Designing carbon neutral food services

Food and agriculture are leading causes of global warming, responsible for about 1/3 of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

With 60% of our business linked to food, serving 100 million consumers worldwide each day, we can have a big impact. Every day, our chefs develop and offer plant-based, sustainable, flavorful dishes to lower the carbon footprint of our daily menus. For our food system to heal rather than hurt the planet, we need to make healthy and sustainable foods exciting and enticing to consumers.

The flexitarian trend drives menu change

60% of consumers enjoy a meat-free meal at least once a weekPlant-based foods are increasingly popular around the world, and a majority of Gen Zs now avoid animal-based products.

In fact, 42% of global consumers now declare themselves to be flexitarians.

And with 60% of consumers enjoying a meat-free meal at least once a week, it’s clear that this behavior is here to stay.

Introducing carbon neutral food services

With the help of our chefs and dieticians, we create healthy, balanced meals adapted to guests’ lifestyles and the diversity of their tastes around the world. Our latest collaboration is no exception.

Together with Quorn, we have launched the first carbon neutral solution in contract catering in the UK.

We’ve joined forces to begin the global roll out of Carbono Cero, the world’s first carbon neutral solution for food services. The solution could save at least 7,296 tons of carbon each year.

This month Carbono Cero will roll out at a number of Sodexo’s corporate client sites in the UK, with a plan to expand this globally to 1,500 sites by April 2023.

Aspirational meat reducers make up 55% of the meat free market and as environmental awareness skyrocketed in the pandemic and consumers of all ages recognized the impact of their meal choices, eating less meat is now a behavior not a trend. We’re working hard with our partners, like Sodexo, to create delicious dishes that meet the needs of consumers.

Paul Jennings, Head of Food Development for Foodservice at Quorn Foods

42% of global consumers now declare themselves as flexitariansThe Carbono Cero solution features ten carbon-neutral recipes inspired by chefs to help tackle the global climate crisis.

Recipes include everything from Asian Inspired Potato Chaat & Saag Dahl and Japanese Crispy Katsu to Quorn’s innovative Louisiana Style Buttermilk Burger and Napoli Style Lasagne. Each recipe’s carbon is calculated using a globally accredited tool, Kilmato. The remaining carbon is then offset using gold standard projects such as Afforestation Programmes.

As part of the global roll out, culinary development sessions will be held with Sodexo’s regional food teams, focusing on seasonality and sustainable cooking methods with toolkits and carbon saving reports for each site.

Continuing to reduce our environmental impact.

This initiative is just the latest step on our journey to reduce our environmental impact as a business.

We continue to launch an increasing number of plant-based menus around the world. For example, more and more of our chefs are creating dishes using Future 50 Foods, an initiative launched three years ago that identifies under-utilized plant-based foods that optimize nutrient density and reduce environmental impact. It is now active in 6,500 locations around the world.

33% of Sodexo's menus will be plant based by 2025We also partner with NGOs such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to work on criteria for dishes that are better for consumers and for the environment and the Humane Society to train chefs in plant-based cooking.

Foodcheri, our food start-up in France has gone even further on the path towards more sustainable eating: In addition to their 50% vegetarian menu, they also launched the Eco-Score , an indicator that assesses the environmental footprint of each of their menu choices.

As a company, we have a global target, validated by SBTi, to reduce our carbon emissions by 34% by 2025 (against a 2017 baseline). One of the ways we are achieving this target is through 33% of our menus being plant-based by 2025 (today 25% of our menu choices are plant-based).

We are committed to encouraging our guests to develop good eating habits and healthy lifestyles. For us it’s clear that carbon-neutral food is what our guests are craving as well as being a great way to reduce the impact our services have on the planet.

Find out more about how we strive to... increase the sustainability of our food services.