• Serving independent schools and colleges with since 1990

SAGE’s Commitment to Sustainability

Sustainability, Articles, U+SAGE

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At SAGE, we partner with the schools and communities we serve to make environmentally responsible choices and develop innovative solutions that have a positive impact on people and the planet.

A large part of our effort to practice sustainability includes minimizing food waste. Doing so will help preserve the land, water, labor, energy, and money needed to produce, prepare, and discard food. To help reduce food waste, we cook in small batches and use seasonal and locally sourced ingredients as much as possible. By getting to know each community and their preferences, we can create unique menus they’ll love, which in turn minimizes food waste.

This past year, we introduced our food waste reduction program, U+SAGE™. The overall process includes sorting, weighing, and recording waste from our kitchens and dining halls, then using the data to develop solutions to reduce food waste and communicating it to the community.

We develop partnerships with local suppliers to increase the use of seasonal products, support sustainable local farming initiatives, and reduce fossil fuel emissions. On average, 40% of our purchases are manufactured, produced, or grown within 150 miles of where we serve them. We also source seafood responsibly using guidelines from the Marine Stewardship Council™ and Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch®, which recommends seafood fished or farmed in ways that have a lower impact on the environment, thus protecting sea life and habitats for the future.

We support fair trade practices, meaning we prefer to buy products made by workers who experience safe, healthy working conditions and earn fair wages. We also purchase ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances, which are more energy-efficient than minimum production guidelines require.

Our teams partner with school communities to plant and harvest herbs and vegetables from on-campus gardens, which doubles as an educational tool for students. Through informational signage and programs — such as our From Here. From Near. chalkboard and Meet the Farmer program — we educate community members on where their food comes from.

Other ways we practice sustainability include:

  • Encouraging trayless dining to help conserve water and energy.

  • Using reusable or biodegradable utensils and servingware.

  • Recycling and composting.

  • Converting used cooking oil into biofuel.

  • Using paper straws instead of plastic ones.

To build a better future, we want to make sure we set ourselves and our communities up for success by cultivating sustainable partnerships and contributing to a healthy environment.

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From Our Dietitians: Sustainable Practices in the Kitchen

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From Our Dietitians: An RDN’s Role at SAGE

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