The Sodexo Prestige team at The John Hope Gateway, the new biodiversity and information centre at the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh, has won Gold in the Best Corporate Responsibility category at this year’s Eventia Awards.

More than 700 professionals recently gathered at the Hilton Park Lane in London, to recognise and celebrate the event industry's best talent. The Prestige team impressed the judges with their extensive work on raising the awareness of local food sourcing and production, via a number of seasonal events titled “Science on a Plate”. The team also engaged with local students from across Scotland, inviting them to take part in the Student Chef competition, emphasising that competitors should use local, seasonal and sustainable produce.

The John Hope Gateway, which has hosted over 450 events since it opened in 2009, successfully operates a zero carbon plan, which the Prestige team support, having implemented a successful food waste process, which now sees all food waste – created on site – retuned to the garden as compost. The team also invested in an electric vehicle to service the venue, which has helped to reduce the carbon footprint and, as a direct result of Prestige’s work, the venue now only uses 100% bio-degradable cleaning agents, staff are encouraged to cycle to work and 98% of the staff are local residents, owing to an effective local community recruitment scheme.

Of the team’s achievements, Graham Box, managing director, Sodexo in Scotland, said: “I am very pleased with their success. The team have worked tirelessly to ensure that corporate responsibility is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, particularly focusing on driving home the importance of local, sustainable sourcing. They very much deserve this award.”

The evening’s success didn’t stop there for Prestige, with the team at Royal Ascot picking up a silver award for Best Hospitality Experience and The John Hope Gateway team being recognised a second time, with a bronze award for Event Venue of the Year (up to 500 capacity).

Chris John, managing director, Sodexo Prestige, was delighted with the team’s performance, adding: “We are immensely proud of both teams. They work extremely hard to deliver a five-star service, in line with Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow Plan, our sustainability strategy to 2020 and are very worthy winners of this external recognition.”

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