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More Local, More Circular: The Future of Sourcing Sustainably

As the global population approaches 9 billion people, challenges related to consumption, pollution, and water and energy usage are growing exponentially.

At the same time, consumers and clients alike are demanding greater transparency and rewarding companies that make business decisions reflecting their values.  By focusing on sustainable procurement - from considering how existing materials can be recycled and reused, to optimizing sourcing requirements, to pursuing deeper supplier partnerships that drive innovation – companies are able to have a more positive societal and environmental impact.
 
At Sodexo, our procurement team purchases €6B worth of food and supplies every year from approximately 150,000 suppliers around the world. By adopting smarter, more sustainable supply chain practices, such as shorter circuits and more local, more seasonal offers, we can dramatically improve the way we feed people and reduce the footprint we leave on the planet. 
 
Despite being a large company with global reach, the heart of our business is very local. Our supply chain is linked to our presence in local markets, where we work with farmers, bakers and producers in those communities. In France for example, 60% of our products are purchased directly from producers through direct sourcing.
 
Sourcing locally is not where it ends, we are also sourcing differently. For example, in the UK, we are working with farmers to buy “ugly” fruits and vegetables - that otherwise would not make it to market - to create delicious meals in our kitchens. Either in a soup or a salad, the flavor remains regardless of appearance. In our kitchens, we are using data-enabled solutions to curb waste by making better informed purchasing decisions.  And our quality standards are coupled with an unwavering focus on food safety along the way.
 
We have forged our business on a singular obsession: improving lives by being a catalyst for positive impact. Through changes upstream in how and what we source, coupled with downstream changes in behavior in our kitchens, Sodexo is committed to making a meaningful difference across the supply chain. 
 
Our Chief Procurement Officer François Blanckaert attended Sustainable Brands in Paris on April 24 to talk about the role procurement can play in creating more sustainable, circular business practices. To watch this panel at Sustainable Brands, click here.

May 03, 2019

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