GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Sodexo, a leading provider of integrated facilities management and foodservice operations, today announced its national commitment as a national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) Endorser. Sodexo commits to expand support of EPA in raising awareness and reducing or eliminating wasted food by broadening the implementation of strategies Sodexo has successfully used in select operations. Sodexo will now expand its best practices to all of its nearly 9,000 client sites in North America by 2020.
At Northern Arizona University (NAU), for example, Sodexo has participated in EPA's Food Recovery Challenge since 2012. There they focus on: preventing wasted food from ever being created; finding nutritious and appetizing ways to reuse leftovers in recipes or donate it to food banks; and composting the remainder to keep it out of the landfill. In 2014, NAU saved nearly 48 tons of wasted food compared to their baseline year – a tremendous 46 percent reduction in pre-consumer food disposal. It's a model that will be replicated across a number of different sites under Sodexo's national commitment to the EPA as a Food Recovery Challenge Endorser.
"The U.S. wastes an incredible $165 billion in food annually, even as nearly 50 million people go hungry each year," said Deborah Hecker, vice president sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Sodexo. "Sodexo sees the EPA Food Recovery Challenge as an opportunity to improve performance in client operations by responsibly managing resources, while also enhancing quality of life in the community by diverting surplus food to local hunger-relief organizations."
Leveraging the scale of scope of its business footprint in North America, Sodexo has the opportunity to significantly reduce and influence the reduction or elimination of environmental waste among the 15 million people it reaches each day in its operations. Whether through Sodexo's work at more than 500 school districts or its dining facilities for members of the United States Marines and U.S. Air Force, or students at the nearly 850 colleges and universities, Sodexo well positioned to create behavior change that drastically reduces or eliminates wasted food.
The Food Recovery Challenge is part of EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program. Challenge participants help communities, and protect the environment by purchasing less, donating extra food, and composting. Learn more about Sodexo's commitment to sustainability at SodexoUSA.com or read the latest edition of Spotlight on Sustainability.
Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc., the leading Quality of Life services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $25 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at SodexoInsights.com. Visit Sodexo on Facebook and follow on Twitter @SodexoUSA.