First-class integrated facilities management at Acadia University

Published on : 9/28/21
  • Overview

    Acadia University is one of the oldest predominantly undergraduate liberal arts universities in Canada. Located just a one-hour drive from Halifax, in the college town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, it is one of the four members of the Maple League of Universities, a group of universities that share a common vision and set of shared values.

    Acadia’s campus includes 12 residence buildings and comprehensive athletic facilities that comprises one gymnasium, an Olympic size ice rink, one outdoor stadium, a fitness centre, an indoor track, an outdoor track, a 25-metre swimming pool, tennis courts, 4 turf fields and one artificial turf field, walking and hiking trails, jogging paths and more.

    Sodexo Canada and Acadia University have had a facilities management partnership since 1996. Under the facilities management contract, Sodexo manages the operations and maintenance for Acadia University’s 54 buildings as well as its energy and utility management program. Sodexo executes everything from routine/preventive maintenance, construction, to commissioning and management special projects.

    Moreover, Sodexo offers a wide range of facilities management services such as Construction Management, Laundry Services, Landscaping and Snow Removal, Housekeeping, Grounds Maintenance and Waste Management at Acadia University. Administration of supply management for all these activities is also provided by Sodexo.


    By the numbers/Stats

    • 1.75 million ft2 under management with 54 buildings
    • 250 acres
    • sports complex, including pool and Olympic sized ice surface
    • football stadium with artificial turf field
    • 145,000 MMBTUs of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) consumed annually
    • Approximately 15 million KWH’s (electricity) used every year
    • Approximately 25,000 Kgal water consumption annually.
    • Over 245,000 Kg of waste diverted from landfill (approximately 70% diversion) annually
    • Approximately 100 Sodexo team members on-site

    Marcel Falkenham, Executive Director of Facilities at Acadia University, says:

    “We’ve had a number of great success stories in our partnership with Sodexo, ranging from simple things like their preferred procurement rates for services and supplies that they’ve negotiated internationally, to some of the more recent and new innovations on our campus.” 



    By partnering with Sodexo Campus through an integrated facilities management contract, Acadia University was able to reduce costs associated with multiple service providers and reduced the number of contracts they oversee, thereby simplifying overall management. Managers were able to eliminate the direct and indirect costs of performing services in-house and reduce the costs associated with staffing, materials, and quality control. Sodexo is the single point of contact for multiple services, as well as the 120+ contractors and consultants.

    To mitigate damages, Sodexo works with Residence Life to educate students on common issues and ways to avoid residence damages. Sodexo also tracks repair costs and provides recommendations to Acadia University to help minimize those costs.

    As part of a sustainable energy and infrastructure plan, Sodexo co-managed a complete steam plant boiler upgrade conversion from oil to compressed natural gas. Four boilers were converted to primary natural gas use with a fuel oil back-up reserve capability. Since no gas pipeline exists, a truck docking station was built, in conjunction with the local gas supplier, to ensure constant supply of truck-fed compressed natural gas. The installation burns cleaner and saves money in energy costs.

    Sodexo works in partnership with Acadia’s Department of Environmental Studies and Residence Life Department to engage students in sustainability initiatives. Together, we developed the campus waste diversion plan by supplying multi-bin receptacles and training all students how to participate in the program. Achievements include an average 70% landfill waste diversion rate, hitting a record 90% waste diversion in April 2021. Recycling generates funds that are split between tool purchasing, funding the local community food bank and return to the residences to support in house activities.

    Marcel Falkenham, Executive Director of Facilities at Acadia University, says:

    “Sodexo has played a key role in our sustainability initiatives. We’ve received awards from sorting programs developed with Sodexo for diverted waste from landfills. Sodexo assisted with the sorting program and collection initiatives.”

    Sodexo Campus and Acadia University have been active participants in the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee drawing resources and protocols from Sodexo Global resources. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the know-how presented by Sodexo assisted Acadia University in keeping operations running and establishing safety protocols, such as implementing full disinfection of every classroom in between classes for the whole academic year.

    Bill McFadden, Senior Director of Business Development and Strategy for Sodexo Canada, says:

    “It’s very difficult to tell where Acadia starts and Sodexo stops. They are fully integrated and committed to each other.”



    Sodexo’s integrated facilities management services brought multiple benefits to Acadia University, namely:

    • Lowering Operating Costs: Significant operating cost reductions have been achieved through training to maximize workforce efficiency, innovative resource planning, cost reduction through supplier consolidation, and advanced technical solutions for sustainable energy use all while remaining aligned with Acadia University’s objectives.
    • Acquire Best Practices: Combining in-house generalists with external technical specialists gives Acadia University access to a broader base of knowledge and expertise. These proven efficiencies can elevate a facility’s performance in areas such as energy management and intelligent buildings.
    • Multi-Skilled and Engaged workforce: Sodexo is one of the world’s largest employers with extensive training programs and standard operating procedures for all services. Sodexo has cross-trained staff, developing modified job categories and improving operational efficiencies campus-wide.
    • Community Involvement: Sodexo Campus and Acadia University know that involving the student population and local community are critical to its success and work hard to engage all stakeholders in cost reduction and sustainability initiatives.

    Marcel Falkenham, Executive Director of Facilities at Acadia University, says:

    “Sodexo’s team has so much pride for our campus and for our convocation and matriculation ceremonies, they have the campus looking immaculate for both events. Many employees even know students by their first name, from the custodial team right on up through to the management team.”

    Contact one of our team members to learn how Sodexo can leverage facilities management in your campus.