ALERT:  View MECA's 2020-2021 Welcome to Campus Plan by clicking this link.

A Better Tomorrow Starts Today

As a guest, it is easy to make smart environmental choices when you dine at a Sodexo café. We know today’s college students want to do the right thing for the planet and we also understand you lead busy lives, so your Sodexo chefs and managers do a lot of the work for you behind the scenes!

From purchasing local seasonal produce whenever possible to reducing inorganic and or- ganic waste, your campus team is dedicated to providing you with an exceptional dining experience that is good for you and good for the planet. This commitment was formalized with Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow Plan. The Better Tomor- row Plan includes 14 commitments for a brighter future by focusing on three key priorities: health, community and planet. Learn more about the Better Tomorrow Commitments.

While your Sodexo team works hard behind the scenes, they also count on student engagement and enthusiasm to spread the word about what you’re doing together on your campus. We encourage you to work with your local Sodexo management team to continue to innovate and improve sustainability efforts in your community.

If you have additional comments or questions, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

Sustainability Initiatives

Your Sodexo Campus Dining Team is dedicated to sustainability. We know we can all work together to make a positive impact right here atMaine College of Art. In addition to the many initiatives we take on as a company, we have implemented the following programs specific to Maine College of Art.

Sodexo’s Partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute

In June of 2015, Sodexo announced a commitment to shift current sourcing for our Maine locations to include more Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested ® seafood. This effort, in partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), supports a community of businesses committed to the sustainability of the region’s seafood economy. Sodexo will source 20% Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested whitefish by January 1, 2016 and 100% Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested whitefish by January 1, 2020. These species include redfish, dogfish, mackerel, pollock, and whiting. We are very proud of this initiative and have a variety of cobranded marketing materials with GMRI to highlight out commitment and bring attention to the responsibly harvested whitefish that some of our customers may not be familiar with.

We understand how important the sourcing of responsibly harvested whitefish from the Gulf of Maine is, and we want to make sure MECA customers do too. GMRI Sustainable Seafood Brand Manager, Kyle Foley (Colby College Alum, Class of ’05) works with Sodexo campus accounts to do multiple site visits a year with the purpose of engaging and interacting with students. These events include information tabling with seafood trivia and tastings to actual classrooms visits.

Sustainable Fishing Information

Waste Reduction Efforts


On campus we recycle the following products: printer toner cartridges, cardboard, glass, aluminum, paper, plastic.


Food waste in landfills creates methane, a greenhouse gas which is 21x more potent than CO2. Our first priority is to reduce food waste. We compost food waste that is unavoidable which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and can also be used to amend soil thereby increasing drought tolerance, improving soil structure and health and reducing need for water and fertilizers.

We compost our coffee grounds and pre-consumer food waste. We place our waste outside in composting bins that were provided by the College and the students come on a regular basis to acquire the compost.

Xpress Nap Dispensers

Xprss Nap Dispensers save energy and waste. The napkins are made of 100% recycled paper and the dispenser will encourage customers to take (and waste) fewer napkins. Energy is saved because less power is used to recycle paper products than to create them from virgin material.

APEX Dishwashing System

APEX combines technology and products designed to save water and energy, minimize the impact of products on the environment, and has a built-in method of measuring results. The APEX management approach uses a tablet PC and wireless technology to communicate with the system’s controller to download, process and analyze data to establish each foodservice operation’s “rack-to-guest ratio.” By monitoring and improving this ratio, the system helps reduce the amount of water and energy used at each facility, and improve total operational efficiency.

Recycling Fryer Oil into Biofuel

We have partnered with Maine Standard Biofuels this semester to recycle our used vegetable oil and convert it as a “green” renewable fuel. This locally owned and operated company provides us with clean and green storage containers, collects our oil, and then donates $.05 for every gallon we use to local charities such as Habitat for Humanity and Environment Maine. Maine Standard Biofuels currently provides the fuel Oakhurst uses to run their 130 biodiesel fleet. So we are providing the oil used to have our milk delivered to us.

Reusable Dishware

We offer china dishes in our dining locations. This reduces waste associated with using disposable containers. Dining in? Be sure to use china. We also use china at our catered functions on site.

Local, Seasonal, Responsible Sourcing

We work closely with local produce distributors to maximize the fruits and vegetables purchased from local farms. We also purchase from local dairies, and participate in farm to school initiatives. Tracking local purchases helps us to meet our Better Tomorrow Plan commitment of 20% local purchase by 2020.

Read more

We are proud to feature the following local suppliers:
Oakhurst is currently a leader in environmental sustainability in the state of Maine. Through its innovative energy programs and conservation efforts, the company has dramatically reduced its carbon and environmental footprint. Oakhurst is currently investing in solar energy at their Waterville distribution center, making it one of the largest solar installations in the state of Maine. In 2009 they purchased a hybrid delivery truck, which was the first of its kind for the dairy industry. Their delivery fleet use environmentally friendly refrigerants and truck skirts which significantly increase aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.

Another local company used by Sodexo is Native Maine Produce. In an effort to provide as much local seasonal products as possible, we depend heavily on the fruits and vegetables we receive from our Westbrook supplier. In the winter Native Maine supplies locally grown apples, cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, winter squash, turnips and greenhouse tomatoes. Come spring crops of local asparagus, herbs, lettuce, parsnips and rhubarb are available. And when school begins in the fall we can put plenty of locally grown blueberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, chard, corn, cranberries, cucumbers, eggplant, pumpkin, plums, and rutabaga on our menu.

