Alfond Family Dining Hall at The Governor's Academy becomes a 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant®
The Alfond Family Dining Hall at The Governor's Academy was recently certified as a 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant® by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), a national nonprofit organization helping restaurants to become more environmentally sustainable.
Receiving 197.67 GreenPoints™ on the GRA’s rigorous certification scale and having implemented 52 environmental steps, Alfond Family Dining Hall at Governor's has gone 97% above and beyond the minimum requirements necessary for Certification.
Highlights of Green Accomplishments:
• No use of polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam™)
• Comprehensive recycling and composting program, which can keep over 75,000 lbs of trash out of the landfill each year
• Over 55% of our dishes are vegetarian
• Energy Star kitchen equipment
“We began this effort by taking small steps that didn't negatively impact our budget or quality of service,” said David Alonzi, Director of Dining Services at the Academy. “In 2015, with the help of the student led Sustainability Committee, we eliminated the use of Styrofoam™. This was followed by instituting composting of pre- and post-consumer waste. We knew we were making progress, but we felt there was more we could do. The natural next goal was obtaining GRA certification. The certification process gave us third party confirmation of the work we have done and a roadmap for the future expansion of our sustainability efforts.”
The Governor’s Academy is the only food service establishment, or restaurant, in the greater Newburyport area, with this certification.
Governor's commitment to sustainability is evident across campus and through our students' enthusiasm to become environmentally responsible. Our community is eagerly involved in keeping our school green by recycling, composting, and maintaining our organic garden.
The Academy has also undertaken several initiatives to make our campus greener. We recently put solar panels on the gym roof, expanded our campus recycling program with a new co-mingling concept, and purchased a hybrid security vehicle.
In the Dining Hall, we do our best to limit waste, purchase locally, and educate our community. For example:
- The new dining facility has made it easier to monitor production and usage and to prepare only what we expect to use.
- When first instituted “trayless” dining reduced food waste by approximately 10%.
- Dining Services recycles paper, paperboard, aluminum, glass, and plastic.
- Waste cooking oil is diverted and recycled for bio-fuel.
- Eliminated bottled water at Commencement and High Tea and replaced with infused water station, eliminating 1500 bottles per event, per year.
- Dining Services uses reusable dinnerware.
- Lighting in dining spaces is high efficiency and programmed to turn off automatically in the evenings during unoccupied times.
- Converted from water cooled to air cooled refrigeration.
- Cage free shell eggs.
- Rainforest Alliance certified coffee.
- 100% fruit juice juices.
- Organic tofu
- Organic soy milk
- Organic rice milk
- Milk from cows raised without the use of growth hormones.
- Local apples in season – Cider Hill Farm, Amesbury, MA.
- Local produce in season when available.
- Local, organic granola – Grandy Oats, Brownfield, ME
- Local bread – Fantini, Haverhill, MA
- Local hummus, Wraps – Cedar’s, Ward Hill, MA.
- Local milk – Garelick Farms, Lynn, MA.
- Local pizza dough, sauce – It’ll Be Pizza, Portland, ME
- Local bakery mixes, Bake-n-Joy, N. Andover, MA.
- Local seafood – North Coast Seafood, Boston, MA
- Local yogurt - Stonyfield Farm, Londonderry, NH
- Paper plates, made from compostable material.
- Napkins that are Green Seal Certified, 100% recovered materials, minimum 50% post-consumer and non-bleached.
- Clear plastic cups, 100% corn based, compostable
- Weekly table tents highlighting nutritional and environmental issues relevant to food and dining.