Responsible Business Week 2016

April 18, 2016

Sodexo releases CR Report and participates in Products with Purpose event.

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At the start of Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Week, Sodexo has released its 2016 Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report. The report tracks Sodexo’s progress against a series of measures relating to environment, local communities, nutrition, health and wellbeing and the workplace.

The report shows that Sodexo has made strong progress in the area of sustainable, responsible sourcing. In autumn 2015 Sodexo launched its Supply Chain Inclusion Programme, a four-month mentoring scheme to help small and medium-sized businesses into its supply chain. The scheme is focused on businesses owned by women and minority ethnic groups and on social enterprises, with 17 of the participants nominated by regional government bodies and NGOs.

Following the launch of the programme, Sodexo now sources 30 products from eight of the participants, with four additional suppliers in the final stages of review to become regular Sodexo suppliers. Sodexo will repeat the programme again later this year with another 20 small firms.

Building on its leadership in diversity and inclusion, Sodexo has launched two new employee networks – Pride and Origins – which, in addition to its Generations and WomenWork networks, provide a strong base of employee support and participation in Sodexo’s diversity and inclusion programme. Each network is focused on a primary diversity characteristic and aims to increase awareness, understanding and engagement.

The report also covers the launch of Green & Lean, a set of sustainable meals, which were created by Sodexo chefs in partnership with conservation charity WWF and were successfully piloted at eight of Sodexo’s independent school contracts between October and December 2015. The meals, which are versions of popular favourites such as beef lasagne, chicken and leek pie and Lancashire hot pot, meet ten criteria to ensure they are nutritious, lower-carbon and that the ingredients are responsibly sourced. For example, plant-based foods have to account for at least two thirds of the volume of each meal; refined grains are replaced with whole grains; and meat and fish has to have relevant certification, such as MSC or RSPCA Assured.

On the 19th April Sodexo’s corporate responsibility manager Edwina Hughes will take part in a BITC panel discussion, Products with Purpose: Improving society and the bottom line through your core business. The event will explore the ways in which having an ethical ‘purpose’ can be a differentiator in a competitive, conscious marketplace.

Edwina Hughes, Sodexo UK&I’s corporate responsibility manager, commented; ‘As a major employer in the UK and Ireland we have a responsibility to give something back to the communities in which we operate. Programmes such as Green & Lean, our diversity and inclusion networks and the Supply Chain Inclusion Programme, illustrate how we are doing this in a practical and tangible way and show the breadth of our commitments. More generally, the CR Report represents the hard work of people right across our business to live out our mission to improve quality of life and make a positive different.”

Another notable CR achievement is the fact that in 2015 Sodexo raised £457,000 for its corporate charity, Stop Hunger. Through the company’s global Stop Hunger initiative, employees donate time, skills and money to tackle hunger, support good nutrition and promote life skills in local communities. Sodexo’s UK and Irish employees will mark Stop Hunger Day on Tuesday 26st April with team activities such as quizzes, cake sales and sponsored walks and runs.

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