CASE STUDY: Sodexo
Sodexo’s Net Zero journey
Sodexo has been on its net zero journey since 2010, working in partnership with WWF, which has supported the organisation in measuring and reducing its carbon footprint. In 2017, Sodexo set a baseline that covered all three scopes across its value chain and then, in 2022, became one of the first organisations globally to have both its near and long-term targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). A validation granted based on a strategy which prioritises decarbonisation.
Sodexo’s near-term target is to reduce scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 55% by 2030. It will reach net zero once it has achieved its long-term target of reducing GHG emissions, again across all three scopes, by 90% by 2040, with any remaining emissions neutralised.
In January 2023, the business reported a 33% reduction for FY22 compared with its FY17 baseline.
While the business has already made great leaps to cut carbon emissions, such as achieving 92% electricity consumption from renewable sources in directly operated sites, it is its indirect impact on supply chain and client sites (scope 3) where it believes the greatest advances can be made.
Wasting food generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the commercial flights in the world. Sodexo describes how it is tackling this vital issue.
Sodexo has recently announced it’s a comprehensive roadmap to reach net zero emissions by no later than 2045 and has committed to reducing scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by 2030 and 90% by 2045. Sodexo will also reach carbon neutrality across direct operations by 2025. As part of its Net Zero roadmap, Sodexo has developed a detailed carbon reduction plan which will deliver meaningful impact to tackle climate change, with a particular focus on preventing food waste.
While the business has already made great leaps to cut carbon emissions, such as achieving 98% electricity consumption from renewable sources in directly operated sites, it is its indirect impact on supply chain and client sites (scope 3) where it believes the greatest advances can be made.
FIGHTING FOOD WASTE…
As an organisation that produces millions of meals every year, the prevention of food waste is an area ripe for tackling, and one which presents multiple opportunities to innovate.
According to the United Nations, one-third of the world’s food goes to waste, and producing, transporting and letting food rot releases 8-10% of global greenhouse gases. It’s therefore apparent how much of a game changer food-waste prevention is for hitting 2050 targets. Sodexo has introduced initiatives to address this throughout the ‘food waste lifecycle’, from supply chain and production, to the kitchen, plate and beyond.
…IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN
WRAP estimates that 7.2% of food harvested from UK farms doesn’t reach the market. Sodexo’s responsible sourcing strategy plays a key role here, procuring food and ingredients that help minimise carbon footprint and waste, including the Wasteful to Tasteful initiative, encouraging smart use of ‘rescued’ produce.
…IN THE KITCHEN
Sodexo is accelerating towards its 2017 commitment to reduce food waste by 50% by 2025. WasteWatch, powered by Leanpath, is a comprehensive food waste prevention programme, that has so far saved over 294 tonnes of food waste in the region, equivalent to 2,041 tonnes of CO2. One client, Leeds Nuffield Hospital, reported WasteWatch had enabled it to significantly reduce deliveries, saving further emissions.
Sodexo is committed to redistributing food that would otherwise be thrown away. Around 8,000 meals have been saved through Too Good to Go, an app which sells surplus food at discounted rates. Further work is done with charities through the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation to redistribute food to thousands of community groups.
Anything remaining on the plate or kitchen chopping board is fed to aerobic and anaerobic digestion systems, putting it back into the food chain as fertiliser or generating energy.
Lastly, Sodexo’s partnerships with environmental experts including the World Wildlife Fund have helped develop science-based targets specifically for cutting food wastage and reducing environmental impact of procuring and selling food. The company is also a strategic partner for WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
Sodexo’s mission for over 50 years has been to make a positive impact on the communities where it works. Over 80% of its sites have now acquired ‘green skills’, and through Sodexo’s people these are taken back into society, driving positive impact into the community.
Transparency, authenticity and real change are fundamental to the organisation’s approach to meeting, and exceeding, its environmental targets ahead of 2050. We are grateful to our clients, partners and suppliers for sharing our goals and working with us to achieve them.