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Compass publishes industry-first transition plan

Food and support services company, Compass Group UK & Ireland has become the first in its sector to share a detailed transition plan aligned to the UK government’s Final Disclosure Framework following its recent release by the Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT). The Framework is intended to help companies develop and deliver ‘gold standard’ climate transition plans.

Compass UK&I’s plan draws on the largest food and drink carbon impact assessment undertaken and openly shared by any foodservice provider to date and reveals what it takes to decarbonise its £multi-billion business, in a period of continued high growth for the caterer. 

A staggering 2.2 million rows of data, were analysed by Compass, of which over 1.7 million accounts for food and beverage. The data analysis, which has been externally verified, and achieved in collaboration with leading data scientists and food systems specialists, provides the business, its clients, peers and the wider economy with greater insights into the impact of the company’s operations.

The business reports an absolute reduction in emissions of -9.4 per cent across Scope 1,2,3 (FY19 baseline – FY23). This has been achieved, inclusive of the company’s high organic growth, acquisitions and joint ventures. By including Compass’ growth within its analysis, an estimated -25 per cent reduction in carbon intensity has been calculated.

Compass serves 214 million meals a year across 4,000 locations. Food and drink represents 62.5 per cent of the caterer’s FY23 footprint, where the business has achieved a reduction of -162,828 tCO2e of emissions attributed to food and drink purchases.

Examples of the impact achievable through Compass’ size, scale and agency are explained in the plan through four core levers of change: supply chain, operations, ingredients, and culture.

  • Supply chain

Compass’ procurement arm, Foodbuy is launching a new Net Zero Pipeline for FY24, where category buyers will assess the environmental implications of one product against another. Fifty potential carbon reduction initiatives have already been put forward in emissions intensive categories, e.g., beef and dairy.

  • Operations

Strong sectorised leadership across 2,900+ partnerships is shown through specific interventions, data-driven action, and accountability. For example, in Levy UK + Ireland, Compass’ sports and leisure sector, 30 per cent of all general managers’ bonuses are now linked to 124 site-level environmental KPIs; and in its business and industry (B&I) sector, minimising the most carbon intensive dishes is now a KPI for chefs working across the business.

  • Ingredients

Twenty-five per cent of 8,004 centrally analysed recipes (one in four) now have A and B rated footprints. These are a representative sample of its wider library of recipes, as part of Compass’ commitment to reformulate a centralised bank, that’s as closely aligned to 1.5C as possible. This work is part of its strategic partnership with UK sustainability tech company, Foodsteps.

  • Culture

Successfully reducing the carbon footprint of its 12 top selling meals in Compass’ business and industry sector has strengthened the alignment of its climate and health strategies, achieving an average saving per portion of 1.39kg CO2e across 209,029 meals sold every year.

Other achievements to date include:

  • 185,000 meals donated to charities in past 12 months, contributing to a total of 1mn meals redistributed via FareShare since 2014.
  • Three quarters of a million litres of cooking oil converted into biofuels.
  • 31 tonnes of cling film saved – the equivalent of over 5,200 miles – it could stretch from the UK to USA.
  • Removed almost 50 million pieces of cutlery, 6.3 million plastic bottles, 1.4 million cans, and 3.9 million sachets.
  • Recipe reformulation >90 per cent of its recipes now containing low to medium amounts of sugar and salt.

Commenting on Compass UK&I’s transition plan, Baroness Vere, Minister at HM Treasury said: “Transition plans are a key tool for companies and investors to understand the risks and opportunities facing a company in greater depth and detail. I am delighted that Compass UK & I have drawn on the excellent work of the Transition Plan Taskforce to drive their own transition planning and look forward to more firms doing so.”

Robin Mills, Chief Executive Officer, Compass Group UK & Ireland added: “We always knew setting a 2030 target was ambitious, but it has helped to accelerate change in our business and drive positive behaviours as we seek to operate more sustainably in all that we do. It’s great to see that the actions we are taking are having an impact. At the outset we said we wanted to be transparent and share our learnings. I am delighted to be publishing our transition plan, which I hope provides great learnings for others to also work with.”

Eptura 2023 Workplace Index 

Over the past year, Eptura has used proprietary data and commissioned research to explore how business leaders can balance opposing demands.

In this final summary report on the state of the workplace in 2023, the global worktech leader looks at the key insights that will shape the world of work in 2024 and beyond.

For the Q4 edition of the 2023 Workplace Index, Eptura updated its proprietary data across four demands:

  • Freedom and Connection
  • Value creation and Cost Control
  • Flexibility and Certainty
  • CO2 Targets and Costs

To download the report click here.


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