PHILADELPHIA—Be Well. Do Well.—Aramark’s Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) platform—encompasses the company’s focus on and commitment to helping people and the planet.
“I am proud of the progress we are making to reduce inequity, support and grow communities, promote diversity, and protect our planet while strengthening the long-term value proposition of our business,” said John Zillmer, CEO, Aramark.
At the end of fiscal year 2022, Aramark summarized the progress made delivering on the company’s ESG commitments. View the 2022 Progress Report.
Because work continues throughout the year, it is timely to share recent highlights and accomplishments that benefit people and the planet.
Accelerating Environmental Sustainability
From food purchases and operations to supplier selection and sourcing decisions, Aramark is committed to promoting planetary health.
Aramark achieved a key milestone in the journey toward net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in July 2023 with the official approval of new global near- and long-term science-based targets to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. These enterprise-wide targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the global standard for corporate net-zero target setting.
The approved targets include:
- Reducing direct emissions from the company’s operations including corporate offices and fleet by more than 50 percent by 2030;
- Substantially reducing indirect emissions by 2030, including engaging suppliers and reducing emissions from operations at client sites; and
- Achieving net-zero value chain emissions by 2050, including an absolute emissions reduction of 90 percent.
Reducing emissions from food is key to achieving Aramark’s climate commitments. Therefore, the company has also committed to reducing food emissions 25 percent by 2030 through the Coolfood Pledge, and now serves Coolfood meals certified as low carbon at client locations across the U.S. and Canada.
To minimize food waste, Aramark team members focus on prevention, recovery, and recycling during planning, purchasing, production, service, and post-service—in addition to training chefs and other operators on operating procedures and making choices that will help reduce food waste.
In addition to other industry collaborations, this year Aramark committed to the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment (PCFWC) goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent along the west coast of the U.S. by 2030. As part of this commitment, Aramark has partnered with the PCFWC and other food service companies to pilot plate waste studies to support a better understanding of the drivers of post-consumer food waste and how consumer messaging may help influence food waste.
A refreshed priority to embed circularity reaffirms Aramark’s commitment to eliminate or substantially reduce the company’s reliance on single-use plastics and other disposables, promote responsible consumption, and integrate reuse across operations.
Partnering across the value chain is a critical component to achieving this commitment and Aramark actively engages suppliers, national brands, and NGOs in this effort.
Through its membership in the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network, the company has had meaningful dialogue to begin participating in their Reuse and Refill Action Network.
Valuing Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)
A commitment to DEI helps Aramark create an equal and inclusive culture vital to meeting the needs of the company’s employees, customers, and communities.
In February 2023, Aramark announced a partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community, to launch the Aramark HBCU Emerging Leaders Program.
Fifteen students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were chosen to attend a two-day immersive experience at Aramark’s headquarters in Philadelphia to focus on career exploration and professional development.
The company’s 11 employee resource groups (ERGs) have focused on new membership growth, recruitment, professional development, community outreach, and global expansion. Year to date, Aramark’s ERGs have experienced an approximate 20 percent increase in new membership, established new hubs in Latin America, Germany, UK, and Canada, and supported community outreach events that have impacted thousands of students across the country.
This year, Aramark expanded its Pronouns Matter campaign companywide to educate employees on inclusive language and its importance in gender identity and expression.
To date, more than 2,000 employees have used the resources.
In June, Aramark launched its first campaign to encourage all employees to voluntarily and confidentially self-identify in the company’s human resources systems.
The myWholeSelf self-ID campaign goals include helping the company better understand its LGBTQ+ population, inform DEI strategy, and continue to measure veterans and employees with disabilities in the company workforce.
Building Vibrant Communities
In April, Aramark celebrated its 10th annual global day of service, Aramark Building Community Day (ABC Day). ABC Day engages thousands of employee volunteers who dedicate their time, energy, and expertise to service projects in their local neighborhoods.
This year, more than 5,000 Aramark volunteers from 12 countries participated in projects to support 130 nonprofit organizations, positively supporting nearly 150,000 community members.
