Sodexo, a leading provider of on-site service solutions, has further developed its commitment to reducing waste by signing up to the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement, launched today by WRAP.

The Agreement aims to cut food and associated packaging waste by 5% (a CO2e reduction of 234,000 tonnes), the equivalent of approximately 100 million meals. It also aims to increase the overall rate of food and packaging waste that is being recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion or composted to 70% (a CO2e reduction of 336,000 tonnes).

Sodexo has been working towards reducing waste associated with its business for many years, initially with its key suppliers and, since 2009 then through its own global sustainability strategy to 2020, the Better Tomorrow Plan. One of the main priorities of this plan focuses on the environment and within this its commitments include the reduction of Sodexo’s carbon footprint and supporting initiatives which will reduce organic and non-organic waste.

Thomas Jelley, corporate citizenship manager at Sodexo comments: “This is an important step within the industry in the UK and one which we are well placed to support with our own Better Tomorrow Plan. The launch of this agreement coincides in with our own annual global environmental site survey which is, this month, being undertaken at all of our sites as part of the Plan’s progress monitoring.

“For a company such as ours the challenge has always been, and will continue to be, that we do not have control of all waste collection relating to our business. However through our global site survey we will produce a site specific report which will then be shared not only with our teams on site but also with our clients so that we can include them in our work to support WRAP, the Agreement and improve the hospitality and foodservice sector’s sustainability.”

Sodexo has been working in close collaboration with suppliers since 2008 to reduce packaging and food waste and has supported national food poverty and food redistribution charity, FareShare for many years. Through its support of FareShare Sodexo also provided vital volunteers and outdoor cooking equipment for the annual ‘feeding the 5,000’ event held in Trafalgar Square, London in 2009 and 2011 to raise awareness of the amount of fit for human consumption food that is wasted in the UK every day, sometimes for purely aesthetic reasons, and what can be done to tackle the issue.

Paul Bracegirdle, Sodexo’s environmental manager will work closely with WRAP in the delivery of the targets set out in the Agreement and commented: “In our business we try and make sure that the simplest environmental management principle always underpins everything we do, what gets measured, gets managed. Sticking to this helps us identify opportunities to improve and spread good practice wherever possible. We will continue to work closely with WRAP to support the aims of the Agreement and will continue to actively encourage our employees, consumers and suppliers to waste less food and associated packaging, and also to look at ways to reuse and recycle more.”

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