Our Initiatives

Our team is dedicated to sustainability and are committed to creating a better tomorrow.  We know we can all work together to make a positive impact right here at Seattle Pacific University.  In addition to the many initiatives we take on as a company, we have implemented the following programs specific to Seattle Pacific University.


In May 2019, we were nationally recognized and achieved the MyGreenIdea Award for the sustainable diets category for our plant-based dining initiatives. Based on the growing demand for plant-based dining, Seattle Pacific University decided to expand their vegan dining platform. During the winter break, they doubled the station size by expanding into a neighboring platform space. With a larger area to use, the team was able to include a hot entrée at each meal period as well as side dishes and/or salads. To encourage greater participation at the station, they chose to call the station Avant Garden as omnivores are more likely to try the station than one directly marketed to vegans. When seasonally available, we utilize locally produce from the Puget Sound Food Hub at this station. Our partnership with the Puget Sound Food Hub allows us to source from small local farms in the Puget Sound area.Participation at the expanded Avant Garden station expanded by 50% over the prior quarter. Our goal is to continue to highlight this station as both a plant-friendly and local dining platform.

We are committed to create a better tomorrow! At SPU, we serve 100% Cage-Free Eggs and 100% sustainably sourced seafood. We work with the World Wildlife Fund and Monterey Bay Aquarium to protect our seafood supply and ocean ecosystems for future generations. As a company, Sodexo is a member of the world's first food industry led initiative aimed at advancing animal welfare globally called the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare. We also have a supplier code of conduct with our suppliers who pledged to conduct business with the highest level of ethical, social, and environmental practices. This year, we reduced 120 pounds of beef consumption by serving blended mushroom burgers and expanded our plant-based dining initiatives. Although these are some of the sourcing initiatives we accomplished, we can always do more! We look forward to share our initiatives and move towards a better tomorrow.
We are one of three universities in Washington that received an A+ Rating on Peta2's Vegan Report Card. We are one of three campuses in Washington that received an A+ Rating on Peta2's Vegan Report Card. Gwinn Commons Dining Hall's plant-based Avant Garden Station, plant-based station that serves plant-based options for all three meals daily, has helped us achieve this award. Due to its popularity, we expanded the station by adding a new area called "Avant Garden Express". This new station rotates weekly through different flavor profiles incorporating freshly tossed salads and soups such as Mango Jicama Salad and Chickpea Soup. In alignment with Sodexo's goal of moving plant-forward, Gwinn also added blended Mushroom Burgers available upon request at the Grill station. The new blended Mushroom Burger not only reduces environmental impact but it also contains lower calories, sodium, and cholesterol while adding nutrients like Vitamin D, Potassium, and B Vitamins. In Retail, Einstein’s added Dairy-Free Shmear to their menu, the C-Store expanded their vegan, dairy-free and gluten free items (soy milk, almond milk yogurts, gluten-free breads, vegan snacks, etc.), Academic Perks and Common Grounds has dairy-free options, and new plant-based menu items can be found in Simply To Go.
Seattle Pacific Dining SAM

We are one of five chapters in Washington that is Food Recovery Verified! Thanks to the help of the SPU Food Recovery Network Club, we feed people and not landfills by donating excess food to Operation Sack Lunch and Tent City 3. This academic year, over 500 pounds of food was donated. If you are interested in joining a SPU recovery, please contact the SPU Food Recovery Network Club.


We are committed to purchase locally grown produce from growers in Washington whenever and wherever possible.  In 2018, we partnered with the Puget Sound Food Hub Coalition to purchase locally grown produce from six GAP certified farms and launched our Farm to Table series, where our guests can interact with local farms and taste our dishes incorporating their products. This year, our farm to table events featured Taylor Shellfish Farms, Ralph's Greenhouse & the Puget Sound Food Hub. Here are a few of the local farmers and businesses that supply Sodexo at Seattle Pacific University: 

  • Puget Sound Food Hub Coalition: Ralph's Greenhouse, VIVA Farms, Hopewell Farm, Cloud Mountain Farming Center, Bow  Hill Blueberries, and Sauk Farm
  • Yakima Valley Farms
  • Dairgold
  • Smith Co. Meats
  • Rainer Fruit Company
  • Valley Pride
  • Easterday Farms
  • Duck Produce
  • Starbucks
  • Flying Apron Bakery
Local-35x35.pngFor the twelfth consecutive year, Sodexo was ranked as one of the most sustainable companies in the world by earning Gold Class distinction in SAM's Sustainability Yearbook 2019! Sodexo is a leader in the industry for its excellent sustainability performance scoring 75% compared to the industry average of 16%. SPU Dining Services is committed to the Better Tomorrow Plan by purchasing locally, serving sustainable, healthy, and balanced meal choices, reducing waste,  promoting an inclusive culture, promoting growth, & more!

In 2017-18, we recycled 800 gallons of cooking oil into biodiesel and 64 tons of cardboard! 

In 2018-19, we composted over 70 tons of material to Cedar Grove. In 2016, we introduced compostable to go ware at Cocina Del Sol, the C-Store, Bertona Street Pizza, Bertona Street Grill, and Gwinn Commons Dining Hall. 47% of our paper products are compostable and biodegradable.

Join our reusable to-go container program to take meals to go from Gwinn Commons Dining Hall. These containers are microwavable and reusable which helps us reduce waste in our dining hall.
Sodexo was one of the sponsors for the Washington & Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference held on February 26-27 in Seattle. Our Campus Executive Chef Chris Studtmann, presented a Lunch and Learn session showcasing Sodexo’s plant-forward initiatives and focus on community sourcing. In his presentation, he highlighted Sodexo’s Avant Garden program, Mushroom Blended Burger, support for local food systems including the Puget Sound Food Hub and Local Inland Northwest Co-Operative, and plant-based marketing strategies. During the presentation, guests enjoyed delicious plant-based appetizers amid a beautiful display of local produce. The plant-based menu, themed “Life of a Beet,” was created by Chris and SPU Executive Chef, Angela Shultz. They incorporated local and organic products while minimizing waste with a root to stem approach. After the lunch & learn, guests came up to Chef Chris and Angela asking for the recipes and how they could incorporate plant-based dining into their campus menu!

Since 2009, we have used trayless dining in Gwinn Commons Dining Hall to reduce the amount our waste, water and detergents used, and save energy. Every day, we save 450 gallons of water from being trayless!

Our napkins are made of 100% recycled paper and our napkin dispensers encourages guests to take less napkins- meaning less waste!