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Sodexo UK&I outlines roadmap to be carbon neutral by 2025

Sodexo has announced a roadmap to net zero and decarbonisation of the business in the UK and Ireland.

Sodexo has been working with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to test the target validation criteria and guidance for SBTi’s upcoming Net-Zero Standard.

The test was set up to ensure the criteria, guidance and net-zero target setting tools, that SBTi will give to companies once the standard launches in October, are practical. The SBTi aims to drive climate action by enabling companies to set science-based emissions reduction targets, in line with a 1.5-degree future.

Sodexo’s original target, validated by SBTi to reduce carbon emissions by 34% by 2025 (against a 2017 baseline), formed part of Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow commitment.

Having already exceeded this, Sodexo now aims to be carbon neutral by 2025.

The next step on Sodexo UK&I’s roadmap will be to reduce carbon emissions across all three scopes by 55% by 2030.

The final step announced is a decarbonisation of the business, with 90% of all carbon emissions cut across all three scopes, accounting for suppliers and client sites. This long-term target, to be achieved no later than 2045, will be submitted for review by the SBTi with validation to be confirmed and announced in early 2022.

It also aims to reduce its own carbon footprint, leaving a maximum of 10% emissions.

Sodexo’s carbon reduction plan, which will enable the organisation to achieve these goals, includes:

• The launch of a 100% hybrid and electric vehicle company car policy

• Ongoing membership of the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative and procuring 100% renewable electricity by 2022

• Switching to 100% reusable, recyclable and compostable packaging by 2025

• Increasing the number of plant-based meals and recipes to 33% by 2025

• Tackling food waste at all appropriate sites through our WasteWatch powered by LeanPath programme and reducing food waste by 50% by 2025

• A thorough responsible sourcing strategy that facilities better working with suppliers

• Working with clients to achieve net zero collaboratively

Sean Haley, chairman, Sodexo UK and Ireland said: “The commitments we make today are the culmination of an extraordinary amount of work from our world-class team of sustainability experts. Their unswerving dedication to developing, not just a set of targets, but a detailed action plan to achieve them, gives me absolute confidence in our future ability to not just meet but to exceed our net zero goals. This will enable us to continue to support and improve the communities in which we live, work and serve.”

Claire Atkins-Morris, director of Corporate Responsibility, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “Not all net zero commitments are created equal. This is a hugely complex topic, and it has been critically important to us throughout the process of creating this carbon reduction roadmap that we are committing to something that is truly meaningful, and that we are absolutely transparent in this.

“It may seem cautious, but we want to be crystal clear in how we are tackling climate change, setting an achievable target that we can be confident we can monitor and measure. We would rather be conservative today and exceed our goals tomorrow – and this is what our roadmap ensures.”

Alex Lankester, director of Partnerships, WWF-UK said: “As a long-term partner to Sodexo, we are delighted to see them take this extremely thorough approach to their net zero goals. Given the scope and scale of the business, the magnitude of this commitment to decarbonisation across all components of all three scopes should not be underestimated. We would strongly urge more businesses to set a science-based target in line with a 1.5-degree future. This is exactly what’s needed to move the dial.”