Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sodexo SEED Seminar

Sustainability Interns received the opportunity to attend and present at the three-day long 4th Sodexo SEED (Sodexo’s Sustainability Education and Expert Development) Seminar in Washington D.C.!

What is SEED?

"Through the Sustainability and  Environmental Expert Development (SEED) initiative, Sodexo offers a medium for education, awareness and best practices exchange, whereby all of our managers can gain the necessary skills to execute effective decision-making strategy relative to waste minimization, water conservation, energy management, and sustainable community development." -Holly Fowler
Senior Director, Training & Innovation, Office of Corporate Citizenship
(Sodexo Careers Blog)

Sustainability Interns arrived in Washington D.C. on Monday, where they made their way to the Department of Agriculture building to sit in on a panel discussion composed of:
- Joseph McIntyre, Executive Director, Ag Innovations Network
- Carol Kramer-LeBlanc, Ph.D., Director, Sustainable Development
- Office of the Chief Economist, USDA
- Jeff Malcolm, Program Officer, Supply Chains, WWF
- Moderator: Arlin Wasserman, VP Sustainability & CSR, Sodexo NORAM

After dinner, we were treated to an exclusive viewing of Carbon Nation, a documentary (which premiered in the White House the night before)! The documentary displayed the effects of climate change and then gave examples of people all over the nation that are implementing renewable energy, from Texas to Alaska! Since the documentary takes a unbiased and comical apprpoach to climate change, Stephanie and I found ourselves laughing out loud thoughtout. The raw comical and unbiased footage of everyday people making strides toward sustiability in this film was unforgettable!

On Tuesday, as Seminar was hosted in the National Geographic Society building, we had the opportunity to visit Terra Firma Café, which has been remodeled in an eco-friendly way and has completed many sustainability initiatives. Next, was a presentation of Sustainability Initiatives at National Geographic Society by:
- Bernard Wood, General Manager National Geographic Society, Sodexo
- Brian Horne, Executive Chef National Geographic Society, Sodexo 

Following was a presentation about strategies for measuring initiatives and commitment impacts by Jeff Senne, Director Sustainability and; CSR Performance, Sodexo.

Next was a Sustainability break-out session where we grouped together to discuss how Sodexo would achieve its sustainability commitments, what the barriers were, and what further support is needed. These discussions were facilitated by Joseph McIntyre, Executive Director, Ag Innovations Network.

On Day 3 of the Seminar, we gave a presentation on our sustainability initiatives at Ithaca Dining Services.

Lastly, Stephanie and I talked more about Ithaca Dining Sustainability Initiatives on Monday April 5th on a conference call with a group of college students from Sodexo's Leaders of Tomorrow. Stephanie and I are  excited that our work is being noticed and making a difference. Our initiatives have the potential to be implemented throughout many college campuses and we as interns can assist those who are struggling! Stephanie and I are always willing to talk. If you have a question about any of our initiatives, how to implement them, or would like to know more, feel free to contact us!

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