Sodexo Asks Students to Fight Climate Change with Less Food Waste

Sodexo Asks Students to Fight Climate Change with Less Food Waste

Image CC licensed by Flickr user sporkist

Foodservice giant Sodexo is trying to get college students to reduce their food waste as a means to address climate change.

The company launched a campaign this week called "Stop Wasting Food," aimed at reducing some of the 31 million tons of wasted food that ends up in U.S. landfills. Decomposing food generates methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and breaks down the ozone layer, Sodexo wants students to know.

Sodexo has for years tried to get students at the college campuses it services to reduce their food waste. A 2008 Earth Day campaign resulted in 340 campuses eliminating the use of trays, which cut waste by an average of 30 percent. It also just launched a pilot program at eight colleges to analyze food waste.

The Stop Wasting Food campaign implores students to take two common-sense steps: Take only what they can eat at all-you-can-eat cafeterias and return if they are still hungry.

"We are so careful to source and serve food for our customers in a sustainable way but if locally-sourced food ends up in a landfill then we're simply creating another environmental problem," Tom Post, Sodexo's president of campus services, said in a statement. "The good news is that by simply thinking before we eat, we can trash our wasteful habits and dramatically reduce food waste today."

Sodexo announced in June that it would audit all of its clients' sites to assess their current environmental performance in order to devise better sustainability strategies. The move falls in line with its 14-point initiative designed to help the company achieve a range of environmental goals by 2020, such as reducing water, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste in all operations and clients' sites.

In 2009, Sodexo said it had helped National Geographic reduce water consumption by 18 percent in its cafeteria between 2006 and 2009. It also assisted Cox Communications with cutting waste by 80 percent through improved recycling and composting.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user sporkist.