Sodexo has made an effort to be environmentally friendly as the supersector worldwide leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
According to Mike Kenis, Sodexo’s general manager at Eastern, and Steve Jacke, Sodexo supervisor at Eastern, many of the changes in the dining locations on campus are part of Sodexo’s sustainability effort.
Sodexo, as a corporation, has begun to serve locally grown produce not only to support more than 600 local growers, but also to reduce pollution. This cuts down on the fossil fuels used to transport the produce, while supplying students with fresher, better tasting food.
By removing the napkins from the tables and placing them in Tork napkin holders, Sodexo has greatly reduced waste. In one year the napkin holders alone have saved 26,000 trees, 4.7 million kilowatts of electricity and 8 million gallons of water.
Sodexo has made a positive change in its dishwashing methods as well. The company has started using phosphate-free dish soap in order to reduce groundwater pollution and use less water. The new dishwashing system is estimated to save Eastern about $2,000 a year, as well as save 21,900 gallons of water, .698 therms of natural gas and 12,264 kilowatts of energy.
Trayless Tuesdays are another way that Sodexo is being eco-friendly. Only seven lunch trays can fit on one dishwasher rack, so the washing of one tray uses about one-fourth gallon of water. Students also tend to waste more food when they use a tray. Landfill waste can be reduced by at least 30 percent due to the elimination of lunch trays.
All of the disposable containers are now recyclable or biodegradable. Sodexo has switched from styrofoam plates to bamboo plates. The liner of the new coffee cups in the Jammin’ Java is made from corn instead of plastic and the cup grips are made from 100 percent recycled fiber. The plastic cups and lids used in the Jammin’ Java are now recyclable.
Sodexo recycles all of the cardboard, paper, cans, glass, plastic and cooking oil it uses. The cooking oil is shipped out and reused in fuel and animal feed. All of Sodexo’s recycling efforts have lead to 80 percent waste reduction from the Jammin’ Java employee preparation area, and 30 to 40 percent waste reduction from the Dining Commons kitchen.
Sodexo informs students of their environmental efforts by listing their locally grown produce in the Dining Commons and online, and by placing a sustainability display in the Eagle’s Nest.
Sodexo is open to any student suggestions that will help them in their sustainability effort.