Our Initiatives

Sodexo at Thomas College prioritizes sustainable practices as part of our Better Tomorrow Plan. It is our goal to improve quality of life for those we serve and create positive change for individuals, communities and the environment. When you dine with us, you'll experience our initiatives that help reduce waste and energy consumption, support local vendors and regional sourcing and promote plant-based and Mindful lifestyle choices. 

Click the following links to learn more about Mindful and The Maine Course.

Maine Course Value Statement


The Maine Course is Sodexo’s commitment to make a positive economic impact in the state of Maine through the purchase of local products, produce, services and responsibly harvested underutilized seafood from the Gulf of Maine by creating inclusive market opportunities for local producers with intentional collaboration and transparency across multiple dimensions of diverse communities* in Maine to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion in our market opportunity.

*SWMBE, gender, sexual orientation & gender identity (LGBTQ+), generations, race/cultures/origins, disabilities

Maine Course Goals

The Maine Course is aligned with the goals and values of Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow 2025 plan and Sodexo’s Supplier Code of Conduct.

1.    Foster a strong Maine economy through the creation of inclusive market opportunities for local producers, aggregators and fisher-people 

2.    Promote a sustainable food system culture by ensuring that all foods are used for their highest and best purpose and not considered waste 

3.    Cultivate intentional collaboration and transparency across multiple dimensions of diverse communities** as foundational to our work to ensure racial equity and continue with a concerted effort to remove structural barriers for market entry. **SWMBE, gender, sexual orientation & gender identity (LGBTQ+), generations, race/cultures/origins, disabilities

4.    Inspire Sodexo chefs and managers with the resources they need to expand their local impact

Local Definitions

Maine Course Local Definition(s):

  • Maine-Made: Maine grown, harvested and produced products
    • In order to count as local, the item must tick two out of three boxes:
      • Maine grown
      • Maine owned
      • Maine produced/manufactured/processed

University of Maine System (UMS) Local Definition(s):

      • Ingredients produced within 175 miles (as the crow flies) from any of the 7 primary campuses
      • Processed foods with at least 51% local ingredients as defined above
      • Water will not be considered a local ingredient or a processed food
      • Non-indigenous foods prepared and processed in Maine by an in-state owned and operated company where the majority of the owners are Maine community members with full autonomy and decision-making authority with respect to business practices
      • Processed foods made from locally unavailable ingredients but prepared and processed in Maine by an in-state owned and operated company where the majority of the owners are Maine community members with full autonomy and decision-making authority with respect to business practices 

    Maine Course Commitments & Partnerships

    Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership

    Sodexo is proud to sign on as a Northeast Organic Family Farm partner to support organic dairy farms in the Northeast and to help secure the future of organic dairy. We’re committed to purchasing organic dairy products from brands that source their milk from our region. 

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

    Maine Grain Alliance
    Maine Grain Alliance Logo 1024x1024

    Through our Maine Course program, our partnership with the Maine Grains Alliance and Maine Grains, from Skowhegan, has grown significantly. UMM Dining uses local Maine flour in our cookies - which are all baked from scratch daily! We are also incorporating more Maine Grains products such as oats and farrow in our menus. Our commitment over the next few years is to double the number of menu items that include grains, using local grains in those dishes and increase local grain purchasing by 50 percent. We're focusing on offering plant-forward options and continuing to source additional local ingredients. We are committed to making a positive impact on the environment and economy of Maine!

    GMRI Achievement

    Sodexo has achieved serving 100% Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® white fish at all of their locations in Maine after a five year process of shifting purchasing to this ecolabel in partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI). By committing to source responsibly harvested seafood from the Gulf of Maine, Sodexo actively contributes to sustaining both a diverse marine ecosystem and a diverse fishing economy here in the Gulf of Maine region. Look for a variety of delicious menu items featuring the "under-loved" species; Atlantic Pollock, Cape Shark/Dogfish, Whiting, Acadian Redfish and Mackerel. 

    Campus Dining Sustainability Initiatives

    The following initiatives are part of Sodexo's Better Tomorrow plan and are incorporated on campuses within Maine and the New England region. Each campus works with their client partners to work together towards achieving mutual sustainability goals. (*some programs may not be fully implemented on all campuses due to resource constraints, but are goals to strive towards).

    • Trayless Dining:
      • Customers without trays typically waste less food and beverages. Trayless dining also reduces the amount of water and detergents needed to wash each tray, which also saves energy.
    • Xprss Nap Dispensers
      • Not only are these napkins made of 100% recycled paper, the station dispensers encourage guests to take fewer napkins than if there were dispensers on each table.
    • Reusable China and Utensils
    • Reusable To-Go Containers
      • This innovative program is designed to reduce disposable packaging waste. By opting in and participating, guests can conveniently take their meal to-go, while taking steps to protect the environment. 

    • Green Certified Cleaning Supplies (Click HERE to find out more about EcoLab)
    • Bulk Condiments
    • On/Off Protocols for our Equipment
    • Food Recovery Programs
    • Responsible Sourcing:
    • Waste Watch / Lean Path Systems:
      • Our campus kitchens/culinarians use these systems to monitor and track food waste while preparing meals. By using Leanpath, 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.
    • Recycling:
      • Recycling reduces waste sent to landfills and incinerators, prevents pollution, conserves natural resources, conserves energy, creates jobs and produces economic benefits.
    • Composting:
      • Food waste in landfills creates methane, a greenhouse gas which is 21 times more potent than CO2. (www.epa.gov) Our first priority is to reduce food waste. When possible and with the help of campus partners, dining composts unavoidable food waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It can also be used to amend soil thereby increasing drought tolerance, improving soil structure and health and reducing the need for water and fertilizers.