The environmental impact of feeding about 5,000 thousand on campus students every year is enormous. There is food production, packaging, transportation, preparation, and waste. Each of these areas is required to serve our campus, and yet each of them is also extremely energy and water intensive. From the thousands of gallons of water it takes to produce a single pound of beef, to the millions of gallons of fuel used to transport food to our campus every year, we understand that sustainable dining is no small thing at an American university.

Dining at Southeast is offered through a food service provider called Chartwells, a world class dining service that delivers exceptional meals to thousands of college students every year. Their mission to be more sustainable is fostered by a single brand - Compass Group 360°. Chartwells is proud to lead the foodservice industry with groundbreaking policies that champion local farmers and fair trade; reduce the use of antibiotics in chicken and pork; strengthen healthy oceans through use of sustainable seafood; and promote farm animal welfare through 100 percent use of cage free shell eggs. Here is a list of some things that Chartwells does at Southeast to be sustainable. To learn more about each of the efforts listed please click on the following link:

Sustainable Towers To Go Packaging

The Towers sustainable container program is designed to allow guests the opportunity to voluntarily reduce the amount of landfill waste.

Renewable Packaging

The Renewable Packaging program addresses a fast-growing movement away from petroleum based packaging and offers our customers products made from plant-based, renewable materials that also offer more recovery options to help reduce waste.

Project Clean Plate

Project: Clean PlateProject Clean Plate is a Chartwells program that provides awareness to international hunger and helps students focus globally and act locally to combat hunger, reduce waste, save energy and initiate real change. It is designed to reduce overall food waste in all-you-can-eat campus dining operation.

Project Green Thumb

Chartwells’ recycling program teaches students, faculty and staff to dispose of recyclables in appropriate receptacles to better the environment, give back to the community and educates customers on the importance of recycling. This program specifically focuses on Chartwells generated waste on campus and includes the recycling of plastic bottles and cardboard.

Zero Trans Fat

Canola Oil Dietary FatIn keeping with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Medical Association Recommendations to minimize trans-fat consumption, Compass Group (which includes Chartwells) has taken a proactive position to reduce trans-fat in our cafes and has made some significant changes. Visit the link to Chartwells website to see these changes.

Purchasing of Antibiotic Free Meat and Poultry

The non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal production is a growing public health concern because it decreases the effectiveness of antibiotics to treat diseases in humans. Therefore, we only serve chicken and turkey that has been produced with restricted use of these drugs, especially as a growth additive in feed. This policy may exclude some processed products. Our contracted supplies are required to provide products which adhere to specific criteria developed in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund.

Protecting Threatened Fish Supply

Recirculating SystemsChartwells has adopted a policy that shifts the company's seafood purchases away from threatened fish species and toward sustainably sourced supplies recommended by The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program. Check out the details on their efforts at

Trim Trax

Trim Trax is back-of-the house program designed specifically by our corporate team to measure, track and reduce food waste at the unit level. It is applicable to all operating units. By making waste more visible and attaching a financial value, this program is successful in reducing waste and help offset rising food costs.

Cage Free Eggs

We implemented a cage-free shell egg policy that adheres to the standards of the third-party auditing organization Humane Farm Animal Care. Fact: • U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in barren battery cages that are so small, they can’t even spread their wings. Each bird has less space than a single sheet of paper on which to live.

Philantrhopic Flex

Chartwells and Southeast Missouri State Students teamed up to fill the appetites and warm the spirit of those less fortunate. Students are presented with an option called Philanthropic Flex that allowes those with a meal plan to donate flex dollars to purchase meals for area causes. In its first semester of existence, the program was a huge success, providing more than 3,000 meals for area residents utilizing those organizations.

Locally Grown

Chartwells at Southeast Missouri State University partners with and supports local farmers by promoting local produce and creating awareness of the many health benefits of eating well and buying local. rBGH Free As part of their collective commitment to health and wellness, we buy only yogurt from cows not treated with rBGH (also known as rBST) .

Fair Trade Coffee

Many farmers around the world receive market payments that are lower than the costs of production, forcing them into a cycle of poverty and debt. Often times farmers compensate by growing more coffee. As a result, jungles are clear cut to make room for more coffee trees. Fair Trade works to correct these imbalances by guaranteeing a minimum wage for small producers' harvests and by encouraging sustainable cultivation methods.

For more information please contact Tim Weatherly, Resident District Manager, Chartwells Dining Services at or (573) 651-2511.


Rhodes Hall, Room 107
Sustainability at Southeast
One University Plaza, MS 6800
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701