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

In support of the Student Union's Leed Gold certification, Dining Services' partnership with UMKC strives to promote sustainability and environmental awareness. Here's what we're doing behind the kitchen doors:

  • Composting: All organic waste is collected in buckets and deposited into large bins on the back dock for pick-up by Missouri Organics.
  • All of our fryer oil is collected and picked up by Missouri Organics for recycling
  • All of our cardboard boxes, cans, plastic and paper waste are broken down and recycled
  • We have partnered with the UMKC gardens to provide them with our coffee grounds from Jazzman's CafĂ©, and we offer them free to our guests.

Cardboard Recycling

Sodexo is now recycling large amounts of cardboard at our main facility in the Student Success Center! Three times per week, a large cart, densely packed with flattened cardboard boxes, is taken from the Student Success Center main kitchen by UMKC Campus Facilities Management staff to their cardboard compactor across campus. This amounts to over 500 lbs. of cardboard being recycled by Sodexo/UMKC Dining Services every week...just at the Student Success Center. Sodexo/Einstein also recycles cardboard. For over a year, this location has been recycling well over 100 lbs. of cardboard every week.


Sodexo has partnered with Ecolab to help create a cleaner and healthier dining environment while conserving resources and reducing waste. Some of our initiatives include:

  • No-rinse products for dish washing to use less water.
  • Products and packaging use renewable materials.
  • Product designs that minimize packaging.
  • Products shipped using substantially less fuel.

Single Napkin Dispensers

UMKC Dining Services has recently replaced the baskets full of napkins that were placed on each table with the single napkin dispensers that are strategically placed around the Dining Hall. These new napkin dispensers make it harder for students to grab an unnecessary handful of napkins for a job that only requires one or two napkins. Hence, UMKC Dining Services is reducing its carbon footprint on the world by using fewer napkins and producing less waste.

Sustainability at Starbucks

UMKC Dining Services and Starbucks are committed to reducing our environmental impact through increased use of post-consumer recycled materials.

  • 60% post-consumer fiber sleeve
  • First-ever 10% post-consumer fiber cup

Organic Composting Program

On October 27, 2008 the Student Success Center began a partnership with Missouri Organics and Sodexo in an organic composting program. It is our intent that the reduced tonnage in food waste will allow for a cost savings over the life of the program. This program can not only be beneficial to the current Student Success Center operation, but also a foundational cornerstone to the sustainable focus in operating the new Student Union.

Here are some basic mechanisms of how the program will work:

  • Missouri Organics has supplied 4 96-gallon containers for the program
  • The containers are lined with compostable bags
  • Sodexo will purchase 5-gallon buckets that will be filled with preparation waste and post-consumer waste and then transported to the 96-gallon containers. The 5-gallon bucks will encourage individual responsibility for the program and reduce the cost of additional bags.
  • All food waste materials, plus card board, wax paper, and food cartons are compostable. The only items that will fall outside of this process will be plastics, i.e. straws/creamer contains/etc. Our intent is to provide a separate tub by the dish line to encourage our students and guests to join us in the process by separating their plastic items much as they currently do their silverware. We hope you join us in this new endeavor.

Trayless Dining Hall

The UMKC Dining Hall has recently disposed of all trays from the dining program. Without trays, students will be more prone to strategically picking what foods they would like to eat for their meal thus ensuring more healthy choices. Also, there will be less waste production because students cannot pile food onto their trays so instead they will finish what food is on their plate before going to get more if necessary. Last year, the Dining Hall wasted 30 tons of food as a result of tray usage. Finally, trays waste gallons of water in order to be cleaned so without trays the Dining Hall can save lots of water.

Cage-free Eggs

UMKC now serves cage-free eggs only! UMKC Dining Services is now proud to serve only cage-free eggs across campus. Dining Services is committed to listening and responding to our student customers.

Why are we going "cage-free"?

  • General input from members of the UMKC Community
  • An SGA Resolution passed in Spring of 2007 requesting cage-free only eggs
  • Support for this transition from the UMKC Student Board of Governors
  • Sodexo's commitment to social responsibility and responsive management
  • We are committed to a socially responsible dining program.

Did You Know?

Most egg-laying hens in the United States are confined in wire battery cages so small they can't even spread their wings. Suspended over their own waste, the hens are unable to engage in many of their natural behaviors, including nesting, dust bathing, perching, and foraging, let alone roaming, walking comfortably, or even feeling the earth under their feet. Overcrowded in tiny barren cages, these birds endure lives of daily frustration and suffering.

We are proud of our decision to exclusively use eggs from cage-free hens, and we're thrilled to be honored by the Humane Society of the United States for this decision.

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University of Missouri - Kansas City | Dining Services | Student Success Center G36A | Kansas City, MO 64110 | tel. (816) 235-1077 | Contact Us