Sodexo and the Campbell Soup Company are proving how sustainable approaches to waste can have a big impact on both the environment and the bottom line.
As Sodexo General Manager for Corporate Service Facilities at Campbell’s world headquarters in Camden, New Jersey, Bernadette Accordino focuses on finding fresh opportunities for diverting on-site waste from landfill and, at the same time, cutting costs—to great success. In just the past three years, Bernadette and her team have managed to divert all food waste generated at the employee café and Campbell’s consumer kitchens from landfill by sending it to a nearby compost center. In the café alone, this is diverting 25 bags of trash from the waste stream each day. They also boosted the site’s recycling rate by introducing color-coded recycle bins under desks at workspaces and cut costs by switching to “on-call” pick-ups, arranged only when the waste container was packed to the brim.
But Bernadette didn’t stop there. Next on her list was the food waste from Campbell’s Pilot Plant, which supports the company’s numerous test kitchens. She arranged for the plant’s organic waste to be sent to a regional organic recycling center where it is turned into a nutrient rich, fertile soil. The resulting compost soil will be used in a variety of ways: some of it will come back to Campbell’s for use in a landscaping project next spring, and employees will be able purchase bags of the soil for their own use.
All told, the measures the Sodexo team has taken at Campbell’s are saving the company $15,000 each quarter. Helping Campbell’s reach its waste goals while saving money in the process is truly a Sodexo team effort: Food Services General Manager Christine Wellington led the café team in starting the composting program. Her team makes the time to compost while serving hundreds of customers daily. Porter Benjamin Perez has taken on oversight of trash pick-ups, arranging for waste to be picked up less frequently and only when the dumpster is filled to capacity, thereby reducing costs. And Tania Zapata, Operations Manager, and Ricardo Gomez, Manager, engaged all frontline Sodexo staff through weekly Huddles devoted to reducing waste and maintaining efficiency. The Sodexo team is keeping energy use in check by making sure lights aren’t left on in vacant offices and by keeping an eye out for other forms of waste, such as leaky faucets and faulty lighting.
These initiatives at Campbell’s are an example of the type of innovative work Sodexo employees around the world are doing, in an effort to establish waste-reduction programs at all client sites by 2015. The programs involve increasing awareness and shifting behaviors, implementing equipment and process changes, and auditing the waste stream to find diversion pathways and new uses for materials that are recyclable, reusable or sellable.
These efforts are just the beginning, says Bernadette. “At Sodexo, we care about our clients and do whatever we can to help them reach their goals, because sustainability is a shared mission.”
For additional information, contact Bernadette Accordino at Bernadette.Accordino@sodexo.com.