Sodexo pledges form its ‘ethical manifesto’
Sodexo UK & Ireland has publicly stated its commitment to a series of pledges forming its ‘ethical manifesto for leading the way to improve quality of life for society and our planet’.
They include gifting up to 25% of its apprentice levy to SME suppliers, enabling them to create 100 new apprenticeships; cutting food waste by 50% by 2030, and ensuring 40% of the business’s spend is with SME and VCSE suppliers – above the Government’s own target of £1 in every £3.
The pledges’ launch represents the fourth iteration of Sodexo’s Social Impact Pledge, first published in 2015; it has reported on progress annually. This year, the pledges are focused on four social impact pathways: ‘our People, our Planet, our Places, and our Partners’. The business is ‘taking additional steps to provide its People with support, as well as helping those within its communities that need it most to secure suitable employment that could kickstart their career, help them retrain, or take the first steps to long-term rehabilitation’.
Sodexo has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 34% by 2025, moving to 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2025, and cutting its food waste by 50% by 2030. It has also committed to supporting the ‘levelling up’ agenda – by helping communities and the places it operates in ‘overcome the social and cultural challenges that drive economic disparity’. Its support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) includes skills-based mentoring and coaching, pro bono technical and professional support, and 30-day payment terms.
In December, 2020 Sodexo’s 2019-20 Social Impact Report outlined progress made on its commitments, including:
• Exceeding its target on recruiting ex-offenders into the business, with 67 new recruits
• Five years ahead of schedule, achieving its pledge on supporting SMEs, with 44% of total spend going to SME suppliers;
• Surpassing its projection for creating new apprenticeship opportunities by over 250, with over 1,100 apprentices ‘on plan’.