We were the first contract caterer to achieve certification to The Planet Mark by measuring and reducing our carbon footprint. We were also the first contract caterer to achieve Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) Three Star Champion Status, known as the Michelin stars of sustainability. For three consecutive years the SRA named us as the most sustainable contract caterer with the ‘Food Made Good’ Award. Raymond Blanc OBE, President of the SRA, presented us with the award in recognition of our continued outstanding level of sustainability.
To keep improving our sustainability performance, we set measurable objectives and targets every year, and monitor progress towards them. From 2019, we have aligned our targets with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring we contribute to the wider international agenda for sustainable growth. Although we support all 17 SDGs, our work means we can affect some of these more than others. We publish our results every year. Download our ‘Fruitful World’CSER report here
- locally, regionally and seasonally to help support UK producers – which reduces the impact of climate change, protects our farming heritage and gives customers what they want: tasty, nutritious food
- from farmers who produce food to high environmental standards, helping to protect the landscape and reduce pollution
- free range eggs
- high-welfare meat, poultry, cheese, milk and other dairy produce, helping to combat animal cruelty. To further demonstrate this, we have signed the European Chicken Commitment (ECC), thereby committing to meet or exceed the standards set out in the ECC by 2026 for 100% of the chicken across our entire UK supply chain.
- sustainable seafood, including caught and farmed fish and shellfish, using the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘Good fish guide’
- from overseas suppliers who have access to an international trade system based on justice and fairness, including Fairtrade.
Achieving The Planet Mark certification was based on our commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability. This is through measuring and reducing our carbon footprint and engaging our stakeholders. The Planet Mark is a sustainability certification which recognises outstanding achievements, encourages action, and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals.
We have a responsible attitude to our supply chain, which means using our purchasing power to bring about positive economic, environmental and social change. Sourcing Perkee coffee from the Soppexcca co-op in Nicaragua is a good example.
We’ve improved our energy efficiency, and use our ‘max-drop’ initiative to reduce the number of deliveries to our kitchens.
Our customers always have the option to drink tap water. Where we need to sell bottled water, it’s from a sustainable source – Thirsty Planet in Harrogate. A percentage of the profit from Thirsty Planet water funds Elephant Pumps to supply clean, safe water to thousands of people in impoverished communities in Malawi.
Reduce, reuse and recycle is one of our mantras. As Guardians of Grub Ambassadors, we recognise the urgent need to act now to reduce costs in Hospitality and Food Service by tackling food waste. Our Waste-Ed recipe training is full of imaginative and innovative ways for chefs to use up food which would otherwise go in the bin. We measure our waste, some is sent to anaerobic digesters or is repurposed into bio-fuel. We also offer customers our used coffee grounds for their gardens.
Achieving ISO 14001 accreditation is important to us. This environmental management framework controls our activities affecting the environment, reduces impacts and ensures legal compliance.
Download Environmental Policy.
We believe healthy eating and great tasting food go together. Our Vitality Kitchen programme encourages customers to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and to eat less salt, fat and sugar. We use healthier cooking methods, with less fat and oil, and prefer baking, grilling or roasting to frying. Our customers love the inspiring health and wellbeing Vitality workshops run by our registered nutritionist, Charlotte Newman.
Community and social impact
Working with organisations in our communities is a positive experience for us all. As a result we are proud to be part of a vibrant and healthy community, and our community benefits from the good will, time and expertise we can offer.
Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social purpose, such as organisations developed to create employment for people facing barriers to the job market. This could include those with mental and physical disabilities, autism, and individuals in isolated or vulnerable populations. By helping social enterprises to broaden their reach, deepen their impact and grow, we can play a role in improving society.
One of the organisations we are currently partnering with is The Clink. The Clink Charity dramatically reduces reoffending rates by delivering City and Guilds NVQ training in real life working environments to the prisoners in training. The charity also meets the Clink graduates at the gate upon release and finds them accommodation and full time employment.
We support industry, local, national and international charities, including Springboard (helping young, unemployed and disadvantaged people make a career in hospitality, leisure and tourism), White Lodge Centre (supporting disabled people of all ages), Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, Sport Relief, Comic Relief and the Kotukula Primary School in the Gambia.
Most importantly, we believe learning transforms lives. Our community education commitments include mentoring Year 11 students, work experience placements, apprenticeships and a graduate programme.
We always treat people fairly:
- Team members have a safe, pleasant and healthy environment to work in. We are proud to be a ‘Best Company’ to work for, because our teams vote for this.
- Our customers receive high levels of service and great food using sustainable ingredients.
- We keep our promises to our clients.
- We have strong, ethical relationships with our suppliers. We pay them promptly and work in partnership to achieve the best results.
Sustainability and responsible marketing
Today’s customers are more empowered than ever, and their expectations of business behaviour are increasing all the time. We have a responsible marketing policy, based on our strong ethical values, which means customers can be sure our claims are honest and accurate. ‘Read your Wrap’, our award-winning sustainable greaseproof paper, is a great example of our approach to responsible marketing.