Civic 50 Greater Philadelphia Honoree Spotlight: Aramark

GPCVC Member and Civic 50 Honoree Aramark:


Describe the main initiative(s) of your CSR program:

Rooted in service and united by our purpose, Aramark strives to do great things for each other, our partners, our communities, and our planet. Our sustainability plan, Be Well. Do Well., outlines our goal to make a positive impact on people and planet by working to reduce inequity, support and grow our communities, and protect our planet.

By collaborating with community organizations that align with Aramark’s mission we are able to address community challenges by fostering solutions that:

  • Empower Workforce Success
  • Inspire Healthy Lives
  • Build Vibrant Communities

We bring this to life through three strategies:

WE CARE – Community Relations: By establishing mutually beneficial relationships we create sustainable solutions. From Healthy For Life®, an innovative, award-winning approach to inspiring Americans to lead healthier lives developed with the American Heart Association, to Aramark Ignite, a program designed to enhance the economic outlook of the student’s future executed by the Urban League of Philadelphia, we are driving change in our local communities.

WE GIVE – Strategic Investment: Annually we invest millions of dollars in direct, in-kind and matching contributions that create measurable social and environmental impact. Aramark Building Community (ABC), our signature volunteer and community impact initiative, provides grants direct to community-based organizations and funds programs that improve the health, wellness and employment success of community members.

WE DO – Employee Volunteerism: Since 2008 through Aramark Building Community we have created volunteer activities and encouraged employees to give back to our local communities. We foster relationships with community-based organizations through transformational volunteer experiences and leverage Aramark’s expertise to address social, economic and environmental inequities.

What are some of the key learning you gained, through participation in the Civic 50 Greater Philadelphia?

The data collection process revealed the incredible work our employees do every day to bring our mission to do great things for each other, our partners, our communities, and our planet to life. In the midst of the pandemic we had leaders, managers and front line employees going above and beyond their day to day responsibilities to ensure we were not only delivering on client and consumer expectations but that we were caring for the communities where we live, work and play. Many Aramark employees were on the front line in hospitals, universities and schools in the region and around the globe and never wavered on efforts to give back or support those around us. In fact, many actively sought to do more. From ABC Day, our global day of service, to smaller employee efforts to host food drives and lead nutrition education our employees didn’t hesitate to give back during the pandemic.

The one aspect that surprised me was that even with all the restrictions in place – minimal in-person volunteering, crushing demands on time and personal reserves, inconsistent guidance on masks and vaccination and an increasing demand for supplies and resources, we were still able to enable innovative community support.

What would you share with a company that is debating whether to take the Civic 50 Greater Philadelphia next year?

Regardless of where you think you’ll end up in the list, the process of going through the exercise of gathering, organizing and analyzing the data is meaningful. Key performance indicators are a critical part of the journey. Even if you’re not meeting the targets it is important to have consistent, measurable progress toward those goals so you know where you need to allocate resources, reassess priorities or rethink strategy. Additionally, understanding where you’re excelling, seeing opportunities to improve or celebrating the impact achieved is part of the iterative process of improvement and driving outcomes to build stronger communities.