Waste Management: Aramark-wide Efforts

Waste audits can be a popular -- and eye-opening -- way of finding out where there's room for improvement in an organization's waste management program.  UVa Dining has experienced this first hand by working with a number of student groups and projects to host post-consumer food waste audits this fall, as well as in past semesters.

The Newcomb group shares their waste audit experiences during their final class presentation

Each dining room, plus the Fine Arts Cafe retail space, all hosted one waste audit over the course of the fall, and each audit served as a way of raising awareness about individuals' roles in contributing to a sizeable overall waste stream.  One takeaway that students noted in their final presentations this morning was the opporunity for stressing reusable to-go containers versus the default disposable container.  That's a great individual action which students can take that will add up to major reductions in waste.

Two of the groups created videos to accompany their final presentations.  Check them out!  

Runk waste audit video
Fine Arts Cafe audit video

Aramark as a whole has made waste management a top priority in its sustainability programming over the last few years, so we here at UVa are falling in line with what our counterparts around the country are also doing.  One great example of that is at Monterey Bay Aquarium (the name may sound familiar: we try to purchase our seafood according to the renowned Monterey Bay sustainable seafood guidelines!), for which Aramark provides the food and catering.  Michael Seaman is their recently hired Environmental & Purchasing Manager, and part of his job includes tracking the trash and looking at ways to divert more of it into recycling channels.  For the full story, check out the Monterey Herald article about his position.  It's pretty exciting to see environmental sustainability steadily becoming more established within the corporate world -- I'm sure there's lots more innovation to come! 

With a rise in the number of full time positions devoted to conservation, Aramark will be able to make even more significant headway towards minimizing its overall environmental footprint.

1 comment:

  1. Waste management is a big deal for all of us.
    It determines how we care for our planet.