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Wide-ranging solutions from sourcing of products to waste stream management deliver top grades

Source: 3BL Media

Sodexo dining services at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles received top marks on Green Report Card 2011 published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. Sodexo’s integrated sustainable purchasing policies, trayless dining initiatives, use of biodegradable service ware and composting programs helped earn LMU the highest distinction in the report card’s category of Food and Recycling.

“Our dining services offer LMU students a unique learning opportunity where they can discover the real-world benefits associated with sustainability in food service,” said Kerwin Higashi, vice president, Campus Services, Sodexo. “We want them to see beyond eco-clichés to the ways their efforts are making environmental, social and economic differences at the university and in the community.”
With an eye toward health and wellness as priorities on par with sustainability, Sodexo dining services at LMU place an emphasis on the purchase of local and organic produce. It also serves sustainably harvested fish and only offers hormone- and antibiotic-free milk.
Through active participation in the dining services at LMU, students are helping make significant contributions toward mitigating climate change, reducing the school’s carbon footprint, and drastically reducing non-organic waste. Sodexo provides them with compostable plates, cutlery, eco-friendly cups and straws, which may come at a slight premium, but delivers huge environmental benefits that include helping the university divert 56 per cent of its waste from landfills.
Sustainability efforts in food service also create synergies in other areas such as Energy and Climate Change Management and Transportation – two other categories of the Green Report Card where LMU scored an A for the highest possible marks. Because LMU is composting large quantities of waste that would otherwise be fermenting underground, fewer ozone-depleting gases are released into the atmosphere. Trayless dining works to significantly reduce energy and water demand, and has also been shown to reduce food waste in college dining halls.
“LMU values partnering with Sodexo as a committed leader in corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices,” said Ray Dennis, associate vice president of auxiliary management and business affairs at LMU. “Our students expect these demonstrated environmental practices which have now become the standard for US corporate citizenship.”
Sodexo is a business partner to clients in various industries, offering strategic counsel and solutions that make it possible for them to meet any number of objectives, including sustainability goals. Guided by The Better Tomorrow Plan, its roadmap to sustainability, Sodexo has identified 14 specific commitments in the areas of health and wellness, the environment, and support for local communities. For details about the Better Tomorrow Plan visit the corporate citizenship page at www.sodexoUSA.com.
Green Report Card 2011 is an initiative of the Sustainable Endowments Institute. The Institute is a nonprofit organization engaged in research and education to advance sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices. For more information visit www.greenreportcard.org.

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