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Dining Services

Chartwells is the campus-wide dining services at Salem State University; a subdivision of Compass Group. Chartwells is a part of the Balanced U program, which encompasses four main beliefs: Eat Green, Run Green, Return Green, and Build Green. Chartwells at Salem State University is also the recipient of the 2014 Salem State University Sustainability Award for their work on Salem State’s campus. 

Eat Green

Chartwells only purchases “environmentally friendly and socially conscious food.” In 2006, they partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, removing any unsustainable wild or farmed seafood from the menu. Chartwells only purchases certified coffees including fair trade, Shade Grown, and Rainforest Alliance. The yogurt and milk served is free of artificial growth hormones and all eggs are certified humane cage-free eggs. The poultry is free of any antibiotics that can be harmful. Chartwells partners with the Environmental Defense Fund to ensure that all food is safe to eat. Chartwells also buys many local products to support family farms.

Run Green

Chartwells is a proud supporter of the Love Food Not Waste, Project Clean Plate, Trayless Dining, and Reusable Products programs. These programs encourage less waste and resource conservation. Chartwells uses green cleaning products, donates food, and promotes energy conservation in the dining hall.

Waste-reduction practices to minimize environmental impact

Organic matter, especially food scraps, is a major contributor to the formation of methane gas, a greenhouse gas in landfills that is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat close to the Earth’s surface. Chartwells is working extensively to reduce food waste by implementing a proprietary waste-reduction program.

Trim Trax is a food waste-reduction program and green initiative that can noticeably cut operating costs and reduce our carbon footprint in landfills. The initiatives increase engagement and operational efficiency and create awareness about the environmental impact of food waste. The program tracks and measures food waste costs at college cafeterias, focusing on the following categories:


  • Production waste (food thrown out prior to cooking/service, such as vegetable peels)
  • Overproduction (unusable food that has gone through production and must be disposed of)
  • Unused/out-of-date inventory (expired, spoiled or overcooked)
  • Local innovation (a product identified by the associates that could benefit from improvement)

Return Green

Chartwells recycles and is a participant of Recyclemania. They add to the compost garden on campus and break down corrugated cardboard.

Build Green

Compass Design & Build provides Chartwells with exclusive design and build resources; working to create the most environmentally friendly dining locations available. They use Energy Star-certified foodservice equipment and building materials, recycled materials for dining furniture, and sustainable flooring options. Compass group is the go-to team for information on Green restaurant certification and LEED building certification.

Compass Group USA purchases included:

  • $29 million in local products (8 percent of total category) to support an estimated 2,086 American family farms – a 12 percent increase from 2011.
  • $2.3 million in 2013 spent on local produce within Chartwells Higher Education, which was almost 8.5% of our total produce spend. Chartwells’ year to date spend in 2014 on local produce is $1.3 million, accounting for 5.4% of total produce purchases.
  • 24.7 million gallons of fluid milk and 12.2 million cases of fresh yogurt – both free of artificial growth hormones (94 percent of total category).
  • 56.5 million pounds of chicken produced without the routine use of human antibiotics (76 percent of total category).
  • 28 million pounds of turkey produced without the routine use of human antibiotics (84 percent of total category).
  • 64.3 million certified humane cage-free (shell) eggs from 247,000 chickens (19 percent of total category).
  • 7.9 million pounds of sustainable seafood (72 percent of total category).
  • 2.5 million pounds of Eco/Fair Trade-certified coffee (30 percent of total category).
  • Our local produce efforts are unmatched. Compass Group purchased $29 million in local products last year, an amount unsurpassed by any foodservice organization.

Discover more about sustainability at Chartwells.

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