Our Initiatives

We recognize and understand the role that we play as a service provider, employer, and corporate citizen and the impact we can make on individuals, our communities, and the environment. YourMerrimack Dining Team is committedtoprovidinga sustainable and environmentally conscious dining program. Rose Forrest, Area Sustainability Coordinator, leads the charge and helps guide our team to make conscious and sustainable decisions. 

If you want to learn more about our sustainability efforts on campus, pleasedon'thesitate to contact us atMerrimackdining@Merrimack.edu 

1-     State Program Mission Statements 


2-     Definition of Local


Agricultural products are local if it is: 

  • Exclusively grown or trapped in Massachusetts 

  • Derived from an animal that was raised for at least one-third of its life in Massachusetts (except milk) 

  • For milk, a majority was produced from Massachusetts animals 

  • Honey produced by Massachusetts colonieslocatedexclusively in Massachusetts when all nectar was collected 

Processed foods are local if: 

  • 50% or more of all product ingredients by volume (excluding water) are raw agricultural products that are local to Massachusetts and 

  • Either processed or the food manufacturer is headquartered in Massachusetts 

Unique food products are local if two or more of the following are true: 

  • 50% or more of all ingredients by volume (excluding water) are raw agricultural products that are local to Massachusetts 

  • Substantial transformation of the ingredients in the product occurred in Massachusetts 

  • The headquarters of the company that manufactures the product is in Massachusetts 

Definition of Regional

Food grown, raised, or harvested within the six New England states (+50 mileradius) 

Agricultural products are regional if: 

  • Vendor of the product is a regional food business and 100% of the ingredients were grown, raised, or harvested on farms within the six New Englandstatesplus 50 miles 

Processed and Unique foods are regional if: 

  • Vendor of the product is a regional food business and at least 50% of the ingredients were grown, raised, or harvested on farms within the six New England states plus 50 miles (for example: broccoli soup, in which the broccoli and dairy were sourced regionally and equal 50% or more of the ingredients) 


3-     Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership 

Sodexo is proud to sign on as aNortheast Organic Family Farm partnerto support organic dairy farms in the Northeast and to help secure the future of organic dairy.We’recommitted topurchasingorganic dairy products from brands that source their milk from our region.  

To learn about our commitment and the partnership, please visitwww.saveorganicfamilyfarms.org 


4-     Reusable container programs on campuses

Choose to Reuse is a reusable to-go container program. This innovative reusable container program is designed to reduce packaging waste. Byparticipatingin the Choose to Reuse program, you can dine at your convenience while also taking steps to protect the environment. 


5-     Composting on campuses  

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

6-     Recycling on campuses 

  • Recycling reduces waste sent to landfills and incinerators. 

  • Recycling prevents pollution. 

  • Recycling conserves natural resources. 

  • Recycling conserves energy. 

  • Recycling creates jobs, producing economic benefits. 


7-     Our kitchens useWasteWatchpowered byLeanpathsystems

This allows our culinary teams tomonitorand track our food waste while we prepare your meals. By usingLeanpath, we are able to easily identify causes of food waste in real-time and make necessary adjustments to our procedures to help combat food waste. 


8-     Responsible Sourcing

·        100% sustainable seafood 

·        Fair Trade 

·        Harvest of the month 

·        Cage Free 

Animal welfare link 

committed to a responsible supply chain 




9-     Additional Campus Initiatives 

·        100% recycled paper napkins inXprssNap Dispensers to encourage guests to take few napkins 

·        Reusable dishware 

·        Bulk condiments 

·        On/Off protocols for our equipment 

·        Energy Star appliances 

·        Food recovery programs on campus – site specific  

·        Site specific accomplishments (such as Green Restaurant Certification for Salve Regina) 

  • Trayless dining. Customers without trays typically waste less food and beverages. Trayless dining reduces the amount of water and detergents needed to washtraywhich also saves energy. 


Better Tomorrow 2025

Our Better Tomorrow 2025 commitments help us to continue our journey to make life better for individuals, communities and the environment. We have three different but connected roles in the world: we are an employer, a service provider and a corporate citizen. To learn more please visit here.

Choose to Reuse

Want to enjoy a meal from Sparky's without having to dine in? We have a sustainable option. Purchase our Green-to-Go container at Sparky's check in and enjoy for the whole year. Eat. Wash. Repeat. Be part of Merrimack College's sustainability efforts and reduce waste by using your reusable container today!

Compostable Paper Goods

When you dine in our retail locations you can rest easy that you are also helping the environment. Our paper products are 100% compostable.