LOUISVILLE, Ky.—A University of Louisville initiative to increase the amount of local food served on its campus has earned recognition from a national organization working to address climate change.
UofL is one of 15 colleges and universities being cited this month by the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment for doing “cutting-edge work to promote environmental sustainability.”
The organization is a network of nearly 700 U.S. higher education institutions that have pledged to curb greenhouse gas emissions and step up education, research and community engagement on the issue of climate change.
In 2008, UofL teamed up with its food service vendor, Sodexo, to increase the amount of locally grown or produced food served on its campus to 15 percent. Since then, the university’s local food percentage has climbed to 24 percent.
UofL also was among the first universities to require its food vendor in a written contract to serve a specific percentage of locally grown and produced food.
“Louisville’s work in this area is giving campuses across the country food for thought,” said Anthony Cortese, president of Second Nature, a group that supports the Presidents’ Climate Commitment. “Its efforts demonstrate how basic changes in operations can have a far-reaching impact on our health, economy and the environment.”
Besides working with Sodexo to offer more local food at campus dining spots, UofL has teamed up with the Louisville Farm to Table project, a Louisville Metro Government effort to help institutions incorporate more local food.
“Protecting the Earth is something we take seriously,” UofL President James Ramsey said. “Our students, faculty and staff are becoming better environmental stewards and we’re challenging ourselves to do even more in the years ahead.”