Local companies Native Maine is currently purchasing from:
Allen’s Blueberries Ellsworth, Maine Apple Acres Farm Hiram, Maine Backyard Beauties Madison, Maine Bill Bamford / Maxwell’s Farm Cape Elizabeth, Maine Blue Mango Foods Portland, Maine Browne Trading Company Portland, Maine Carlin Family Farm Windham, Maine Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative Madawaska, Maine, Curran Company Saco, Maine Flaherty Family Farms Scarborough, Maine Gillespie Farms New Gloucester, Maine Grant’s Farm Saco, Maine Green Thumb Farms Fryeburg, Maine Hurricane’s Soup Greene, Maine Idleknot Farm Falmouth, Maine Irving Farm Caribou, Maine It’ll Be Pizza Portland, Maine Jacqmin’s Greenhouse New Gloucester, Maine Jordan’s Farm Cape Elizabeth, Maine Katahdin Specialty Coffee Westbrook, Maine Kate’s Homemade Butter Old Orchard Beach, Maine Maine Lobster Roll Company Portland, Maine Maine Maple Products Madison, Maine Maine Sea Salt Company Brewer, Maine Morse’s Sauerkraut Waldoboro, Maine Olivia’s Garden New Gloucester, Maine Oyster Creek Mushroom Company New Gloucester, Maine Papou’s Kitchen Portland, Maine Pineland Farms New Gloucester, Maine Pleasant Hill Gardens Scarborough, Maine Portland Shellfish Company South Portland, Maine Randall Orchards Standish, Maine R.B. Swan & Son, Inc. Brewer, Maine Silvery Moon Creamery Westbrook, Maine Smiling Hill Farm Westbrook, Maine Teicher Farm & Greenhouse Eustis, Maine

Our prime product supplier is Northcenter, out of Augusta.

They provide us with our locally Maine produced Gifford’s Ice Cream for the dining hall, Poland Spring water for the café and catering, and Wyman’s blueberries for pancakes and baked goods. They also deliver to us products manufactured throughout New England, such as Yoplait Yogurt, Piantedosi Bread, Kens’s salad dressing and Sparrow baking supplies all from Massachusetts.

Environmental Awareness Policy

Sodexo’s Environmental Action Program is complex and multifaceted, offering solid information and tools to make our customers, clients, employees, and society at large aware of environmental problems and how they can help. This is a “living program” with an open-door policy: We will add to, amend, update and keep our programs current through publications, posters, newsletters and similar marketing and communication materials. Our program will be enhanced as new information is discovered and as we hear suggestions from our customers and clients.

Read more

The following are key steps we follow to maximizing the impact we can make with our environmental programs:

  1. Use a Waste Stream Audit to identify the key campus opportunities.
  2. Review the audit summary with our customers and ask for your direction.
  3. Solicit campus support.Develop an action plan to focus on the initial issues.
  4. Draw together a task force of interested parties and delegate tasks.
  5. Meet with the task force and review progress as necessary. Support the objectives of the task force as needed.
  6. Our Manufacturing Partners

Sodexo has been an active member of industry coalitions which encourage legislators, manufacturers and consumers to jointly develop rational, not reactionary, strategies to today’s environmental needs. We select our manufacturing partners watchfully. Fort Howard, our largest contracted supplier of paper, napkins, tissue and towels, uses recycled fiber exclusively in the manufacturing process. Mobil Chemical, our primary contracted source for plastic can liners, uses from 30% to 90% recycled materials in their plastic liners.

Sweetheart Cup, Solo Cup, Amoco, Dart and Mobil all use pre-recycled material in the manufacture of foam plates, bowls and food containers. Sodexo will continue to form alliances with business organizations that are ecologically sound and responsible. W e will continue to work with consumer organizations, governmental agencies and industry groups to implement new strategies and tactics as they evolve. We will actively participate in the long-range planning process at the local and national levels to ensure that our environment and economy are protected for future generations to come.

Recycle Mug Program

The average American produces 3.5 pounds of garbage every day. This equates to 1,300 pounds of garbage per year for every man, woman and child in the U.S. And we’re running out of places to put that garbage. Sodexo is committed to working together with our customers, clients and manufacturers to reduce that waste and to build a better environment for ourselves and our future generations. Our most successful and generous support comes with our national Recycle Mug program. Not only does use of this mug substantial- ly reduce waste, but every sale of the mug directly benefits the health of our nation’s fish and wildlife and their respective habitats. We market this Recycle Mug program to colleges and universities across North America in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Read more

The Recycle Mugs will offer discounted prices for refills of coffee and carbonated soft drinks to encourage more frequent use and reduce waste. Sodexo will donate $.15 from the proceeds of every mug sold to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The results have been outstanding. Since the inception of this program in 1993, more than 800,000 cups have been purchased and over $200,000.00 presented to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This money helps support the nonprofit foundation’s goals of environmental education, natural resource management, habitat protection and ecosystem restoration.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation relies upon public and private support to fund conservation projects. We applaud Sodexo and those who have purchased the Refill Mug for becoming active partners in our conservation efforts,” said Amos Eno, Executive Director of the Foundation.”

“Purchasing a Refill Mug takes just a minute, but the funds raised through each sale support projects that will preserve and protect the environment for years to come. Sodexo’s Refill Mug program is an exemplary partnership because it facilitates the involvement of many individuals in environmental protection and provides the seed money necessary for conservation projects across the country.”

Find out more about the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Quick Links:

  • A Better Tomorrow Starts TodayLearn more about making smart choices for your health, for your community and for your planet
  • Spotlight on Sustainability: Sustainability highlights from campuses, schools, hos- pitals and other locations across the country
  • Sustainable Seafood at Sodexo: A quick and informative YouTube video about sus- tainable seafood and what our commit- ment means for you
  • Aspretto CoffeeGreat coffee and tea that does great things