Read more about the 2023 ABC Day activities and impact.
In recognition of the 10th annual ABC Day, 10 randomly selected nonprofit community organizations received one-time grants, thanks to nominations from the company’s most engaged employee volunteers.
Sourcing Responsibly, Ethically, & Inclusively
Aramark has a long-standing commitment to global procurement practices that strive to positively impact people, animals, and the environment. The company’s Responsible Sourcing program focuses on adopting environmentally sustainable, ethical, and inclusive sourcing practices throughout the supply chain—practices that benefit local and global economies, the communities the company serves, and the planet.
The following 2023 highlights further support this commitment to sourcing responsibly, ethically, and inclusively.
With Aramark’s support, The FruitGuys Community Fund (TFGCF) makes multi-year grants to small and medium farms and agricultural nonprofits.
During the 2022 and 2023 grant cycles, the Aramark partnership has enabled TFGCF to award grants to 20 farms across 13 states, many of which are operated by beginning and under-represented farmers including women and/or Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
An enhanced Tier 2 supplier diversity portal was launched in 2023.
Recruiting is underway for the fourth cohort of the Aramark and Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council’s Progress Insight Performance Education (PIPE) program. This eight-week, advanced management training program provides participants with the skills and knowledge needed to optimize their businesses.
Aramark expanded its supplier sustainability assessment program with EcoVadis to increase the number of priority category suppliers participating globally. As of June 2023, Aramark Spain was the first business to activate the program outside of North America.
As of the end of July 2023, the 49 micro-farms, which supply fresh produce to Aramark client locations, have resulted in a reduction in water use, food waste, and nitrogen in waterways.
Additionally, the company continues to make progress toward its sustainable sourcing commitments, including:
- Sourcing 100 percent contracted canned tuna that meets Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommendations.
- 100 percent of the soy in contracted oils, margarines, and shortenings is from regions with no deforestation risk.
- 100 percent of the palm oil in contracted margarines and shortenings is Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified.
- Ongoing monitoring, supplier engagement, and accelerating progress on Aramark’s animal welfare commitments, including pork welfare and cage free eggs globally; and in May, Aramark first reported efforts toward the ethical sourcing of broiler chickens in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, receiving favorable recognition from Compassion in World Farming organization.
- Received an A Grade in Mercy for Animals’ Count Your Chickens Report for progress toward better animal welfare.
- Read more about the company’s animal welfare commitments and other Aramark Responsible Sourcing Progress and Priorities.
In August, Aramark was named one of the “Best Companies for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)” by BLACK ENTERPRISE, the top Black digital media brand and premier business and financial resource for African Americans.
This recognition highlights a select group of publicly traded corporations that have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to creating dynamic workforces, diverse corporate governance, expansive supply chains, and inclusive management.
In July, Aramark earned a score of 100 on the Disability Equality Index® (DEI), a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN. With this top score, Aramark has been recognized as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” for the seventh consecutive year.
Aramark was recognized as one of the most community-minded employers in the Greater Philadelphia region in June 2023. In the Civic 50, as the award is known, the company was ranked number one among companies over 500 employees for engaging employees, purchasing and supply chain, and promoting a more diverse and inclusive company culture.
In May, Aramark was ranked number 40 on DiversityInc’s 2023 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list, up five spots from last year’s ranking. This is the seventh consecutive year Aramark appeared on the Top 50. For the first time, the company was also ranked on the Top Companies for Supplier Diversity at number 20.
The company was named the Greenest Food Contractor in North America at the 2023 Green Restaurant Association Awards in April. The prestigious Green Restaurant Awards commend the restaurants and organizations in the restaurant industry which have accomplished a high level of environmental achievement in their respective categories.
For the ninth consecutive year, Aramark was named a Top 50 Employer by CAREERS & the disABLED Magazine for providing a positive working environment for people with disabilities.
In January 2023, Aramark was named to Newsweek’s 2023 list of America’s Most Responsible Companies.