Our Initiatives

As a guest, it is easy to make smart environmental choices when you dine at Bentley University. We know today's college students want to do the right thing for the planet and we also understand you lead busy lives, so your Sodexo chefs and managers do a lot of the work for you behind the scenes! This commitment was formalized with Sodexo's Better Tomorrow Plan, which includes 18 commitments for a brighter future by focusing on four key priorities: health, planet, community and our people. We know we can all work together to make a positive impact right here at Bentley. In addition to the many initiatives we take on as a company, we have implemented the following programs specific to Bentley. For questions or more information on Bentley Dining's sustainability initiatives, please contact Richard Rubini.

Local Suppliers

Now more than ever, it’s critical for organizations to do well by doing good. Our company is committed to doing all it can to advance local sourcing in the communities we serve, along with promoting the economic, social, environmental and health-related benefits that follow. At Bentley Dining, we participate in the Farm to School program, working closely with local vendors to maximize the amount of product we purchase from the local community. Some of Bentley Dining’s featured partners are: Ward Berry Farm; Sharon, Ma, Lull Farm; Hollis, New Hampshire, Alyson’s Farm; Walpole, New Hampshire, Hatfield Farm; Ma and Garelick Farm, MA. We have a total of 73 local vendors that we source from. We track our local purchases to help us to meet our Better Tomorrow Plan commitment of 20% local purchase by 2020. 

Swipe Out Hunger

Dining services is proud to partner with Bentley University in the Swipe Out Hunger program.  The program is designed to educate Bentley’s campus community about food insecurity and provide support to Bentley students who may be experiencing food insecurity. Students on a meal plan can donate up to 25 swipes per trimester to a Bentley student in need.

This program was designed using best practices provided by Swipe Out Hunger, a national non-profit that supports colleges in developing programs to meet the needs of food insecure students. To find out more about the organization, please visit swipehunger.org. 

To learn more, donate swipes or if you are experiencing food insecurity visit Bentley's Swipe Out Hunger Page. 

Outreach and Education

OUR IMPACT on the environment includes promoting plant-based meals, preventing waste, managing energy efficiently and sourcing responsibly. Plant-based eating is gaining in popularity as millions of Americans are increasingly embracing plant-based meals for better health and for environmental and animal welfare reasons. Food service professionals are seeking ways to meet the demand for more plant-based menu items, and Forward Food is the only initiative in the country that provides such training to institutions.  
With the Humane Society of the U.S., we trained our chefs in plant-based culinary cuisine. This hands-on training sheds light on how to create delicious, plant-based meals that also are cost-effective and sustainable. The event also covered the health and nutrition aspects of food and recipe development. We have created over 200 new plant-based recipes and used our more climate-friendly beef and mushroom blend in more than 1 million burgers. Not to mention, we introduced the Impossible Burger to our menu, which has the nutrition of meat from animals, but are free of the animal hormones, antibodies, and contaminates. Ingredients are handpicked for health, nutrition, safety and overall environmental impact.

Food for Free

Food for Free is a non-profit organization that is bridging the gap between hunger and waste. Food for Free collects untouched and unwanted food, repackages it into individual meals and distributes it to those in need. Bentley Dining Services now packages prepared, untouched food at the end of each meal period. It is then frozen and picked up by Food for Free. During the Fall 2017 Semester Food for free has collected an estimated 1,460 lbs. of food, equating to over 1200 complete meals for those in need.


Food waste in landfills creates methane, a greenhouse gas which is 21x more potent than CO2. (www.epa.gov) Our first priority is to reduce food waste. We compost food waste that is unavoidable which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and can also be used to amend soil thereby increasing drought tolerance, improving soil structure and health and reducing need for water and fertilizers. 

Local Results: Our pre-consumer food waste is collected and composted at Waltham Fields Community Farm.

APEX™ Dishwashing System

As part of its commitment to increase the sustainability of its operations, Bentley University 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. Apex uses a unique combination of detergents, rinse additives, equipment and consultative services to address the operational challenges in food-service operations. The Apex management approach uses a tablet PC and wireless technology to communicate with the system's controller to download, process and analyze data to establish each food-service operation's "rack-to-guest ratio." By monitoring and improving this ratio, the system helps reduce the amount of water and energy used at each facility, and improve total operational efficiency.
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. Apex products come in a compact solid form that significantly reduces transportation shipments compared to bulkier liquid detergents.

Other Materials Management Initiatives

• Our napkins are made from 100% recycled content paper (90% post-consumer).
• Paper towels are made from 100% recycled content.
• Office paper is made from 30% post-consumer recycled content and is FSC certified.
• Bulk condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and BBQ sauce in our residential dining operations eliminate single use packaging waste.
• We print double-sided in our offices when printing is necessary.  
• Our dairy products are delivered in reusable crates.