The Challenge helps social enterprises grow their revenues and impact by tapping into corporate supply chains. Social enterprises reinvest profit or donate them to their local communities to create positive social change. This allows them to tackle social problems, improve people’s life chances and provide training and employment opportunities for marginalised communities.
Sodexo and Nestlé have worked together for seven years, with Sodexo providing catering and integrated facilities management services at 14 Nestlé sites in the UK and Ireland.
Sodexo has a history of partnering with social enterprises, with nearly 130 currently used in its supply chain, and an ongoing commitment to supporting social enterprises through its supply chain inclusion programme.
Nestlé also works with a number of social enterprises and joining the Buy Social Corporate Challenge is the next step in its ‘Procurement for Good’ approach, which aims to focus on helping more communities and increasing the diversity of Nestlé’s supplier base.
Sean Haley, Regional Chair, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be making this commitment to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge alongside our partner, Nestlé, as it demonstrates that we are aligned in our determination to ensure that our purchasing power is used in a way that has a positive impact on society.
“We are proud of the work we do to support social enterprises through our supply chain. At Sodexo we have our own commitments, through our social impact pledge, around supporting marginalised communities into employment, and ensuring we are sourcing responsibly, so it’s vitally important to us that we partner with other organisations who share these values.”
Robin Sundaram, Responsible Sourcing Manager at Nestlé UK & Ireland, commented: “When making procurement decisions, we incorporate the environmental, social and economic impacts of our decisions. We’re excited to join with Sodexo in the Buy Social Corporate Challenge so we can help even more communities by supporting more social enterprises. We also want to increase the diversity of our supplier base, as we know that social enterprises are intrinsically more diverse than small, medium enterprises and larger organisations.”
One social enterprise that Sodexo and Nestlé already work with is WildHearts Office, which provides office supplies and is a fundamental supplier to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge signatories. WildHearts creates social change globally and locally, supporting initiatives that include addressing social mobility in the UK, such as its Micro Tyco entrepreneurial training programme for schools, colleges and universities, and addressing gender inequality in the developing world.
Social Enterprise UK will publish its fifth Buy Social Corporate Challenge impact report next month, showing progress made on this ground-breaking initiative over the last 12 months. Twenty-seven high-profile companies are currently signed up, representing a wide range of industries.