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Long Term Pledge to Sustainability

19 February 2010

SPONSORED ARTICLE: SODEXO IN THE UK AND IRELAND delivers on-site service solutions to clients in the corporate, healthcare, education, leisure and defence sectors.

When it comes to catering Sodexo serves one million meals a day in over 2,300 locations in the UK and Ireland, including schools, hospitals, offices, Army barracks and leisure sites.
At the end of 2009 the Sodexo Group launched its ‘Better Tomorrow Plan’, which aims to consolidate Sodexo's sustainability performance and provide a framework to measure the impact of the company's actions worldwide. At the heart of the plan is 14 commitments to action across health, nutrition and wellness, local communities and the environment. These range from tackling our carbon footprint to sustainable procurement and making sure that our clients and customers benefit from varied and balanced food options.
Healthwise is Sodexo’s nutrition, well-being and lifestyle philosophy. It frames Sodexo’s
complete approach to encouraging and maintaining a healthier balanced lifestyle for its employees, customers and clients in all business areas in which it operates. Sodexo is working in partnership with clients to innovate Healthwise initiatives into their locations. Our team of dietitians, development chefs and catering staff are all committed to providing more information and choice for customers to support a healthy lifestyle. Sodexo continues to work closely with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), not only on its commitments which focus on the types of products and ingredients we buy, how we prepare, menu choices available and nutritional information provided to customers in workplace restaurants but also on its recent trial on labellng calorific content of dishes on a menu.
As a large-scale purchaser, Sodexo is committed to the principles of sustainable food procurement. From ensuring food is ethically sourced to educating future generations about the importance of sustainability, Sodexo is going to considerable lengths to improve its sustainability strategy and ensure that it is doing its upmost to protect the welfare of the environment and the economies with which it works.
At the heart of an effective sustainable purchasing strategy is working closely with suppliers. Sodexo supports the tradition of developing long-standing relationships with its suppliers and producers to enable long term growth. Sodexo is also careful to plan strategies based on known market demand. The company follows purchasing policies which guarantee the quality of its sourced products and in doing so encourages its suppliers to embrace its principles: loyalty, respect for people, transparency and business integrity.
Sodexo’s sustainable procurement policy focuses on sustainability, seasonality and provenance, rather than how many miles away the product was grown, reared or manufactured. It continually reviews its logistics arrangements in order to reduce delivery miles, which involves working closely with suppliers and distributors.
Beyond this, the company extends to initiatives such as delivery network consolidation, utilisation of tri-temperature vehicles and, where relevant, makes use of consolidation warehouses.
Sodexo became the first corporate member of the Red Tractor farm assurance scheme in the summer of 2009. The scheme requires products to be grown or reared in the UK, comply with high food safety and hygiene standards and be produced through good horticultural practice with an emphasis on reducing the use of pesticides, the best use of fertilisers, improved animal welfare and improved protection of the environment. Sodexo is also the first catering company to ensure that its fresh meat, sourced from British farms, is Red Tractor accredited.
Sodexo’s procurement of the fish they serve is another area where a pledge has been made to source food sustainably. In 2009 Sodexo became the first school meals provider to receive Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification across multiple sites. Since then Sodexo has received MSC certification for two corporate services contracts and is looking to extend this further in 2010.
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