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05.06.2020, 15:55

Supporting a Greener Economic Recovery

Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Management, Service Provider News, France

Sodexo has committed to working for a green and more resilient economic recovery from Covid-19, and reaffirmed existing commitments to sustainability on World Environment Day 2020.


The company was the first global foodservice provider to commit to carbon reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement which demands that global temperatures rise to no more than 1.5° Centigrade above pre-industrial levels (a figure that would represent a 34 per cent reduction on 2017 temperatures by 2025).


The French integrated services provider has also announced it is accelerating measures to reduce its environmental footprint as it supports organisations adapting to a new, and greener, normal.


Reaffirmation of Sodexo food waste reduction program as sites reopen

Sodexo remains committed to reducing food waste by 50 per cent on active sites equipped with its data-driven food waste reduction programme, WasteWatch powered by Leanpath, despite the Covid-19 crisis.


As client sites reopen around the world, the company will continue deployment of the programme.


Prior to the pandemic, the company says, 1,500 sites were equipped with, or actively engaged in deploying, processes associated with the programme - and adds the group has been able to save the equivalent 4.8 million meals (or 15,200 metric tonnes of carbon emissions) since it was introduced.


Continuation of efforts to reduce reliance on single-use items and plastic waste

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a resurgence of single-use plastic for sanitary reasons. Despite this challenge, Sodexo continues to support its clients and consumers with actions to reduce single-use plastic in line with the commitments already made in 17 countries in which Sodexo operates. As part of its Covid-19 operational protocols, it has developed a detailed approach to prioritise single-use plastic alternatives - such as reusable products and kitchen wares with strict cleaning processes, or innovative package solutions that are more environmentally-friendly when possible and in line with local sanitary guidelines.


Promotion of Sustainable Eating and low carbon meals under the 'rise with Sodexo' programme

Sodexo has increased its menu mix target for plant-based meals to more than 30 per cent globally to address growing consumer demand for sustainable food and preference for simple, clean, local and healthy ingredients. The company is working with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Resources Institute to enhance menus and enable consumers to access more sustainable and plant-based meals. For example, its global Future 50 foods programme championing plant-based meals made with ingredients that support biodiversity, is now available at 6,500 Sodexo sites in 13 countries.


Promotion of sustainable and responsible sourcing

In 2020, the group is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its partnership with WWF to continuously improve its operations and sourcing practices, and reduce its carbon footprint - including carbon generated by the production of food, products and services sourced by the company. Key areas of collaboration include responsible sourcing regarding land commodities, seafood and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.


Sodexo Supply Management teams are also adopting smarter supply chain practices by introducing shorter delivery times,  more local products, and more seasonal offers, with the company's Partner Inclusion Program providing preferential access for smaller suppliers (the company spends 1.3 billion Euros with small and mid-sized enterprises, and 60 per cent of products purchased for the French market are supplied directly by local producers as a result of direct sourcing).


Providing enhanced environmental training for employees

Sodexo has also revamped, and relaunched its "Sodexo and the Environment" global training program to help employees work with clients and consumers to reduce its environmental impact - one of many initiatives that support its objective for a "Better Tomorrow Corporate Responsibility Roadmap" objective of ensuring all employees are trained in sustainable business practices by 2025.


Maria Outters, SVP Corporate Responsibility, says: "Underlying economic and social challenges ahead will magnify the need for economic models built on sustainable consumption patterns and solutions preserving natural resources. These priority actions in the current environment are part of our pragmatic approach to work with our clients, suppliers and employees to bring back confidence and seize the window of opportunity to make the recovery a turning point when it comes to sustainability.


"The Covid-19 crisis is a wake-up call to inject a much-needed collective purpose in the economic recovery and prevent an aggravated health, social and ecological crisis.


"Sodexo is committed to answer that call."


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