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Achieving the Planet Mark certification for 2 consecutive years

Achieving the planet mark certification for 2 consecutive years

A quote from Wendy Bartlett, has stayed with me for over 15 years and it is true to say, “What gets measured gets done”. Being the first contract caterer to become a member of the Planet Mark is no different to Wendy’s quote. And that is why we are members. Achieving the Planet Mark certification is a huge honour. Year on year, we have improved our targets with varying degrees of success. The point being, we have improved and that is what makes us stronger. Having had huge sustainability success over the last few years and in particular, 3 consecutive years of receiving the ‘Sustainable Caterer of the Year’ award by Raymond Blanc and the team at the SRA. This cemented our approach and set us in good stead when we moved our focus to Carbon Management Collation.

With 2 years of being members of the Planet Mark, we continue to embrace and drive their mantra (1. Measure, 2. Engage 3. Communicate and Social Value). So much so, we were highly commended at their awards evening this year, with our first ever entry in the Sustainability Transparency category. Which I am delighted to say, I wrote. I was elated with this result and even though we didn’t win, our results speak for themselves! A CO2 reduction is definitely something to celebrate. I gave myself a headache the following morning, to prove that even in lockdown, some things just can’t go without bubbles!

Achieving the Planet Mark 2020 certification

Comparing our 1st and 2nd year set of results is always fascinating, if not a little nerve racking. Measuring criteria within the Planet Mark framework is very detailed. Whilst Excel is not my area of expertise, I have sharpened my skills whilst cross-checking the figures. I had to make sure the data entry was correct. Our results were ahead of what we had hoped for. With an overall carbon footprint decreased by 19.1%* and per employee, by 24.2%* on the previous year’s set of results. I have measured company mileage, energy consumption, paper usage and recycling stats, to the point I now know exactly how many recycling bins and what litre sizes are required at the Support Office in Egham. This is now my new ‘norm’ along with all the others we find ourselves doing whilst singing ‘Happy Birthday’.

What comes next?

So what does next year look like for us with the Planet Mark? I will use a recent quote from our CEO, Ian Thomas as it sums it up perfectly. “While this set of results were taken from the pre-COVID lockdown period, we are already looking at how, in the new world we are living in, we can continue to make positive changes and reduce our impact on the environment. If COVID has highlighted anything to society, it is that we all need to continue to work hard together to ensure we are creating a sustainable future for ourselves and our planet”.

And for me, I see lots of opportunities for more ‘bubbles’ as a result of Wendy’s quote: “What gets measured gets done”.

Sally Grimes, Quality Standards Manager