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Reducing our environmental impact

A stable climate is indispensable to quality of life and human prosperity over the long term. The scientific community has been very clear, there will be irreversible consequences for society and all life on this planet if all stakeholders fail to take action.

That’s why we have been working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to measure and reduce our carbon footprint in all our activities. We are in a strong position to contribute to this global challenge through our core services, working with our clients and suppliers to achieve our common sustainability goals.

Sodexo has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 34% by 2025. This commitment was approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in July 2019, making Sodexo the first food services company to align its objective to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Sodexo has defined four priority actions to reduce the environmental impact of its different activities:
 

1. Preventing Food Waste

Crate full of apples with a truck in the background

If food waste were a country, it would be the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the USA and China. Preventing food waste is the single most important area where we can work to reduce emissions. We have initiated the deployment of the largest, digitally-driven, food waste prevention program in the food services industry, WasteWatch.

Using this program, our teams can rapidly and easily capture food waste data, take action based upon intuitive analytics, and drive cultural and behavioral change with our clients and suppliers to cut food waste generated in the kitchen as well as that left on consumers’ plates. We are aiming to have this program on 3,000 sites before the end of the current fiscal year and extend the program to 100% of food sites by the end of Fiscal 2025.

Since the inception of the WasteWatch program, we have prevented 45% of food waste on the sites where the program is deployed. This represents approximately 1,832 tons of food saved, which is equal to a reduction of 12,759 metric tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of taking 2,320 cars off the road for a year.

 

2. Promoting Plant-Based Meal Options

Three plates with plant based recipes

According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), raising livestock contributes 14.5% of all climate change related emissions or about 7 times more than global air transport.

We have developed, with Unilever Food Services and WWF, delicious, plant-based and environmentally sustainable dishes, that are based on 50 ingredients aimed at preserving biodiversity. These menus are available in over 5,000 Sodexo restaurants in Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In North America, we partner with Impossible Foods to offer their plant-based burger across 1,500 food service sites. When compared alongside a traditional meat-based burger, the Impossible Burger™ used 96% less land, 87% less water and 89% less Greenhouse gas emissions.

In the United States, we partner with JUST (Eat JUST, Inc.) to bring the award-winning, top-selling JUST Egg to Sodexo’s higher education, healthcare and corporate sites. The plant-based JUST Egg’s key ingredient is protein from the mung bean, which has been a dietary staple in Asia for thousands of years. It is cholesterol-free, non-GMO and packed with as much protein as many animal proteins. While it cooks and tastes like eggs, its ingredients use 98% less water, 83% less land and emit 93% less CO2 than conventional animal sources.

We have also now deployed over 200 new plant-based recipes in hundreds of accounts across our Universities, Healthcare, and Corporate Services segments in North America. These menus were created in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the World Resource Institute-Better Buying Lab (WRI), to meet consumer demands for plant-based options and reduce the environmental impact of food offerings.

In France, since September 2019, Sodexo has been providing at least one vegetarian meal a week in schools.

3. Increasing local and small business engagement and responsible sourcing

Farmer with in a foot on a fork, in a field

Today, more than half of our carbon emissions come from our supply chain. We are continuing our collaborative efforts with our suppliers and the WWF to reduce the emissions associated with the products we use, particularly carbon intensive commodities such as beef, dairy, palm oil, soy and paper that can also have an impact on deforestation.

Sodexo places a strong focus on supporting local and small businesses such as suppliers promoting sustainable agricultural practices. Moreover, further reducing food transportation reduces carbon emissions associated with logistics. In Fiscal 2019 Sodexo directed more than 5.5 billion euros of its business value to local and small businesses and expects this amount to reach 10 billion in 2025. For example, in France, Sodexo is working with organic dairy products supplier Triballat Noyal, which prioritizes the use of renewable energies and reduces production waste through its ambitious recycling policy. 

To learn more about Sodexo’s local sourcing initiatives, we invite you to visit our local country sites (United Kingdom, United States, Belgium, France, …)

4. Supporting a shift to innovative energy solutions through our energy management expertise

Two employees wearing protective gear, pointing at a machine

Sodexo believes it is vital to increase energy awareness and to deploy best practices around energy efficiency. Sodexo is committed to shift to 100% renewable energy by 2025 for its own operated premises.

We work with our on-site clients to reduce their facilities’ energy consumption and conserve water. We work with our on-site clients to reduce their facilities’ energy consumption and conserve water. Additionally, our energy management experts help clients increase their efficiency, reducing energy consumption and costs while achieving sustainability goals. We offer a global holistic energy service which covers energy strategy, compliance, procurement, monitoring and technologies which drive efficiency. Our energy solutions help many clients achieve six-figure annual energy cost savings and an attractive return on investment. 
 


Key figures to highlight:
Source: Fiscal 2019 

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Women in Sodexo uniform watering flowers