Understanding where we can make the biggest impact and taking account of what matters most to our stakeholders, alongside industry trends, is important to us.

Last year, we formulated our sustainability strategy. In 2019, we reviewed and confirmed this using our materiality analysis.

We centre our strategy on three key pillars:

  • Health and Wellbeing – helping people to make better choices, be supported in their mental health and follow healthier lifestyles
  • Environmental Game Changers – reducing food waste and single-use plastics, and promoting plant-forward meals
  • Better for the World – sourcing responsibly, enriching local communities and collaborating for big change

Materiality analysis

It is important to ensure we are focusing on the issues that matter most to us and our stakeholders. In 2019, we undertook a more detailed materiality assessment, which built on the previous process in 2017.

We engaged third party experts to support our assessment, gathering internal and external data including:

  • a review of key client and supplier sustainability strategies
  • study of relevant NGO and academic reports
  • analysis of various relevant responsible business benchmarks
  • engaging with several hundred Compass Group colleagues including senior leadership
  • reviewing existing policies, programmes and practices at Compass

As a result of this process, we identified our most important issues, as shown in the materiality matrix adjacent.

The top seven priority issues identified are:

  • the safety of the food we serve and of our people
  • the communities in which we operate, charities we work with and partnerships we form
  • food waste
  • single-use plastics
  • the treatment and wellbeing of our people
  • talent attraction and development
  • nutrition and healthy lifestyle

Issues like food waste, safety and talent attraction were universally recognised as being of the highest importance. Other topics, like single use plastics and promoting fruit and vegetable consumption, were more important in some markets than others.

This is a static snapshot and we anticipate that in the coming years some issues will grow in importance. For example, we believe that mental health and plant-based food what we call plant-forward meals are growing in significance in our major North American and European markets.

On the following pages you will find information on the most important sustainability priorities identified in our materiality assessment.

In addition to our existing sustainability commitments, including cage free eggs, and sustainable seafood and palm oil, we will be setting further targets and communicating these in due course.