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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

"Going green" can mean many things. For over fifteen years, PACES has been making a commitment to a sustainable future, we are proud to say that PACES has been "doing green" for sometime. Our efforts to help our planet's future are simple but important. Join us in our efforts to create new solutions, to reduce waste, and to save resources.


Local is Good

Dining Services "thinks globally and purchases locally." Whenever feasible, we buy local goods, helping to support our economy while reducing our carbon footprint. Transporting food long distances wastes fuel, clogs highways and creates pollution. A basic meal made from non-local ingredients uses and produces four times as much energy and greenhouse gas emissions than one made with local ingredients. PACES, in 2006 adopted the Global Sullivan Principles which advances a development framework that enables businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to pursue their business objectives while being mindful and respectful of employees and the communities in which they operate. PACES, purchases NYS regional and local products through Renzi Foodservice of Watertown. PACES also buys directly from approved vendors in St. Lawrence County, including Donahue Farms (angus beef), Martins Farmstand (seasonal vegetables, honey and fruits), Fobares, Kaned Orchards, Purple Rice., Potsdam Consumer Coopeartive, Three Bears Gluten Free Bakery, and local CSA's.

Dining Services

  • prepares the majority of its products on site
  • composts vegetable and fruit scraps for use by local farmers
  • donates oil from fryers on campus for use as bio diesel fuel
  • conserves through its Waste Not Want Not Food awareness program at Lehman Dining Center, our all you care to eat facility
  • Lehman Dining Center is a trayless facility, preventing food waste and excess water consumption
  • awarded the Growing Community Award in 2003 in recognition of PACES' efforts to buy locally
  • reusable enviro container program at Becky's Place, Performing Arts Cafe and Lehman Dining Center
  • hydration stations at Becky's Place, Union Dining Court, Performing Arts Cafe, and Crane Commons to encourage the refilling of water bottles, not the purchasing of them

Growing Campus Greens

Students at SUNY Potsdam are enjoying fresh greens and herbs grown on campus by PACES Dining Services in collaboration with the WISER Center and the Biology Department. The organic greens are currently being grown in two PACES Dining Service locations on campus: Dexter’s Café and Lehman Dining Center. Additional grow towers and vertical growing racks are located in the WISER Center and are maintained by student interns,  researchers and members of the Sustainability Agricultural 304 Course, coordinated and taught by Professor Ray Bowdish. These systems provide hyper local produce for use by campus chefs and cooks.

Fair Trade Coffee

PACES Dining Services is proud to offer Fair Trade coffee. These products come from all over the world, but share a common history. Farmers who grow Fair Trade products receive a fair price, and their communities and the environment benefit as well. Fair Trade is an innovative, market-based approach to sustainable development. It helps family farmers in developing countries gain direct access to international markets and to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace. Learn more about our providers' efforts in sustainability, Starbucks, Green Mountain, Paul de Lima, and Tim Hortons.

H.E. Washers and Dryers

PACES and CSC regularly install and upgrade laundry equipment on campus.  PACES chooses to purchase new energy efficient washers and dryers. It is estimated that the equipment is saving about a million gallons of water a year and the dryers are significantly decreasing electricity usage.


Used Textbooks

The College Store buys and resells textbooks. When a student purchases a used textbook from our shelves, they are reducing the carbon footprint because:

  • no freight trucks are needed to move the books from location to location
  • resources are saved because the edition is not reprinted