Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We Are Still Committed to Sustainability.

To say that Sustainability has evolved is an understatement. The Decade of Sustainability in Higher Education began in 2005 bringing the term, idea, concept of Sustainability to Ithaca College through the efforts of Administration, Faculty, Staff and Students. Sodexo has been a willing partner in this evolution and has taken that experience and knowledge gained and connected it to its mission of enhancing the Quality of Life and contributing to the social, economic and environmental well-being of the communities that we serve. The Better Tomorrow 2025 Plan reflects the up-to-date needs of our clients, customers, employees and the world around us. Better Tomorrow 2025 was developed in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) created by the United Nations in 2015. Our efforts are aligned with those of the 193 countries that signed on to those goals.
The SDGs set global goals in 17 areas that governments, businesses and society at large need to act on to achieve a more sustainable, fair and equal world by 2030.

We are particularly interested in fighting hunger, reducing waste and gender equality.
Ithaca Dining Services continues its commitment to Sustainability by being responsible users of our resources so that others in the future can enjoy the same quality of life we do. We continue to do the work, every day that needs to be done to make the lasting and meaningful incremental changes that will have an impact on our planet, our people, our health and wellness and our communities. The simple actions we do routinely to efficiently and effectively prepare and serve delicious, healthy meals is an indicator of our commitment to Sustainability.
The choices we make as individual members of the community also have an impact such as; choosing a reusable coffee mug or water bottle, taking the bus to work instead of driving alone, making sure to recycle and compost are all ways we can reduce our carbon footprint. When we make these choices for ourselves, we are also setting an example for those around us.

We are fortunate that the foundation of Sodexo’s commitment to Sustainability is our people, people with rich backgrounds and diverse perspectives. We must continue to make every effort to make decisions that mindfully balance the needs of people, the community and the planet today and for future generations. What we do today means a better tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Recycling

We recycle. Dining services was an early adopter of recycling bottles, cans, paper, plastic and cardboard in the dining halls and retail operations on campus beginning in 1991 and to this day. That’s twenty-six years of diverting waste from the land fill to recycling, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gases. We estimate we have diverted 1,000,000 pounds of bottles, cans; paper, plastic and cardboard from landfill through Dining Services efforts over the years.
 
Since recycling began, we have seen a change in how food for the dining halls is packaged. Lightweight plastics containers have replaced an increasing amount of glass containers and steel. This shift has had a profound impact on GHGE by reducing the impacts of transportation. Reducing the weight of the packaging allows more of what is in the container to be transported. That means fewer truck-trips are required to bring more food to campus.
 
Plastic is also “easier” to recycle than glass or steel, requiring less energy to be used to transform the old plastic into a different plastic product. Around 4 per cent of world oil and gas production, a non-renewable resource, is used as feedstock for plastics and a further 3–4% is expended to provide energy for their manufacture. Using recycled plastic to make a plastic bottle that would otherwise have been made from new (virgin) polymer directly reduces oil usage and emissions of greenhouse gases associated with the production of the virgin polymer even when emissions from collection and transportation are taken into account. 
 
All the packages your food come in also come in a cardboard box. The terms used in the recycling industry for cardboard are “boxboard” and “Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC)”. OCC is a wavy layer of paper between to flat layers (Image). Boxboard is the single layer cardboard common to cereal boxes. OCC is a high value-recycling commodity, currently selling at an average of $95/ton. OCC collected on-campus, compressed into bales weighing about 1000 pounds apiece, trucked to a recycling plant, and made into new corrugated boxes and boxboard. There is such a recycling plant located in Solvay, NY near Syracuse that makes all kinds of cardboard boxes.
 
Recycling is the simplest action you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Reduce, reuse and then recycle it’s as simple as that, Do it.
 
Keep calm and recycle on.



Friday, February 17, 2017

Reuse

It is Week 2 of Recyclemania and we are proud to announce that last week with SWIFT (Stop Wasting Ithaca's Food Today), we recovered 237 pounds of food for donation. We also recovered 125 gallons of used cooking oil for processing into bio-fuel. However, as we emphasize waste reduction and recycling, we should also think about the power of reuse.

Reuse refers to any activity that lengthens the life of an item. It can be accomplished through purchasing durable goods and keeping valuable materials out of the waste stream. Unlike recycling, reuse does not require reprocessing of an old item into a new product. Therefore, it greatly reduces the amount of energy consumed by manufacturing and transport. 
“It’s pretty amazing that our society has reached a point where the effort necessary to extract oil from the ground, ship it to a refinery, turn it into plastic, shape it appropriately, truck it to a store, buy it, and bring it home is considered to be less effort than what it takes to just wash the spoon when you are done with it.”

According to the Earth Policy Institute, each year, 29 billion plastic water bottles are produced for use in the United States. Manufacturing them requires the equivalent of 17 million barrels of crude oil. Many would say that plastic bottles are recyclable, but water bottles in the recycling bin have a long journey ahead of them. First, they are inspected in a collection facility for contaminants. Then, they are washed and chopped into flakes. The flakes are dried and melted into plastic lava, which is filtered and finally shaped into new products. Sure, recycling a plastic water bottle is convenient for you at the College but, the carbon footprint is much less for a reusable water bottle.

 IC dining recognizes and rewards the power of reuse. A study by Starbucks in 2000 calculated that the average paper-based coffee cup produced 0.24 lb of CO2.  Disposable cups not only contribute directly to the creation of a greenhouse gas but also a lot of waste. One cup per day results in 23 lb of waste by the end of the year, just from the cups that are thrown away. They cannot be recycled because of the plastic coating on the inside of the paper.

By bringing your own reusable cup to any of our locations, you save 15 cents on a hot beverage and reduce your carbon footprint. That is a free cup of coffee after 10 purchases with a reusable mug. Keep calm and carry a cup!!