Stanford’s Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE) joined the Better Buying Lab in 2016, an international consortium led by the World Resources Institute that is working with industry leaders to minimize food’s impact on climate change. Launched in August 2016, the Lab brings together the brightest and best minds from consumer research, behavioral economics and marketing strategy – along with companies in the food industry – to research, test and scale new strategies and plans that help consumers select sustainable foods. This is just one of R&DE Stanford Dining's efforts to innovate and collaborate with industry partners.
It also co-founded the Bay Area Sustainable Sourcing Group in collaboration with Google Food to bring together regional, large food buyers and food system experts from universities and the dining departments a tech companies to elevate the thought leadership on sustainability and to leverage the group’s purchasing power to improve the regional food system. This innovation carries over to student programming as well. This past year, the Sustainable Food Program co-taught a new three credit course for undergraduates in the Earth Systems department with the FEED Collaborative. EARTHSYS 148: Grow It. Cook It. Eat It. An Experiential Exploration of How and Why We Eat What We Eat focuses on teaching students about sustainable food, design thinking to solve problems, growing food, and cooking food. The Sustainable Food Program works on about 25 class projects and guest lectures each year in classes.