Aramark Has a Strong Sustainability Program

Some companies really stand out when it comes to sustainability. Aramark is one of them. The company that provides food services, facilities management and uniforms recently received the 2015 Sustainability Partner Award from Citi. 

Aramark, which operates in 21 countries, has a strong sustainability program that includes responsible sourcing. Sustainably sourced seafood is part of responsible sourcing, and Aramark has made commitments to transition to 100 percent sustainably sourced seafood in the U.S. by 2018 and to sustainably sourced canned skipjack and albacore tuna in 2016. Aramark is also committed to sourcing locally grown products and providing fair trade certified coffee.

Another part of Aramark's responsible sourcing initiatives is a strong animal welfare program. In 2015, Aramark adopted new animal welfare principles and purchasing commitments.  The company is phasing animal cruelty out of its supply chains.  The purchasing commitments are wide-reading, and one of them includes purchasing only cage-free shell eggs by 2015, a commitment it met. By 2020, the company will transition to 100 percent cage-free liquid eggs. By 2017 it will transition to pork from pigs that are group-housed, which means sow gestation crates will be phased out of its pork supply chain. 

Aramark’s other animal welfare commitments are:

  • Eliminating all veal from animals confined in crates in the U.S. by 2017. 
  • Working with supplies to address issues of pain relief for disbudding and castration problems with cattle, and eventually eliminating tail docking and dehorning. 
  • Addressing animal welfare issues concerning the fast growth of broiler chickens and turkeys, and supports eliminating slaughtering systems that use live dumping and shackling.
  • In 2011, the company stopped buying foie gras. 

Working with suppliers is key to phasing animal cruelty out of its supply chains, and its animal welfare policies outline what Aramark expects from suppliers, which include:

  • Asking suppliers for progress reports.
  • Requiring third-party documentation of a supplier’s efforts.
  • Incorporating animal welfare principles into contracts.
  • Requiring decisive action if case of animal abuse or cruelty arise.

Aramark’s animal welfare policies are not going unnoticed. This year, the company received the Henry Spira Humane Corporate Progress Award for its commitment to farm animal welfare and for creating its animal welfare principles and policy. In 2012, Aramark also received the Henry Spira Award. This year, the company received the Good Egg Award for successfully transitioning to cage-free shell eggs in 2015. 

Minimizing waste and water use is also part of Aramark’s environmental sustainability program. The company knows that reducing both can have a big impact. For example, Aramark estimates that a large convention center can potentially recycle over 170 tons of cardboard, 2,400 pounds of aluminum cans, 3,300 gallons of kitchen oil, 180 tons of mixed paper, plastic and glass, 12 tons of scrap metal, and up to 8,000 wood shipping pallets. 

Photo: Wikipedia/Bmarks13