Our Planet Promise is Compass Group’s global commitment to a sustainable future for all.
It encompasses our values as an ethical, sustainable and inclusive business; the commitments we make to our people, our clients and our suppliers; and our mission to have a positive impact on the world through sourcing responsibly, enriching lives and collaborating for global change.
The international food industry has a major role to play in reaching Net Zero and we are committed to playing our part in driving the transition to a healthy and sustainable global food system.
That’s why we have announced a commitment to reach Climate Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across our global operations and value chain by 2050.
Our Global Net Zero strategy has been developed in partnership with international climate consultancy South Pole and includes ambitious carbon emissions reduction targets over the next decade to 2030 which have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
We provide food and support services to clients and consumers around the world. Our impact across the value chain is as follows:
Given the complexity of the global food system as it is today, we don’t underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead of us. Radical new collaborations are urgently needed across the entire value chain to make our collective ambitions a reality.
As the world’s largest food services group, operating at the heart of the global food supply chain, we are in a unique position to influence real change both with the people we serve and the suppliers with whom we work.
We will use our scale and international reach to promote the benefits of sustainable consumption on a global scale, collaborating with clients, industry associations, governments and suppliers to reduce our combined GHG emissions and help set their own Net Zero and Science Based Targets, so that together we can create a more sustainable global food system for future generations.
While we will need to pull many levers to achieve Climate Net Zero, our Global Roadmap sets out the priority interventions we can action and influence, which have the potential to deliver deep reductions to our carbon footprint over the coming decades.
Whilst reformulating menus to include more plants is key to decarbonising, mixed livestock grazing can help contribute to lowering emissions in farming.
Google and Compass - a winning combination in carbon emissions reduction
Over the last three years Compass has been supporting Google to reduce the carbon emissions of the food served through plant-forward innovations. Training our culinary teams to make delicious plant-forward food has helped shrink carbon emissions.
With Google’s support, SEED (Skills, Enrichment, Evolution and Development) was created: a multi tiered training programme to expand the teams’ plant-forward culinary skills and increase awareness of the impact of plant-forward eating on the health of both the planet and people. Approximately 180 participants graduated, from sous chef to culinary director.
Compass Group and Google also partnered with Arizona State University’s Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems to refine an introductory version of the curriculum and provide graduates with ASU certificates.
More than one third of surveyed graduates generated six to 10 new menu ideas as a result of the course and nearly one third said they generated more than 10.
Chefs have adopted a flip/blend/swap approach. These experts ‘flip’ the traditional portions of meat and vegetables, giving meat a smaller role on the plate; ‘blend’ meat with vegetables for items like burgers, meatballs and meatloaf; and ‘swap’ traditional meat items for plant-based alternatives.
Using choice architecture, plant-forward options are presented so they are more likely to be chosen, for example, by ensuring they are in the best line of sight, have tempting dish titles or are positioned at the front of a well lit counter, or at an interactive chef’s station.
Google’s bold leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, combined with Compass Group’s growing mastery at preparing plant-forward foods, provide a great collaboration for tackling climate change, one delicious meal at a time.
Jonathan Kaplan, Global Sustainability Director for Compass Group at Google.
Across our UK, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium and Switzerland markets, we are already influencing positive changes in consumer behaviour through the rollout of eco-labels, which provide clients and customers with information on the carbon footprint of the food they eat, enabling them to make more informed climate-positive choices.
Eco-labelling innovation in the UK & Ireland
Following the successful completion of an eco-labelling pilot project with researchers in the Livestock, Environment and People labelling (LEAP) group at the University of Oxford, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Business and Industry sector began rolling out the scheme across its workplace catering sites in September 2021.
First trialled across 15 Eurest client sites, the eco-labelling initiative sees dishes labelled A-E to highlight which meals have a higher (E) or lower (A) environmental impact based on greenhouse gas emissions, water scarcity, water pollution and biodiversity loss, helping end-consumers make more sustainable choices about their diets.
The business has already seen a marked difference in what consumers are choosing following the introduction of a greater range of plant based dishes and changing the “placement” of dishes to make plant-based more prominent. Placement of plant-forward dishes on the counters, in front of the meat-based dishes, encourages people to try new things, as customers view the dishes of equal relevance to traditional meat-based dishes.
At traditional manufacturing sites, meat and two veg dishes have been a staple of consumers’ diets for some time. Yet, following the introduction of these subtle changes, we have seen an increase in our plant-forward sales and the feedback from customers has been fantastic.
Liz Forte, Health and Wellbeing Director, Business and Industry, Compass Group UK&I