As a leading food service business, we focus on where we can have the biggest positive impact on the global food system and the environment.
According to the UN, each year, an estimated one-third of all food produced ends up going to waste. That is equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes, worth around US$1 trillion, ending up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices. Our food waste strategy is focused on prevention, inspiring others to waste less, and recovery of surplus food.
We are cutting waste in our restaurants by improving how we order and store food, making use of every bit of an ingredient in the kitchen, and repurposing food into new dishes where possible. We challenge our teams to plan, forecast and purchase effectively to prevent wastage.
In 2017, our US business created a dedicated day of action, Stop Food Waste Day™. Our aim was to increase awareness of the crisis and empower employees and consumers to reduce waste in both professional and home kitchens. It has now become an annual, global event for us, with 38 Compass markets and over 10,000 units participating in 2019.
We work with online food redistribution charities, as well as local charities and community groups, to help our sites donate surplus food.
We recognise the industry-wide issue of single-use plastic and are taking steps to reduce its use in our operations. We are working closely with suppliers to redesign packaging, and encourage clients and consumers to rethink their use of disposable plastic items. This is helping to ensure that fewer singleuse plastics are being used, replacing them with reusable alternatives. Where plastic is still used, we encourage the adoption of plastics that can be easily recycled.
In January 2019, an EAT-Lancet report provided the first full scientific review of what constitutes a healthy diet from a sustainable food system, and which actions can support and speed up food system transformation. We have since partnered with EAT to explore ways to help transform our global food system. Eating less meat is generally agreed to be better for our bodies and for the planet. We are offering our consumers more plant-based choices and meat alternatives. We are serving more vegan options, and our chefs are creating delicious recipes based around vegetables and legumes all around the world.
Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions
We recognise the role we have to play in limiting our impact on the environment. Alongside reducing food waste, and increasing plant-based meals across our business, in February 2019, we committed to set a ‘Science Based Target’ to reduce the carbon footprint of our direct operations, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Building on work done in previous years, we will be setting these targets and taking actions to reduce our impact across the Group over the coming years.