By protecting and improving our environment, the communities where we do business and the students we serve, Sodexo makes every day a better day and every tomorrow a better tomorrow.

Sustainability Initiatives

Your Sodexo Campus Dining Team is dedicated to sustainability.  We know we can all work together to make a positive impact right here at Gonzaga.  In addition to the many initiatives we take on as a company, we have implemented the following programs specific to Gonzaga. Download our Local Sustainability Brochure.

Hydroponic Greenhouse

Completed in 2015, this 1000 sq. foot space grows fresh produce for Zag Dining. The greenhouse operates year-round and can produce up to 100 heads of lettuce a week.
Everything here is grown hydroponically, meaning that the plants are grown without soil. Instead, they get everything they need to grow from nutrient water that is constantly being circulated through their roots. This allows the plants to spend less energy on creating root systems and more energy on developing leaves, flowers and fruits. Growing food hydroponically conserves both water and land.
The greenhouse is available for tours and provides a unique educational opportunity for staff, students and the whole community.  

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Zero Waste

With a goal of reducing the amount of waste going to the landfill, Sodexo started a Zero Waste program at Gonzaga’s McCarthy Center in 2015. The project included adding bins for recycling and composting and organizing volunteers to help sports fans sort their waste. Since then, nearly 1/3 of the arena’s trash has been diverted from the landfill, which is approximately 6000 pounds of compost and recycling! 

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APEX™ Dishwashing System

APEX™ Dishwashing System As part of its commitment to increase the sustainability of its operations, Dining Services uses Ecolab’s Apex™ dishwashing system. Apex combines technology and products designed to save water and energy, minimize the impact of products on the environment, and has a built-in method of measuring results. All locations will benefit from using less water, energy and labor, thus minimizing their operations' overall environmental impact. In addition, the Apex system further supports Dining Services' sustainability initiatives with non-caustic chemistry and 95% less packaging material than current methods.

Xpress Nap Holders

XPressnap dispensers are another solution to reducing energy and waste. The napkins are made of 100% recycled paper and the dispenser design encourages customers to take (and waste) less napkins. More than half a million gallons of oil were saved and 41 tons of pollutants were kept out of the environment. Using recycled napkins diverted 4,131 cubic yards of paper from landfills.

Weigh the Waste

Did you know that 40% of the food produced in our country is wasted?  During the school year, we conduct a Weigh the Waste event. At the event, we weigh all of the uneaten food from guest’s plates.  We consolidate the findings and report back to the community.  This is tied to an awareness campaign that informs students about food waste and its impact to our environment and our communities.  

Sustainable Fish and Seafood

We are committed to serving sustainable seafood and fish.  By 2015 100% of our fish and seafood will be sustainable certified by the Marine Stewardship Council or the Best Aquaculture Practices.  We do not purchase any at risk species.


Zag Dining’s main dining room, the COG, reduces waste by collecting uneaten food off student’s plates and putting it into a compost shredder. The food scraps are sent to a local commercial composting facility and are turned into a natural soil amendment. This not only greatly reduces the amount of trash we send to the landfill, but turns that potential trash into gardening treasure. 

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Gonzaga University | Dining Services | 1027 N. Hamilton Avenue | Spokane, WA 99258 | tel. (509) 313-6906 | Contact Us