UNT Dining Services unveils new eco-friendly delivery truck, expands sustainability efforts

Ben E. Keith UNT truck
Dedicated Ben E. Keith Foods delivery truck to reduce weekly deliveries to UNT Dining Services from 17 to three.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What: The University of North Texas and Ben E. Keith Foods will unveil a new eco-friendly delivery truck. The dedicated truck will reduce the weekly number of food deliveries to UNT from 17 to three. This initiative will be the latest in a long list of initiatives aimed at reducing the university's carbon footprint.

When: Jan. 25 (Wednesday) from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Where: The event will begin at the Mean Greens loading dock, located behind Maple Hall on the corner of Ave. C and Eagle Drive.

DENTON (UNT), Texas – In yet another step toward increased sustainability, the University of North Texas has partnered with Ben E. Keith Foods to decrease the number of deliveries made to UNT Dining Services.

As part of the partnership, the Fort Worth based supplier has agreed to provide a dedicated state-of-the-art delivery truck to UNT. The dedicated truck will decrease the number of weekly deliveries to Dining Services from 17 to three. According to Ben E. Keith, the transition to fewer delivers and a more fuel efficient truck will result in approximately 186 gallons of fuel savings a week. 

The truck, which has a UNT-themed paint scheme, will be unveiled during a short presentation at UNT on Jan. 25 (Wednesday). The event will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the Mean Greens loading dock, which is located on the corner of Ave. C and Eagle Drive.

"The Office of Sustainability commends UNT Dining Services for their continued efforts to green the UNT campus and reduce the university's carbon footprint," says Mendie Schmidt, assistant director of UNT's Office of Sustainability. "The new truck is the latest in a series of positive steps taken by Dining Services to move us closer to our goal of carbon neutrality."

Ken Botts, Special Projects Manager for UNT Dining Services, says that UNT Dining Services, which is independently operated, is the largest food service program in North Texas with more than 1.5 million meals served last year. With such a large operation, UNT Dining Services realized that they could significantly decrease their carbon footprint by contracting with a local vendor who could provide the majority of the food and supplies they needed, rather than ordering piecemeal from different vendors. After a bid process, Ben E. Keith was selected as UNT's prime source vendor.

The truck provided by Ben E. Keith was purchased specifically for UNT deliveries, and included a number of eco-friendly upgrades, including:

  • next generation engines that produce less carbon emissions;
  • nitrogen-filled tires that help improve fuel efficiencies; and,
  • the latest in truck refrigeration systems, which saves fuel and lowers emissions.

This initiative is just the latest on a long list of sustainability initiatives undertaken by UNT Dining Services. Prior initiatives include:

  • the use of "green" chemicals for cleaning,
  • the switch to trayless dining in four of the university's dining halls,
  • equipment retrofitted for water conservation,
  • the use of napkins made from recycled paper, and
  • the use of reusable cutlery.

A full list of sustainability-related projects undertaken by UNT Dining Services is available online. A short video about these initiatives is available at the UNT Dining Services and Sustainability YouTube site.

"As an alumnus of UNT, I am excited that Ben E. Keith has been able to partner with Dining Services to help impact their sustainability efforts on campus," said Doug Swick, general manager for Ben E. Keith's Dallas/Fort Worth Division.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108