In 2020, few things were business as usual. But our commitment to sustainability never wavered.
We reach millions of people around the globe—employees, clients, customers, suppliers, and communities—and are uniquely positioned to address myriad issues facing people and the planet. This is the essence of our sustainability plan, Be Well. Do Well.
Here’s a look at how we sought to create a better world through our environmental, economic, social, and ethical practices in 2020 while meeting the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.
People are at the center of everything we do. We’re focused on the wellbeing of our employees and consumers, the people in the communities where we live and work, as well as those in our supply chain. We’re proud of our long-standing commitment to enable equity for all the people we connect with around the world.
We also focus on the wellbeing of our planet by minimizing our environmental impact, from the foods we serve and facilities we operate to the vehicles we drive. To drive this progress, we set a specific climate change goal: By the end of 2025, we’ll reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 15% from our 2019 baseline.
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Our commitment to reducing emissions builds on work already underway: sourcing responsibly, operating efficiently, minimizing food waste, and reducing packaging. The priorities for our people and planet goals are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
Among our accomplishments in 2020:
- Engaging our employees: We launched myERG, a virtual platform that allows our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), such as Aramark Pride for the LGBTQ+ community and Aramark Thrive for people with disabilities and their caregivers, to send news, content, program updates, and more.
- Empowering healthy consumers: Our plant-forward menus have increased fruits, vegetables, and whole grains by 19% while reducing red meat by 12%.
- Building local communities: We safely provided 110 million free meals to students in nearly 300 school districts across the country, and we continue to serve 1 million meals to school children daily.
- Sourcing ethically and inclusively: We sponsored 20 Minority Business Enterprise owners for a Chicago-based business management program, called PIPE (Progress, Insight & Performance Education).
- Sourcing responsibly: We completed our transition to responsibly sourced palm oil in all our contracted margarines and shortenings.
- Operating efficiently: In November, we unveiled Aramark Intelligent Workplace Experience (AIWX Connect), a technology platform that helps facilities owners and operators optimize heating, cooling, and other workplace energy usage based on building occupancy and other real-time data.
- Minimizing food waste: We deployed waste-tracking technology at an additional 183 client locations, now totaling close to 400.
- Reducing packaging: As take-out dining became the default during the pandemic, we developed internal guidance to expand reusable take-out container programs while ensuring safety
Creating A Better World For Generations To Come
Sustainability is a journey of continuous improvement. In the year ahead, we intend to further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and are working through a deep assessment to elevate our diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.
While 2020 was a year unlike any other in history, it reminded our industry about the need to innovate and remain agile, while always striving to do right by our people and the planet.