Sodexo Awarded for Sustainable Food Procurement in Vermont

Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company committed to Quality of Life, announced today that the company received an Outstanding Case Study Award at the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council’s (SPLC) national Summit in Portland, Oregon for Sodexo’s Vermont First initiative. Through Vermont First, Sodexo works with farmers, distributors, processors, state government, non-profits and supply chain players to increase the amount of local food grown and sold in the state and beyond.

Last year, through Vermont First, Sodexo spent $2.8 million on local products in addition to convening over 30 stakeholder meetings and sponsored events including an Advisory Board and multiple focus groups to bring together Vermont food system stakeholders to solve the challenges of farm to institution. The success of Vermont First led to The Maine Course, a similar sustainability initiative across New England. Last year, $1.3 million was spent on local food thanks to The Maine Course by Sodexo.

“I am extremely delighted to have Sodexo’s VT First program recognized as a pillar of local sourcing through the lens of SPLC’s Leadership Principles,” said Judy Panayos, Sustainability Director for Sodexo’s North America Supply Management. “VT First embodies the collaborative and intentional approach to positive impact on the community that we expect to leverage in all our local sourcing programs.”

Sodexo incorporates local sourcing into the company’s overall purchasing practices to further support the communities in which Sodexo does business. As part of the organization’s corporate responsibility roadmap, called Better Tomorrow 2025, Sodexo is proud to enrich communities by sourcing local to focus on long-term sustainability.

To be considered for an Outstanding Case Study Award by the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC), case studies must exemplify one or more of SPLC’s Principles for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing and show measurable results in terms of environmental, social and economic performance of purchasing.

About SPLC
Founded in 2013, the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council convenes buyers, suppliers, and public interest advocates to develop programs that simplify and standardize sustainable purchasing efforts by large organizations. The Council has quickly attracted, from a wide variety of sectors and regions, more than 200 members with over $300 billion in collective purchasing power. Hundreds of organizations are now using SPLC’s Guidance, resources, and online community of practice to create and enhance strategic sustainable purchasing and supply chain programs.
About Sodexo North America
Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 72 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. The company employs 160,000 people at 13,000 sites in all 50 U.S. states and Canada, and indirectly supports tens of thousands of additional jobs through its annual purchases of $19 billion in goods and services from small to large businesses. Sodexo is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion and safety, while upholding the highest standards of corporate responsibility and ethical business conduct. In support of local communities across the U.S., in 2018, Sodexo contributed over 159,500 in volunteer hours, and since 1996, the Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed nearly $34.5 million to help feed children in America impacted by hunger. To learn more about Sodexo, visit, and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.


Meet the Vermont First Leadership Team

Bicameralism – the word you haven’t heard (or thought of) since high school government class rears its head once again! Bicameral means the division of an entity into two parts, and it is based on the principle that unlimited power vested in one group will be abused. (There – I knew my political science major would come in handy one of these days.) For our purposes, two parts also creates more opportunity to cast a wider net to engage different groups.  Hence, the Vermont First governance structure. First to come is the Vermont First Leadership Team.  This team is made up of Sodexo managers who can provide the support and advocacy for the creation and implementation of Vermont First goals.  We had our first meeting in Troy, NY at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) last week, where we created the framework for everything from our Vermont First goals to our decision-making process. Whew. This team is made up of the following managers: Melissa Zelazny – Resident District Manager, UVM Phil Harty – Regional Vice President, Northern New England Brian Roper – District Executive Chef Ted DiGrande – District Manager Mike Ward – District Manager Maureen Brown – District Manager Tim MacTurk – District Manager Caylin McKee – Sustainability Manager, UVM John Stewart – Director, Client Procurement Services, Northeast Rich Blanchard – Senior Marketing Manager Annie Rowell – Vermont First Coordinator Next up is the Vermont First Advisory Board.  This board will be made up stakeholders that represent the diverse sectors of the Vermont food system, tasked with implementing the goals and work plan of Vermont First, and providing advisory recommendations to the Leadership Team. Stay tuned!