Community Engagement
On Earth Day, Partner for a Purpose
Christy Cook
Christy Cook
Sustainability Performance
& Field Support
Sodexo North America

Each spring, we remind ourselves about the importance of the environment by celebrating Earth Day. It’s a day to focus our attention on preserving the earth by reducing human impact on it.

At Sodexo, we partner with our clients and suppliers to reduce, reuse and recycle. We look for organizations that help us create win-win situations, so that we have a smaller environmental footprint while helping those in need at the same time. Sodexo sources sustainable products across operations in 80 countries at more than 32,000 sites, to make a difference in the quality of life of the 75 million customers we serve each day.  Here are a few examples of how our partners help us get to win-win:


The best thing you can do for the planet is to use less in the first place. You can reduce energy consumption by installing movement-sensors on lights, or faucets that turn off automatically. Sodexo collaborates with its clients to reduce energy, water, food and material waste. For example, at Royce School in Oakland, Ca, Sodexo’s onsite director of operations diagnosed a serious water leak at the school.  Once Sodexo addressed the issue, the school saved 50,000 gallons of water in its first year!


Some of our most important partners are the people we serve, and our Choose to Reuse program enlists them to help reduce the number disposable containers we use. The program, which is available at all Sodexo sites but it is particularly popular at colleges and universities, offers reusable takeout containers for food and drinks. Students who opt to take their food to go in a plastic container can later turn that container in to be cleaned and reused. Additionally, Sodexo recovers used cooking oil in 82 percent of our sites and in 23 venues, Sodexo has diverted nearly half a million pounds of kitchen fryer oil from the waste stream, giving it a second life as sustainable biofuel.


Recycling programs aren’t just about paper and aluminum cans. You can find ways to recycle many of the things we use in the office every day. Sodexo recycles its technology products through a partnership with Easter Seals. Easter Seals’ role as the leading non-profit provider of disability services aligns perfectly with Sodexo’s mission is to improve quality of life. Through Easter Seals, the proceeds from Sodexo’s technology recycling go to grants that help injured or disabled farmers continue working on their land. Since 2007, our eRecycling efforts have helped 78 farmers and ranchers in 14 states.   The program also makes a huge impact on the environment. In 2015, the program prevented more than 100 tons of e-waste from entering the waste stream. That reduction in greenhouse gas emission is equivalent to taking 1,179 cars off the road.

How can partnerships make your environmental efforts more effective?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Christy Cook is Director of Sustainability Performance & Field Support in Sodexo North America’s Office of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. Ms. Cook leads the development, deployment and measurement of all sustainability training initiatives and embed sustainability and CSR practices throughout the 9000 Sodexo partnerships across North America. Through effective employee engagement, this work assists Sodexo and its clients to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, to conserve water resources, to minimize waste generation, and to promote sustainable agriculture and community development.

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