Georgia Tech's dining experience reflects the Institute's commitment to environmental sustainability. Through efforts led by students and Georgia Tech Dining Services, the Tech community can advocate sustainability efforts simply by eating on campus.
Dining Services minimizes leftovers by donating them locally. In 2014, Georgia Tech started a Campus Kitchen chapter to donate leftover meals to those in need in the Atlanta community. In 2015, that program expanded to include Klemis Kitchen, a student food pantry that provides for those with financial need who are living and learning on Tech's own campus. This initiative won a 2015 Earth Day Environmental Leadership Award. As of August 2015, 2,900 meals have been donated through the program, 800 of them to Tech students.
Dining Services uses local ingredients and compostable packaging at its retail locations. Through partnerships with local suppliers, Dining incorporates environmentally responsible proteins into its dining halls, including cage-free eggs, sustainably sourced seafood, and grass-fed Angus beef. As of August 2015, 40 percent of Tech's product comes from Georgia or one of its bordering states. Tech also partners with a hydroponic greenhouse in Dublin, Georgia, that supplies Bibb lettuce for dining halls.
Other facets of campus dining facilities include intentional water conservation through the use of low-flow faucets and sprayers. The Student Center Commons features natural light, low-flow kitchen hoods, and countertops made of 100 percent recycled glass. Weekly Farmers Markets in the fall and spring bring local vendors to the center of campus with organic food and other products.
In the area of research, the Sustainable Design and Manufacturing Center within Georgia Tech's Manufacturing Research Center examines supply chains and manufacturing within the food industry to reduce the use of resources. Researchers in the Food Processing Technology Division of the Georgia Tech Research Institute focus on automation, information technology, food safety, worker safety and environmental technology.