The climate emergency is the biggest challenge of our lifetime. The food system is responsible for 13.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. Rising temperatures will continue to disrupt lives and livelihoods, and the impact of climate change will hit communities that face discrimination and lack of opportunities the hardest.
Together with our parent company, Compass Group UK & Ireland, we have announced several systemic changes across the organisation - which demonstrate progress on our journey to Climate Net Zero by 2030.
Led by our dedicated sustainability teams here at Foodbuy, we are constantly reviewing our supply chain with a particular focus on how we can support suppliers to become more sustainable, with a spotlight on regenerative agriculture and a switch from animal to plant-based proteins, as well as further enhancing local and seasonal sourcing.
Anne Simonnet, Head of Sustainability and Compliance, commented.
“Fruit and vegetable produce is our second biggest buying category, so to have none of these items air freighted is significant. We have worked hard to find suppliers that are closer to home - with no compromise on quality. The actions we have taken on eggs and fish are also important steps and we will continue to engage with our partners and suppliers to reduce emissions and focus on animal welfare.”
We have banned air freight on all our fresh fruit and vegetable produce across the organisation.
The ban will see a huge focus on further increasing the use of local and seasonal products, sourcing locally is beneficial not only to the environment as it uses less transportation and as a result causes less carbon emission, but also to change the business’ mindset on what sustainability looks like in terms of sourcing local produce.
We are also trying to incorporate vertical farming into our sourcing plans, as plants growing in vertical farms are fed essential nutrients such as hydroponics.
Hydroponics is a way to skip the soil, substitute with a different material to support the roots of the plant, and grow crops directly in nutrient-rich water, allowing growers to produce food anywhere in the world, at any time of the year, and to net higher yields with fewer resources.
Working with Compass UK&I, we are using free range eggs (shell and liquid) in the UK and introducing white eggs into the supply chain. This move exceeds the previous target of committing to cage free eggs by 2025.
The welfare of farm animals is incredibly important to Foodbuy and Compass Group and is a key element of our approach to responsible sourcing.
Additionally, we are leading the way in supporting the white eggs industry! Chickens that lay white eggs have a lower carbon footprint than those that lay brown eggs, which in turn means we are supplying eggs that are much more sustainable across our entire business.
We are actively involved with Compass with the Enrol with Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) - a partnership of UK businesses united in a vision for sustainable seafood working to ensure the future of our oceans.
Being part of the SSC provides the opportunity to be part of the round table discussion to source seafood more sustainably, hold conversations with members of the SSC, explore ways to improve the industry and fight for seafood sustainability, together.
Eliminating around 142 million items of single-use plastic, we have supported Compass to introduce a closed-loop recycling system for the trays used for Steamplicity meals in the Healthcare channel.
We have also removed problematic plastic like expanded polystyrene (EPS) across the Compass UK business.
To learn more about ‘Our Climate Promise’, visit the website: https://www.compass-group.co.uk/our-climate-promise/ or contact us here to learn more about how we could support your business to achieve Net Zero.