Away with chicken nuggets and other meat specialties, the cafeterias of American universities are going green. The ‘Campus’ branch of the giant Sodexo plans to serve 42% of its vegan menus in its partner restaurants by 2025. Goal: to reduce the company’s environmental footprint by choosing products that emit less greenhouse gases. A healthy shift that should also welcome the student population, which is increasingly demanding vegan alternatives.
Sodexo Campus decided to make this change after finding that 70% of its U.S. sourcing-related carbon footprint came from purchases of food of animal origin in fiscal year 2020. To achieve its environmental goals, the collective catering giant now wants to favor the give to plants, as reported veg news†
“The production of plant foods emits far less greenhouse gases and requires less water and land compared to animal foods”reminds of the site Globe Newswire† A sensible choice for the catering company that wants to reduce its CO2 footprint by 34% by 2025.
Train cooks in plant-based cooking
To help make this transition, Sodexo can count on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), an animal conservation organization that has been helping the company modernize its menus and take animal welfare into account for nearly 15 years. Their joint mission: reach 42% of vegan menus in US university canteens by 2025. This change will be implemented through the “Plant Based Takeovers” program, which includes in particular training for chefs in plant-based cooking, led by the HSUS. Nearly 140 universities served by Sodexo have already completed these programs. The latter also depend on feedback from staff and students to make menu choices sustainable.
But Sodexo isn’t on its first foray into vegan food. In 2019, for example, the company expanded its menu with meat alternatives from the Impossible Foods brand in more than 1,500 university cafeterias, hospitals and corporate offices across the country. Other vegan products such as Just EGG egg alternatives have also been introduced by Sodexo, to meet customer demand and reduce its environmental footprint.
Young people are increasingly attracted to vegetable proteins
Sodexo’s ambition to develop more vegan menus comes at a time when demand for more eco-friendly options, especially among students, is increasing. According to the Innova Health & Nutrition Survey, quoted by: veg news23% of 18-25 year olds follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, and nearly a third of young people surveyed increased their vegetable protein consumption by 2021. There is no doubt that this greening of the board will be beneficial to them, just as it will be to the animals and the planet.