PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aramark (NYSE: ARMK), the largest U.S.-based food service provider, is making it easier for students at 10 U.S.-based universities to make climate-friendly choices, by introducing Cool Food Meals on residential dining menus this semester.
Last October, World Resources Institute (WRI) announced its Cool Food Meals badge will appear on Aramark menus, as part of a 10-university pilot beginning in the Spring 2022 semester. The Cool Food Meals badge identifies dishes with a lower carbon footprint and will appear on more than 350 menu items Aramark will serve in residential dining rooms.
Among the universities participating in the pilot are Arizona State University, Florida State University, Slippery Rock University, St. Bonaventure University, the University of California Irvine, the University of Mississippi, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the University of Virginia, and Western Washington University.
WRI measured the carbon footprint of hundreds of Aramark’s recipes to identify items that meet Cool Food Meals criteria, based on the ingredients from farm to fork, and the land used to produce the meal. If a dish’s carbon footprint falls below an established per-meal threshold, and also meets nutrition safeguards, it is approved as a Cool Food Meal. Some examples of Aramark dishes that will be labeled as a Cool Food Meal include Mediterranean Falafel Plate, Five Spice Sesame Tofu Salad Bowl, Shawarma Chicken Ciabatta, and Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Sandwich.
“We are excited to make it easier for students to identify climate-friendly choices on dining menus, with the addition of the Cool Food Meals badge,” said Jack Donovan, President and CEO of Aramark’s Higher Education business. “Reducing Aramark’s impact on the planet is a critical priority. Our own research has shown that 60% of consumers want to reduce their meat intake. Our 350 Cool Food Meals recipes use less beef and lamb, so we are meeting our guests’ desires, as well as making these items climate-friendly.”
“Young people are some of the loudest voices calling for climate action. With agriculture accounting for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, changing what we eat is one of the easiest ways to lower our personal carbon footprint and have an impact in the world,” said Edwina Hughes, Head of Cool Food at World Resources Institute. “Students, faculty, and staff will now have an easy way to put their climate ambitions into action – whether that’s lunch after class, at a football game, or picking up late night food. This is about helping people make climate action a simple and core part of their lifestyle.”
Aramark is the first contract catering company to adopt the Cool Food Meals badge. Since 2015, the company has increased its climate-friendly plant-forward menu options through its Healthy for Life® initiative. Currently, more than 35% of main dishes Aramark serves on menus at workplaces, hospital cafes, and university dining halls in the United States are either vegan, vegetarian, or plant forward.
Aramark’s commitment to the planet is a core part of the company’s sustainability plan, Be Well. Do Well., focused on positively impacting people and the planet. Aramark’s planet priority is focused on several initiatives addressing climate change. The Company is working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by offering more vegan and vegetarian meals, sourcing responsibly, operating more efficiently, minimizing food waste, and reducing packaging.
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world with food, facilities, and uniform services. Because our culture is rooted in service, our employees strive to do great things for each other, our partners, our communities, and our planet. Aramark has been named to DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” list, the Forbes list of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity,” the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and scored 100% on the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.aramark.com and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.