Corban College’s dining hall, Aramark, wants to save the world, and has been doing so – one tray at a time. By removing the trays and implementing other green programs, manager Tamra Taylor hopes to reduce the carbon footprint that Corban leaves behind, while saving the college money. What could be better?
“Change doesn’t happen overnight,” said Taylor, but through Aramark’s corporate “Green Thread Platform” changes are being made. In the platform’s mission statement, Aramark is claims to be committed to this program and, indeed, this attitude because it has “a deep respect for and commitment to protecting and improving the environment.”
Because any little thing helps, Aramark has made it a goal to partner with suppliers who are interested in sustaining the environment. Their produce supplier, Charlie’s, gets locally grown fruit whenever possible. Other suppliers, including Cisco, Truitt Brothers and Willamette Fruits, all provide products that are sustainable and eco-conscious.
“We work to reduce our environmental footprint while delivering exceptional operations results,” the Green Thread platform explains. “We also offer expertise and practical solutions to our clients to help them reduce their environmental impacts.”
When Taylor explained to Dr. Reno Hoff the advantages of removing trays, such as reducing food waste by as much as 30 percent per person, he readily agreed to tray removal.
The advantages of such practices go well beyond actual food waste management: water, labor, and energy are all saved through the new platform. Though one of the most important factors to any business is the bottom line, Aramark saves the campus and themselves money by going green.
Going green not only means using less, but also making less. Taylor and her staff monitor every dining period to see what is being produced and what is being consumed. The staff then adjusts their production to ensure little goes to waste.
In addition to monitoring conditions, Aramark cooks all of the food in batches, thereby reducing the amount of leftovers. That which is left over at the end of the day is taken to the Union Gospel Mission, not to the trash.
Recycled paper products, environmentally conscious Starbucks and green cleaning products were all implemented to reduce the footprint. Taylor looks to the future through “green colored glasses.” She hopes to develop a composting system for the unavoidable waste and wants every disposable item to be recyclable.