CASE STUDY: Compass Group UK&I

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It’s time for radical change – Compass Group UK & Ireland’s commitment to reach climate Net Zero

The climate emergency is the biggest challenge of our lifetime. That is why Compass Group UK & Ireland is calling for a food revolution to fight for our planet. As part of the UK’s largest food and support services company, Compass’ size and scale enable it to have a transformative influence on our food supply.

Eating today comes with hefty carbon price tags – contributing to a climate crisis as well as a biodiversity crisis. We cannot target one without the other. It’s time for radical change.

As a business serving food to millions of people every day, Compass Group UK & Ireland can help to turn these tables and have a responsibility to do so.

In May 2021, Compass Group UK & Ireland became the first in the industry to publish a Net Zero plan – committing to reach Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions across its own operations and its value chain (GHG protocol Scope 1/2/3) by 2030.  

The organisaton has become a signatory of Business Ambition for 1.5°C, making the commitment to align its climate targets with the Paris Agreement. In doing so, it has signed up to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign and aims to reach Net Zero through ambitious levels of change, innovation, collaboration and investment.

Compass has aligned its climate ambitions by pledging to develop science-based targets to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial level, in line with the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) criteria.

In support of these goals, Compass has published Our Climate Promise and Roadmap to Net Zero, which together provide more detail on the philosophies and milestones it will champion in this decade. These commitments include a 40% switch towards plant-based proteins by 2030, with an interim target of at least 25% by 2025. Plus, the launch of a seed investment fund of £1 million to support the development of carbon reduction and sustainable food production innovation.

Compass will make key interventions to increase the adoption of regenerative agricultural principles and practices across all key product categories and increase the share of locally sourced foods. It will also rework its supplier auditing process to include key environmental performance criteria, including energy and resources efficiency, renewable energy, waste management and green logistics. The business is already working to remove significant amounts of plastic and is looking at all fleet cars becoming 100% plug-in electric by May 2024.

Compass’ ambition is to create a sustainable food system. Collaboration is key and we have to act now, collectively, to make a real difference.