Sustainability in Practice: UCSF Medical Center Fights Greenwashing Data

System has goal of having 20% of all purchases made from sustainable sources by 2020.

As part of the University of California system, the UCSF Medical Center is working to achieve the system’s goal of having 20% of all purchases made from sustainable sources by 2020. In order to meet that goal, Dan Henroid, director of nutrition and foodservices at the medical center, said he knew he wanted an accurate and verifiable way to determine where his products were coming from.

“We want to be verifiable so that a third party could come in and audit our records to say that this is truly what we’ve done,” Henroid says. “We did not want to ‘greenwash’ the data. We track the percentage of sustainable purchases manually from our back-end food production computer system and also through invoices. We know that we were at 8.5% [of purchases from local sources] two years ago when we first really started tracking. We know that we were at 12.5% in 2010. We are pretty confident that we are going to exceed 16% for 2011; we are still computing that data.

“We worked very hard to find a produce house to help us track our purchases,” he adds. “I know where my purchases are coming from. It’s on the invoice every day. We worked with our main produce distributor to create quarterly reports that give us the percentage of purchases within 100 miles and 250 miles of San Francisco and within the state of California. We also can know the percentage of domestic versus international produce throughout the year from the data. We just switched to cage-free pasteurized eggs. It’s going to cost us $27,000 a year to do that, but we found cost-saving offsets so net it’s not costing us any more. We’ve had the PG&E Food Service Technology Center come out here and do audits. They made recommendations about how to improve our energy and water efficiency.”  

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
pizza oven

Wood-fired ovens take the biggest slice of the pie when it comes to pizza-cooking preference for consumers. Just fewer than half (45%) of consumers say they prefer a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven compared to other oven cooking methods. Here are the styles of ovens pizza consumers prefer most.

Wood-fired oven 45% Gas oven 13% Electric oven 11% Grilled 4% Coal oven 4% No preference 23%

Source: Technomic 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Industry News & Opinion
polystyrene takeout

New York City will immediately start phasing out foodservice operations’ use of polystyrene takeout containers after a judge ruled on Friday against an operator coalition that had sued to overturn such a regulation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said over the weekend.

Unless the measure is blocked again on appeal, the city will commence a public education campaign to smooth the way for the change to other sorts of containers. Operators will be given a six-month grace period to find alternatives before they’ll be subject to sanctions.

The measure was scheduled to take effect last...

Managing Your Business
uber driver

The freelance, independent-contractor labor market known as the gig economy is distinguished by working short-term contracts, or gigs, such as driving for Uber, Lyft or Instacart.

The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027, according to a study called “Freelancing in America: 2017,” conducted by Edelman Intelligence. The annual study, commissioned in partnership by the Freelancers Union and Upwork Global, estimates that 36% of the U.S. workforce consists of freelancers who contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually—an increase of almost 30% over the...

Industry News & Opinion

Sturgeon Bay Schools in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has partnered with a local farm to construct a school greenhouse , Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Construction will begin soon, and the district says that the project is already 75% funded. Once the building is finished, students will be able to grow their own food at the greenhouse and then learn how to preserve it through canning and other methods.

“The greenhouse will provide students with the opportunity to grow food, sample food they have cultivated, design planting plans, tend seedlings, integrate real-life technology in...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code