Carnegie Mellon University

We're going green.

Dining Services makes it a priority to implement programs and practices that are healthier for you and the environment. Creating a more environmentally friendly dining program means providing you with choices to help you minimize your impact on the environment.

We take steps everyday towards a more sustainable dining program to make Carnegie Mellon greener and help the Pittsburgh community.

  • Our dining vendors purchase foods from local farms and vendors to help support the Pittsburgh community, provide fresher foods, and cut down on pollution due to transportation. Chartwells, our primary dining vendor, buys nearly 20 percent of their food from local vendors and serves milk from a local dairy at all of their locations. The Exchange also has local milk available for purchase.
  • Many of our dining locations donate their excess food to local food banks.

Many dining locations around campus serve organic products and hormone-free meat. By choosing to eat organic and hormone-free foods, you are helping fewer pesticides and chemicals enter the environment. 

  • Chartwells is committed to purchasing 20 percent of their products locally. All milk is purchased locally.
  • All of the chicken served at Chartwells locations is hormone and antibiotic free. 
  • Chartwells only offers fresh fluid milk and fresh yogurt from cows that have been certified to be free of the artificial growth hormones rBGH/rBST. 
  • All Chartwells locations serve only Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) certified cage-free shell eggs nationwide.
  • Chartwells is committed to protecting the threatened global fish supply. In collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, Chartwells established a landmark purchasing policy in 2006 that removes unsustainable wild and farmed seafood from its menus.
  • Responsible coffee production methods are certified in a variety of ways at Chartwells locations, including fair trade, Rainforest Alliance, Shade Grown, Bird Friendly, Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices, UTZ and organic.
  • In partnership with Dining Services, Chartwells is committed to offering compostable packing and cutlery in catering operations.
In 2006, the Carnegie Mellon Café located in Resnik House received a Gold LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The café was renovated with sustainable materials and improvements were made to make the space more energy efficient. This renovation is just one step in our vision for a greener dining program.
You can also do your part to decrease our environmental impact. Use the recycling bins provided at our dining locations. Only purchase food that you think you will eat to reduce food waste. Most of our dining locations use a trayless dining program, which has been found to reduce food waste on some college campuses by up to 50%. Take advantage of the organic and fair trade options at many of our dining locations to show our vendors that you support these steps towards sustainability. Together we can make Carnegie Mellon a greener campus.

412 Food Rescue

Our local partnership with 412 Food Rescue reduces food waste on campus and fights hunger in the community.

412 Food Rescue is an organization that uses technology to recover and directly distribute food to community organizations serving people who are food insecure. Founded in 2015 by CMU alum Leah Lizarondo, 412 Food Rescue and its network of over 10,000 volunteers have rescued over 10 million pounds of food from entering landfills, simultaneously reducing food waste and combating hunger.

Learn more

CMU donates food to 412 Food Rescue. In 2019 that impact resulted in: 291 unique pickups, 26,178 pounds rescued, 21,840 meals provided, 14,231 pounds of carbon sequestered. That is equivalent to $911 of annual waste management savings, greenhouse gas emissions from 16,017 miles driven by the average passenger vehicle, 107 tree seedlings grown over 10 years to sequester carbon and CO2 emissions from 823,226 smartphones charged.