Sodexo’s Sustainability Team Celebrates Growth at Gonzaga’s Hydroponic Greenhouse

September 14, 2016

A year after opening, Sodexo employees have optimized the innovative greenhouse to grow even more crops, while significantly reducing water use and growth time

Sodexo’s Sustainability Team Celebrates Growth at Gonzaga’s Hydroponic Greenhouse

GAITHERSBURG, Md. September 14, 2016 – Sodexo, world leader in quality of life services, recognized its dining sustainability team at Gonzaga University for celebrating the one-year anniversary of the John J. Hemmingson Center Gonzaga Greenhouse. The team worked to successfully increase crop yields using a greenhouse design that recycles and consumes one-tenth the water of traditional farming.

This 1,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse facility harvests a variety of produce and herbs that are planted in close proximity to allow for large production. When it launched, the greenhouse was expected to grow 150 heads of lettuce, but during the past year Sodexo staff optimized and expanded it to grow even more. The facility now yields 120 heads of lettuce, 30 pounds of tomatoes, and a small harvest of peppers and herbs every week. In addition, the team recently added an outdoor garden to the greenhouse balcony.

“Our recycling system design allows for exact measuring of nutrients, temperature and humidity,” says Sodexo’s Daniel Caris, who is the sustainability coordinator for Zag Dining. “A perfect balance of these conditions decreases growth time by 10% and contributes to an increased yield of produce in a pest free environment.”

Sodexo works to reduce environmental impacts at client sites, promote sustainable sourcing practices and optimize natural resource consumption. The greenhouse at Gonzaga is a perfect example of how the company promotes sustainability on college campuses.

The dining sustainability team at Gonzaga University has a multi-faceted program for greenhouse education, providing hands-on experience for student employees and volunteers.  The program also offers greenhouse tours to elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as the community.

Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations.

Learn more about Sodexo at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.

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Contact: Samuel Wells, Sodexo, Inc., 301 987 4843, samuel.wells@sodexo.com

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