PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Two nationwide research studies, conducted by ARAMARK Higher Education, present a sound business case for removing trays from college dining halls and indicate that customers are ready to accept trayless dining in an effort to support environmental stewardship. ARAMARK estimates that 50 to 60 percent of its 500 campus partners will go trayless in the upcoming school year.
In one study, ARAMARK measured food wasted from more than 186,000 meals served at over 25 higher education institutions during the academic year. ARAMARK reports food waste quantity was reduced by 1.2 to 1.8 ounces per person per meal when trays were removed from dining facilities. This represents a 25 to 30 percent reduction in food waste per person.
In a complementary study, ARAMARK also surveyed over 92,000 students, faculty, and staff at 300 institutions across the country to gauge their support of tray removal. Seventy-nine percent of the respondents said they would support trayless dining, thus countering the belief that tray removal would not be accepted due to inconvenience or customer dissatisfaction.
“This research presents a sound case for why now is the time for higher education administrators to implement trayless dining at their institutions,” said Chris Stemen, Senior Director of Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship, ARAMARK Higher Education. “Trayless dining reduces an institution’s environmental footprint by decreasing waste and conserving natural resources. Socially, it encourages all students to participate in a ‘green’ initiative that has personal and community impact. Economically, going trayless reduces the cost of energy, water, cleaning agents and waste removal.”
In an effort to support environmental stewardship programs, colleges and universities are looking for ways to substantially minimize their waste, conserve natural resources, and provide a more sustainable solution. Through initiatives such as recycling, energy management, and sustainable food programs, students, faculty, and staff are working to instill sustainability principles at their respective institution and the surrounding communities. Trayless dining, while often overlooked, is an initiative that has immediate and tangible environmental, social, and economic benefits.
The research was released as part of a white paper, titled “The Business and Cultural Acceptance Case for Trayless Dining.” The white paper features case studies of several campuses that piloted trayless dining and also provides guidelines and tips on how to successfully implement a trayless dining program.
The white paper can be found at http://www.aramarkhighered.com/ThoughtLeadership/Articles.asp.
About ARAMARK Higher Education
ARAMARK Higher Education is dedicated to excellence in dining, facility, conference center, and stadium and arena services. ARAMARK enhances the living and learning experience and environment for more than 600 colleges and universities throughout North America. For more information and a list of our services, visit www.aramarkhighered.com.
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. In FORTUNE magazine's 2008 list of "America's Most Admired Companies," ARAMARK was ranked number one in its industry, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and analysts. ARAMARK also ranked first in its industry in the 2007 FORTUNE 500 survey. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 250,000 employees serving clients in 19 countries. Learn more at the company's Web site, www.aramark.com.