Sodexo has received the award for the best waste prevention project (non-food) at the annual waste2zero Awards for the actions it has taken to eliminate single-use plastics from its operations in the UK and Ireland.
Sodexo’s actions and achievements in this area include a partnership with Simply Cups, the UK’s only paper and plastic cup collection and recycling service and was one of the first to remove plastic straws and stirrers from its operations in May 2018.
At the same time Sodexo made a public commitment to phase out single use plastic bags and polystyrene items such as cups, lids and food containers by 2020 and has made environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic disposables widely available in its business.
This autumn, Sodexo has teamed up with the Marine Conservation Society (MSC) and so far, 52 Sodexo colleagues have volunteered their time to help the MSC’s Beach Clean initiative. Their efforts resulted in over 12kg of waste being removed from Brighton, Sand Bay, Mappleton and West Kirby beaches during the 100-metre monitored cleans. This included 3,808 small plastic pieces and 300 cotton bud sticks. Not only did Sodexo employees clear plastic/waste items that could have harmed marine life their efforts have enabled vital data to fuel MCS litter campaign and help affect real change.
According to Sodexo, waste is one of the organisation’s biggest collective challenges and it sees prevention as a key step in addressing it.
Megan Horsburgh, Head of D&I and CR, Sodexo UK and Ireland said: “We are thrilled to have received this award and our thanks go to our teams out there making a difference every day whether it’s through conversations with their clients, engaging their consumers to change their behaviour and finding ways specific to them to prevent and reduce the amount of waste our services generate.
“Environmental protection is one of the key issues which we focus from a global and regional perspective. We acknowledge that action is critical to ensure that we, as responsible corporate citizen, do as much as it can to improve the quality of life of future generations and reduce the impact our business operations has on the environment.”
At the waste2zero awards Sodexo was also named runner-up in the Best Waste Project Communication & Stakeholder Engagement Award for its annual WasteLESS Week employee, client and consumer engagement campaign which is held every October.
The 2019 WasteLESS Week campaign is currently underway, and this year continues the focus on reducing the use of plastics, with tools and resources also available on other critical areas such as food waste.