2017 Environmental Innovator of the Year: Jami Leveen, Aramark
Guest Blog by Kathy Cacciola, Sr. Director, Environmental Sustainability, Aramark
From the Super Bowl and World Series to World Cup and Olympic Games, Aramark regularly plays a part in sports’ biggest moments, enhancing the fan experience with innovative hospitality solutions. But, it’s during the regular season where Aramark has the greatest opportunity to impact guests’ game day experiences, while helping the environment and our communities.
Within our sports and entertainment division we serve 150 professional and college sports teams, including 40 teams in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League.
As a global leader in food, facilities management and uniforms, our mission to enrich and nourish lives means when we interact with millions of people and communities across the globe, we strive to ensure we’re serving them with integrity, respect and in the most responsible way possible.
At Aramark we recognize the steps we take every day within our day to day business can have an impact on the environment. Our approach is to weave environmental sustainability into everything we do. We call this commitment Green Thread™.
Our goal is to make progress every day in the areas we can make the greatest impact. For us, this means we’re sourcing responsibly, minimizing waste, managing efficient buildings and fleet operations. We seek to constantly improve our own practices, and offer our expertise for thousands of our clients worldwide. We measure the impact of our work and hold ourselves accountable to always do better.
Sourcing products in a way that minimizes negative impacts and improves positive outcomes has a direct effect on the environment, our health and wellness, and local and global economies. At Aramark, we work closely with our suppliers, industry partners and advocacy organizations to address issues important to Aramark, our clients and customers.
We buy locally sourced fruits and vegetables, humanely-raised meats and sustainably caught seafood. And our efforts extend to products like fair-trade certified coffee, and reusable, recyclable and compostable plates, cups, cutlery and paper products.
Consistent with Aramark’s global commitment to transition to cage-free eggs, we already serve cage-free shell eggs across our sports and entertainment division. For a few years running, we’ve also been named to the top ten list of the most vegetarian-friendly major league ballparks in PETA’s annual list for our offerings at Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, PNC Park, Coors Field, and Fenway Park.
Our commitment to responsibility also permeates how we run our facilities, ensuring efficient operations from energy and water conservation practices to implementing environmentally friendly cleaning programs. Through Aramark’s Green and Blue Cleaning™ programs at Lincoln Financial Field and CenturyLink Field, we use GreenSeal certified products and electrically charged tap water to safely sanitize surfaces while reducing our environmental footprint.
Across our operations, we implement practices that decrease the impact – and the cost – of waste. Starting with what we purchase, and continuing through to how we dispose of waste. We work hard every day to reduce our environmental footprint.
We’re proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion for our commitment to reduce food loss and waste in our operations by 50 percent by 2030.
Our approach to managing food waste is aligned with the EPA’s food recovery hierarchy, and with our “behind the scenes” food management programs, we make sure we are ordering accurate amounts of food, preparing and serving it in a way that limits waste, and tracking our progress.
Our first goal is to reduce waste at the source. But when unusual circumstances leave us with extra food, we donate our unused food to non-profit organizations and hunger relief agencies in our communities whenever we can. Where possible and practical, we compost scraps and food packaging to further minimize waste from our operations.
Since 2009, through our partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, we’ve been composting food waste from all kitchens and back-of-house operations. Eagles Go Green! recycling and composting programs have diverted more than 3 million lbs. of waste from going into landfills. This amount would cover approximately nine football fields, one foot deep with waste .
Today’s fans are more aware and interested than ever in issues that affect them, the environment and our world. As an industry leader, Aramark takes great pride in developing innovative solutions that not only enhance the game day experience, but preserve our environment and have a positive impact on the communities in which we serve. By enriching and nourishing the lives of those we serve, we inspire others to make a difference.