Katy Maher, MPH, RDN, LDN is a superstar. She’s been instrumental in furthering sustainability initiatives for Bon Appétit Management Company’s operations at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, from the dining hall to the campus farm and beyond during her time at the college. So we’re proud that her work is being recognized by our parent company, Compass Group, as one of their first Planet Promise Changemakers.
With her professional nutrition background and personal passion for sustainability, Katy is at ease articulating Bon Appétit’s intertwined principles of wellness and sustainability to a variety of audiences, while consistently pushing for innovations at this important intersection.
In particular, Katy has impacted the areas of waste diversion, sustainable purchasing, food literacy, and new sustainability projects. From crunching data to further the goal of Butler becoming the first Fair Trade University in Indiana, to facilitating several impactful waste diversion projects, including frequent food recovery with Second Helpings (600 pounds per month!), Katy’s passion for sustainability is always shining through in her work.
For example, through the FEAST Fund, a collaborative sustainability grant program administered by the University and Bon Appétit that Katy helps manage and promote, she’s overseen the dispersal of thousands of dollars that have gone toward a variety of projects, including the purchase of a centrifuge that cracks a large number of eggs at high speed, which allowed the on-site culinary team to increase the volume of eggs they purchased from small, local farms while remaining efficient in the large dining services operation. Her work with the FEAST Fund also yielded a composting program with Earth Mama (over 10,000 pounds in 2023), and a reusable container program coordinated with residence halls, with over 5,000 container check-outs in Fall 2023.
Katy is adept at fostering relationships and boosting engagement and collaboration among students, faculty, and other stakeholders at Butler. Since her tenure began, she has worked to build partnerships across campus, including with the sustainability office, campus food pantry, garden project, student government, campus farm, and with professors to further engagement with students and bring sustainability projects to fruition. By fostering relationships with diverse groups across campus, Katy has been able to drive a holistic, systems approach to sustainability that touches many different shareholders with ripple effects across campus.
“Katy Maher is an exemplary professional and incredible collaborator with students, faculty and staff across Butler University in her work to support BUBeWell, the Butler student experience. Her unwavering commitment to sustainability at Butler is a beacon of inspiration, showcasing her dedication to fostering a greener future. Her innovative initiatives continue to transform the campus dining experience and have set a remarkable standard for sustainable practices, making her a deserving nominee for this recognition.” – Dr. Frank E. Ross, Vice President, Student Affairs Butler University.
Congratulations to Katy on this achievement and on her efforts to build a more sustainable future. We’re lucky to have you, Katy!