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Royal Ascot

Sports & Leisure

Winning the race to reduce waste at Ascot

Reducing the amount of waste generated at Ascot Racecourse is a key priority for Sodexo, where we deliver hospitality, catering and retail to the hundreds of thousands of racegoers each year.

Sodexo operates as 1711 by Ascot at the venue and has been the catering partner at Ascot since 1998. 

We worked with the Ascot team to introduce a reusable plastic cup system, designed to vastly reduce the number of single use plastics consumed on site. This includes champagne flutes, wine, spirit and pint glasses and the cost of washing and recycling the cups is included in the price of the drink. This simple change saw one million fewer single-use plastic cups used at Ascot during 2019 compared to previous years. 

Other long-term strategies include:

  • Sustainable lighting, heating and water re-use.
  • Food waste is treated at an anaerobic digestion plant.
  • Trials are underway to produce high-quality compost to fertilise the racecourse grounds and grow herbs for use by on-site chefs.
  • Collaborations with suppliers: Budweiser pledges to become 100% renewable; Lavazza Coffee is moving away from plastic lined coffee cups and its coffee capsules are already fully compostable; Harrogate Water bottles are made from 50% recycled plastics but are 100% recyclable.

Sodexo works with the client and its suppliers to deliver a customer experience which is still as high quality and memorable but supports our joint efforts to reduce environmental impact.

Paul Paisis-Oakwell, Head of Food, Beverage and Event Operations, 1711 by Ascot

Royal Ascot Week in numbers

  • 300,000 racegoers visit during five days in June 
  • 34,000 people catered for, with fine dining
  • 600,000 plastic pint glasses used by general race goers
  • 39 kitchens in operation
  • 3,500 cleaning shifts are carried out on a 24-hour cycle

As of 1 February 2020, products containing unrecyclable polystyrene and single use plastic bags have been removed from our supply chain. Click here to find out more about the steps we’ve already taken to reduce the plastics we use.

February 04, 2020

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