Saving the Planet, One Dining Hall at a Time

Sodexo demonstrates the most innovative sustainable dining practices on college campuses
Apr 13, 2018 1:00 PM ET

GAITHERSBURG, M.d., April 13, 2018 – In honor of Earth Day, Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company, recognizes college campuses demonstrating innovative, sustainable dining practices. From hydroponic greenhouses to reusable container systems, here’s three Sodexo-operated campus dining programs reducing their carbon footprints through sustainable kitchens.

Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

ZagDining by Sodexo is continuously implementing sustainable practices including their ongoing partnership with LINC Foods (Local Inland Northwest Cooperative) and their commitment to reduce waste through Sodexo’s Choose to Reuse program, a reusable container system. In 2015, ZagDining assisted in the development and began using GU’s hydroponic greenhouse; the greenhouse serves as an integrated educational tool for students, the community and faculty who use the greenhouse insects to combat aphids as opposed to chemical treatment. In addition, to the greenhouse’s educational value, ZagDining is proud to provide roughly 60-70 percent of the dining hall’s lettuce needs and has grown 500 pounds of English cucumbers since the start of the 2018 spring semester.

University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Sodexo at the University of Vermont is another dining program demonstrating unyielding sustainability initiatives, of those include UVM’s pledge to have 20 percent of food served on campus complying with the Real Food Challenge guidelines. Sodexo at the University of Vermont surpassed this goal three years ahead of schedule by spending 22 percent of its dining dollars on Vermont products in 2016, a total of $1.63 million going to more than 150 local farms and food businesses. The dining program is also committed to the Vermont First initiative, aimed at growing Vermont’s local food economy by committing to buy local food first. Additionally, Sodexo at UVM operates and owns the Discovery Kitchen on campus, a test kitchen for students with lessons focusing on wellness, sustainability and diversity.

Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Focusing heavily on reducing food waste and supporting local suppliers, FSU’s dining program is Food Recovery Verified and participates in the Sodexo-led Choose to Reuse program. In addition to the dining program’s commitment to reduce food waste, Sodexo at FSU is dedicated to sourcing local and sustainable food and ingredients on campus through their Floridan Flavors initiative and partnerships with Fresh From Florida (a program by Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services), Chapman Produce, Lucky Goat Coffee and RedEye Coffee, of Tallahassee, FL, and TacoMex, of Doral, FL, where the dining program’s FSUnique garnet and gold tortilla chips are made for games days. Adding to sustainability initiatives, FSU’s dining program also contracted with West Coast Mushrooms located in Quincy, FL, supporting FSU dining’s Adopt-a-Farm program.