Maryville’s Dining Hall 1st Campus Dining Facility Certified by the Green Dining Alliance


St. Louis—Maryville University’s Gander Dining Hall has been awarded a four-star rating by the Green Dining Alliance (GDA) of St. Louis for fully embracing “norms for sustainable restaurant management and operations” making it the first campus dining facility to be certified.

GDA, an initiative of St. Louis Earth Day, awarded the rating on the basis of a recently completed sustainability audit.  The audit evaluates participating restaurants in seven categories related to sustainability: core concepts, recycling and waste reduction, sourcing and procurement, water conservation, energy conservation/efficiency, chemicals, awareness and education, and innovation. Maryville’s dining facility scored 163 points. A minimum of 140 points is required for the four-star rating, the highest rating conferred by GDA.

“We are excited to have Maryville University’s dining hall recognized by the Green Dining Alliance,” said Peggy Lauer, director of Maryville’s Center for Sustainability. “The four-star rating demonstrates the University’s and Fresh Ideas’ commitment to sustainability.  We are so grateful for the collaboration with Fresh Ideas in our efforts to incorporate sustainable practices into the dining hall operation.”

Fresh Ideas has been the exclusive food service management company serving Maryville University since 2009.

Linda Thacker, Fresh Ideas food service director at Maryville, noted that “Fresh Ideas is committed to sustainability and conservation.  The four-star rating, the highest rating possible, confirms that Fresh Ideas goes above and beyond industry norms to reduce negative impacts to the environment. We’re proud to partner with Maryville and to share this honor with the University.”

Gander Dining Hall is a focal point for sustainability efforts spearheaded by the University’s Center for Sustainability. Single stream recyclables are collected and compacted for delivery to a recycling center. Recycling stations are available in the dining hall for separating landfill trash from recyclable items. Colorful signage, designed by students, call attention to the stations and help identify what can be recycled and what cannot.  Additionally, Physical Plant led efforts to replace incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient fixtures, as well as other sustainable practices in the operation of the dining hall.

As a result of the rating, Gander Dining Hall will be listed on GDA’s website. Additionally, Gander Dining Hall may now use the GDA logo on its menu and marketing materials.

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Janet Edwards, Editorial Content Specialist, Marketing and Community Relations, 314-529-9347 (office),, 314-249-7982 (cell).