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What We're Doing

We work together to continually develop and implement sustainable solutions. Through Green Thread, our environmental sustainability platform, we bring innovative and efficient solutions to life. We are passionately focused on reducing the environmental impact within our operations. Here are just a few ways we work to make our campus more environmentally conscious:

Check Local Purchasing: Did you know Dining Services sources food from many local farmers, growers and distributors? The list changes throughout the year depending on seasonality and availability. You can view a list of all our local vendors here.

Our Partners include: 
  • Carlton Farms: Carlton, OR

    Carlton Farms

    At, Carlton Farms, we are committed to producing only the freshest and finest handcrafted natural meats. To achieve that, we believe in working with a select team of handpicked local and national growers who raise animals to our exacting standards. We also believe in the importance of running a clean, efficient, and humane facility that consistently meets or exceeds USDA standards. And we believe in a thoughtful, handcrafted approach that doesn’t rely on artificial flavors, colors or chemicals. Combined, these core beliefs comprise the philosophy that has helped Carlton Farms create fresh, handcrafted meats of exceptional quality for more than half a century.

  • Sunshine Dairy: Portland, OR

    Sunshine Dairy

    At Sunshine, local flavor reigns. We, and the products we craft are tied to where we live: a place defined by rich surroundings, memorable people and an independent spirit. Where excellence leads the way and fresh thinking comes with the territory. Where good tastes thrive, thanks to a happy mix of conditions, climate and commitment to quality. It’s in this remarkable setting that Sunshine is able to create our signature products – with local flavor that delights the tongue and speaks to the heart. It’s the essence of what makes life here so good. Our customers choose us because they can taste the difference our commitment makes. From our people, processes and local partners to the climate that always keeps us guessing, Sunshine really does taste better here.

  • Charlie's Produce: Clackamas, OR

    Charlie's Produce

    Charlie’s Produce is committed to improving our environment, the sustainability of our growers, the well-being of our employees, and corporate stewardship. We demonstrate leadership and achieve sustainable growth by addressing the need for a healthy ecosystem for our Northwest growers, affordable and reliable energy solutions for our transportation department and continued overall energy efficiency’s through our entire company including our facilities in Seattle, Kent, Spokane, Oregon and Alaska. We actively engage employees to preserve, restore and enhance our internal environment as well as respect our external surroundings. We promote a corporate culture where full compliance with environmental laws and regulations is the minimum level of acceptable performance, where environmental and corporate stewardship is valued and where business initiatives advance environmental and social responsibility and sustainability.

Our Very Local Partners include: 
  • To The Roots Coffee Roasters: Forest Grove, OR

    To The Roots
    To The Roots coffee is located in the heart of Forest Grove less than a tenth of a mile from Pacific University. Serving a custom blend that is artisan roasted to develop the unique flavors of each variety and build blends that find harmony in depth, body, sweetness and aroma in every cup. Building relationships directly with farmers to encourage and support responsibility, sustainability, and quality in production.
  • B-Street Farm: Forest Grove, OR

    B Street

    B Street Farm for Applied Sustainability is an integral part of Sustainability operations at Pacific University.  A 3 acre site less than a mile from the Forest Grove that practices certified Organic methods and is half riparian habitat and half intensive food production.  Students learn to plant, grow, harvest and deliver crops in ways that regenerate the soil, provide nutritious food and build positive relationships in the community.
  • Adelante Mujeres: Forest Grove, OR

  • The Sustainable Agriculture program operates Adelante Mujeres Distributor, a wholesale produce distribution system that provides sustainably grown produce to local institutions, restaurants, schools, grocery stores, and small food businesses in Washington County and the Portland Metro area. This program functions as a bridge between the local Latino farmers and local produce customers and helps to create, strengthen, and maintain connections between local agriculture and local consumers.


Sustainable Composting: 

Our food waste goes to JC Biomethane, an anaerobic digestion facility in Junction City, OR. JC Biomethane captures the methane gasses that come off the rotting food and converts it into electricity that powers our homes and businesses. Each year, this facility keeps about 25,000 tons of organic material out of landfills and generates enough electricity to power about 1,000 homes. They also make compost with the solid and liquid material that is leftover.


When food waste rots, it creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas at least 28 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. Our commitment to composting our food waste is more about capturing greenhouse gas emissions than about saving space in our landfills.


We are part of a regional effort to put food waste to better use – over 1,200 businesses already collect their food waste to create green energy and compost. In the next few years, it is likely that food waste collection will be required for large businesses and we are excited to be ahead of the curve! We want to give a big THANK YOU to the Washington County Green Business Leaders office for their expertise, guidance, and educational support through this process.


Reusables: Take part in our reusable mug program to reduce waste and receive a discount on coffee in Starbucks and the Hillsboro P.O.D. Market. Getting your meal to go from The Grove or The P.O.D Market? Take part in our Reusable To-Go Container program. Here’s how it works: 

Ask a cashier from The Grove or The P.O.D Market for a reusable to-go container for $5. 

Fill up the container with your favorite foods (Make sure the lid closes) and enjoy! 

Return the container when you’re done for a clean one!


Reducing Our Carbon Footprint: In addition to our commitment to local purchasing we are also focused on reducing our carbon footprint in other ways. Did you know that the over-production and food waste is the leading contributor to climate change? We want to minimize waste through accurate purchasing and production but you can also help. How?…by making sure you eat what you take and don’t throw away food. Proper portions and “right-sizing” options helps significantly reduce food waste. So not only does proper portioning contribute to your health and nutrition it also contributes to the health of the world in which we all live!


Recycling: Dining Services partners with campus to recycle glass, plastic, and aluminum from all dining locations across campus. We are committed to minimizing our environmental footprint. Look for signs in our locations for information on where to put your recyclables.


Fryer Oil Recycling: One hundred percent of dining services used fryer oil is recycled.

Check Green Cleaning: All dining locations are committed to using daily green cleaning products in our operations to reduce the need for chemical based cleaning products and provide a healthy and safe learning environment.