating lunch, they are supporting the efforts of our local farmers and bakers.
A complete list of the local farms we purchase from is located in the Nicholson Dining Room.
Your PLNU Dining team believes recycling is an important part of having a sustainable dining operation and campus. The dining team works hand in hand with the University to make recycling on campus possible for students, faculty and staff.
Aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles, recyclable paper and corrugated cardboard are the major items recycled on campus. Other items are recycled as well, such as batteries, ink cartridges, and electronics. The dining team also strives to close the loop by purchasing recycled products such as office paper and napkins made with recycled fibers.
PLNU Dining operates in a manner that strives to minimize waste and promote sustainable practices in any way practical, including composting, recycling, and reducing waste and energy consumption.
Our employees are trained when they are hired, and then re-trained annually on the effects of recycling and how the operation contributes to the recycling effort. Compostable products are used in conjunction with china to restrict waste, and disposable paper goods are used only when necessary.
PLNU Dining has recycled all cooking oil into biodiesel fuel since 2006. The team partnered with Darling International to create this exciting program on campus. Darling International provides the drums and tanks used to collect the used fryer oil and picks up the used oil from campus. Rather than simply being disposed of, the waste vegetable oil is used to produce ASTM grade biodiesel. A full 100% of the biodiesel is then distributed locally to help maintain local energy and economic security.
The dining team works with PLNU's Department of Sustainability to increase recycling efforts as discussed above and has the following items either in place or in process:
All food waste in the kitchens and eateries of Nicholson Commons is collected, separated, and composted. Our composting efforts keep more than three-hundred thousand pounds of food from being discarded in landfills each year.