Sustainability at CAS

Below you will find a list of environmental initiatives implemented by SUNY Geneseo Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS). If you have any suggestions or would like to become involved in the CAS Sustainability Committee, please contact us at

In addition to participating in the college's Sustainability Commission, CAS has created its own sustainability committee devoted to researching, presenting, and implementing sustainability recommendations.

Local Foods

For the past several years, CAS has focused on increasing the amount of local foods served in the on-campus restaurants and cafés. We realize the economic impact that spending locally can have on the community as well as the flavor and nutritional benefits of eating local foods. Our produce is purchased from American Fruit and Vegetable, a produce distributor based out of Rochester. Working with the produce distributor, we have been able to increase the amount of local fruits and vegetables offered throughout campus as growing seasons allow, buying from over a dozen regional farms. We also partner with Upstate Farms, a local dairy co-op that has over 300 New-York-based, family-owned co-op farms to supply all of our milk and most other dairy products. The interactive map below features all of our current vendors and local produce providers!

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Prime Vendor Agreement

CAS is committed to sustainability. There are many decisions we make that impact sustainability on the SUNY Geneseo campus, like choosing a prime vendor. Our prime vendor comes to campus three times a week, making deliveries to each dining location. The prime vendor agreement is used to maximize our spending power and promote an efficient, one-stop delivery concept.

Palmer Food Services is our main source for bringing healthy products, including some local options to campus. Any vendor can supply products, but it's what makes each company unique that truly makes a difference. As a family-owned business, Palmer has been a Rochester institution for over 100 years. When choosing our vendor for the 2023-2024 academic year, we were looking for a vendor that was able to supply an assortment of products needed for our diverse dietary and ethnic communities and an excellent source for locally or NYS-based products.

Sustainability is one of our priorities on the SUNY Geneseo campus. We ensure that our prime vendor can contribute to our efforts. Palmer Food Service is located 30 miles from Geneseo, which makes for a shorter commute for deliveries. They do business with over 90 NYS-based companies and sources of products, and they employ 675 people that live in the greater Rochester area.

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Impact Earth Composting Partnership

Starting in the Fall of 2023, CAS entered into a partnership with Impact Earth composting for the collection of organic waste from our on-campus dining areas. Impact Earth is a local company and network of environmentally-minded individuals who aim to reduce single-use consumption and divert materials from ending up in landfills. Their mission is to create a sustainable future and CAS is proud to enter a new era of sustainable practices at SUNY Geneseo!

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High Efficiency Laundry Machines

Starting in the Fall of 2007, the washers and dryers in residence halls and townhouses on campus were replaced with high-efficiency front-loading washers and dryers that significantly reduced water and energy usage. By the fall of 2009, the entire campus was equipped with the new machines.

As of May 2016, almost 11,000,000 gallons of water have been saved due to the switch to the new machines.

In addition to the water saved, the laundry machines also require significantly less detergent and remove excess water from the clothes, reducing the amount of time and energy needed to dry them.

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Waste Cooking Oil Recycling

Currently, all waste cooking oil generated by the fryers on campus is collected and picked up by a company that recycles the product, keeping it out of the waste stream.

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Catering Recycling Program

Many of the conference rooms throughout campus do not have recycling containers, and we found, through observation, that most of the cans at catering functions were thrown out instead of recycled. To help provide a solution, CAS began delivering recycling bins as a part of our catering setup for deliveries of canned soda or bottled water. CAS also participates in a recycling program that helps provide support to The ARC of Livingston-Wyoming. Designated recycling bins are in place at Mary Jemison where bottles and cans are picked up by The ARC and used to create job opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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Composting Culinary Support Center Food Waste

CAS composts all food scraps from the Culinary Support Center in Letchworth where all of the grab-and-go salad items throughout campus are produced. We also collect the post-consumer compostable material at Red Jacket, Letchworth, and Mary Jemison which is picked up by our partners at Impact Earth. Red Jacket has a machine that "digests" the food waste and grinds these scraps into a compostable pulp. 

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Elimination of Styrofoam

CAS eliminated the use of styrofoam cups and to-go containers and has resolved to no longer use them. We migrated to a high-quality, environmentally friendly line of compostable food containers and cutlery, and it is our goal to recycle all single-use plastics.

We use World Centric bamboo utensils, an eco-concious and compostable alternative to plastic. This molded fiber product is made of  discarded sugarcane and rapidly renewable bamboo fibers, reducing a source of plastic leakage into the environment. The benefits also include:

  • Reduced cross contamination with the touchless capability
  • Use less energy to manufacture
  • Made from annually renewable plants like bamboo and sugarcane bagasse
  • Non-polluting, non-toxic, and break down in a commercial composting facility
  • Help to save biodiversity and habitats

We encourage those that choose to dine in to use on-site cutlery and dishes to aid in our sustainability mission. 

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