The United Nations has identified 17 key challenges facing the world today. These include enormous issues like tackling climate change and poverty across the globe.
Compass’ sustainability strategy ensures that our focus is on contributing to nine of the SDGs.
Of the 17 goals designed to help deliver the 2030 vision for a more sustainable planet, we have identified eight where we believe we can make the most positive social impact. We recognise the critical importance of working in partnership, supported by SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
2.1 End hunger and ensure access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food
2.4 Ensure sustainable food production and resilient agriculture
We spend billions of pounds on food each year, and help our local communities to tackle food insecurity by donating surplus food through donation programmes. This has been especially important during pandemic lockdowns, when we have taken fast action to avoid tonnes of food waste, benefiting thousands of families.
We encourage local sourcing. In the USA, we surpassed our target of purchasing 20% of our produce from local sources, meaning we contribute more than US$75.5 million annually to American family farms.
We encourage sustainable agricultural practices through initiatives like Farm to Fork in the USA; and our award-winning Buy Social Corporate programme in the UK. 100% of our shell eggs and liquid egg products will be cage-free by 2025, and 100% of our chicken in North America and Europe will meet the highest welfare standards by 2024 and 2026 respectively.
3.4 Reduce premature mortality through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and wellbeing
The pandemic and accompanying quarantines and lockdowns have raised the prioritisation of safeguarding mental health. For example, we have run campaigns to open up the conversation about mental health, and offered free consultations with psychologists to employees working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and their immediate families.
We also remain committed to supporting our employees and consumers to live a balanced lifestyle through wellbeing and nutrition initiatives, such as providing online cooking demos and virtual ‘wellness hubs’.
5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making
We want to empower women to work with Compass. For us, this means investing in our female colleagues through development and training schemes, as well as encouraging women led-suppliers. We are also a lead supporter of Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure, a cross industry initiative dedicated to increasing women’s representation in leadership positions.
8.5 Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
8.7 Take active measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and end child labour in all its forms
8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers
Our people are crucial to our business success. We work with local communities across the globe to offer fair and safe employment and promising career opportunities. To promote work for all, we run diversity and inclusion programmes and action councils and provide skills training to disadvantaged people in our communities. We also work hard throughout our operations and with our suppliers to address any human rights and modern slavery risks, conducting audits and providing training.
12.3 Halve per capita global food waste by 2030
12.5 Reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
12.6 Adopt sustainable practices and integrate sustainability information into reporting
We are actively reducing food waste through measurement and targeted actions in every region. In 2020, Compass Group joined the US Food Loss and Waste Champions to commit to reducing food waste by 50% by 2030. We use environmental management systems at client sites, as well as education and toolkits to help reduce waste through prevention, recycling and reuse. In 2019, we launched our comprehensive sustainability reporting system, gathering thousands of data points across our business to measure and report on our sustainability efforts.
13.3 Improve capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation and impact reduction
We are preparing to set Science Based Targets to do our part in limiting global warming to 1.5°C. We are working hard to reduce our indirect (Scope 3) greenhouse gas emissions through reducing food waste and increasing plant-based diets. In the USA, we won a SEAL Environmental Initiative Award for our Carbon Foodprint tool to help reduce carbon emissions, water and waste.
14.1 Prevent and reduce marine pollution
14.2 Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources
Due to employee and consumer concerns regarding hygiene and safety during the pandemic, demand for single-use plastics has temporarily increased. However, we remain committed to eliminating unnecessary disposables, which could otherwise make their way into the oceans.
Our goal is for 50% of our fish and seafood to be certified sustainable. We continue to promote sustainable and responsibly sourced seafood and have a number of restaurants certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. Our policy is not to serve fish from the Marine Conservation Society ‘fish to avoid’ list.
15.1 Ensure the sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems
15.2 Promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation
Throughout our global supply chain, we are working to ensure we source our food and non-food products in a sustainable way, with the least possible impact on the environment. We are a member of the Round Table on Responsible Soy and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. We are also increasing our certified sustainable palm oil purchasing, in order to help prevent deforestation and encourage sustainable environmental practices from farm to fork. The palm oil used to prepare food in our kitchens will be 100% certified sustainable from physical sources by 2022. In the UK, this has already been achieved.
17.16 Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi stakeholder partnerships that mobilise and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the goals
We want to help address some of the biggest global challenges today. As a responsible business, we understand the importance of partnering with our clients, suppliers, NGOs and other stakeholders to improve our impact.
In 2019, we joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and are involved in several food related workstreams. In the UK, we joined partners in calling for a socially just and green pandemic recovery, and greater action on deforestation.