College Students and Sodexo Conserve Energy with Kitchen Updates
May 07, 2009
First collaboration of its kind yields recommendations for updates that will cut energy bill by 30 percent
GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 7, 2009 – Sodexo, a leading integrated services company providing food service and facilities management on 600 campuses in the United States, joined with a group of sustainability-minded Ithaca College students in upstate New York to cook up a plan to chop the energy bill by 30 percent and slice the kitchen carbon footprint by 26 percent by switching to energy-efficient equipment and promoting a conservation mindset.
“This partnership demonstrates fiscal and environmental responsibility and above all, the change engine is being driven by our students,” said Tom Rochon, president of Ithaca College “We’ve discovered a substantial way to cut our utility bills and to help the planet at the same time.”
The Sodexo-Ithaca team, the first collaboration of its kind, spearheaded a two-week equipment inventory in January. Sodexo and the students examined every piece of equipment for energy efficiency. In February they conducted a water and energy audit. Their findings helped to develop a baseline estimate of dining-service energy consumption and carbon emissions. Dining facilities require five times more energy than lecture halls or offices. The team identified short and long range ways to curb energy use that include installing energy-efficient exhaust fans, making employees more aware of energy use and adding light sensors. The team’s plan will cut the energy bill by nearly $140,000 per year via low-cost or no-cost projects. Investments in energy-efficient equipment will cost just over $215,000 and will pay for themselves in 19 months.
“Students are passionate about the environment and teaming with them promotes sustainability on campus as well as after they graduate,” said Al Allen, president of Sodexo facility management. “The education community can play a determinant role in leading the effort as it fits the education, research and public service missions of these institutions.”
Campuses across the United States, including Ithaca College, have pledged to be good environmental stewards through the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment, an effort to reduce and ultimately neutralize greenhouse gas emission on campus.
This program is part of Sodexo’s ongoing commitment to reduce waste, conserve water, to provide locally grown and sourced foods and materials and to engage in green cleaning practices in all food service and facilities management client sites globally.
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com) is a leading integrated facilities management services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with $7.7 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. Sodexo serves more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, government, and remote sites. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., is a member of Sodexo Group, and funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.sodexofoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $11 million in grants to fight hunger in America.
Coeducational and nonsectarian, Ithaca College (www.ithaca.edu) is a nationally recognized independent college of some 6,000 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. Located in Ithaca, New York, it combines the individual attention of a small institution with the resources and offerings of a large university. The college was founded in 1892 as a music conservatory and today continues that emphasis on performance and active learning—both inside and outside of the classroom—with over 100 degree programs offered through the Schools of Business, Communications, Health Sciences and Human Performance, Humanities and Sciences, and Music as well as the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies and Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies.