A bowl of curry with vegetables in the background

Creating environmentally friendly menus

Published on : 10/26/20
  • In recent years there has been a lot of focus, for both individuals and corporations, on buying local produce and using packaging that is reusable, recyclable or avoiding it all together.

    However, when we examine the carbon footprint of the food supply chain it becomes clear that packaging and transportation are responsible for just a small portion of the greenhouse gasses emitted in the full farm-to-fork journey many of our ingredient take to arrive on our plates. 

    The ingredients we choose to include in our meals have a big impact on the environment and a 2018 Oxford University study found that avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way you can reduce your impact on earth.

    Plant-based, vegetarian and vegan diets are growing in popularity

    Whilst countries show variances in behaviour, the common trend is that plant-based, vegetarian and vegan diets are all on the rise:

    Introducing more sustainable menus

    In September 2019, we partnered with Knorr Professional to launch Future 50 Foods. These sustainable meals are created using a range of plant-based ingredients which have been selected because of their lower environmental impact and high nutritional value. Ingredients range from the familiar such as lentils, wild rice and kale to the unfamiliar fonio, pumpkin flowers and cactus. Our Future 50 menu is now available across 13 counties and at more than 6,500 locations around the world.

    Our global commitment to vegetarian, vegan and plant-based menus

    However, our focus on plant-based dishes isn’t a one-time initiative. We’ve been introducing more and more vegetarian, vegan and plant-based menus around the world and are aiming for 30% of our menu to be plant-based by 2025.

    Some examples of our vegetarian, vegan and plant-based menus around the world:

    Foodchéri raises the bar even further

    Foodcheri, Sodexo’s food-tech corp-up in France, already has a 50% vegetarian menu but has decided to go even further and remove three ingredients from their menu completely: beef, cod and avocado.

    Despite the risk associated with stopping the use of these popular food, offering a menu that is more respectful of the environment is at the heart of our company mission. They selected these specific ingredients to symbolize the abuse our global food system, illustrating the negative impacts of food choices on the climate, water resources and biodiversity.

    • Beef because the farm-to-fork journey creates 6 tons of CO2, the equivalent of a flight around the world
    • Cod because of intensive over-fishing 
    • Avocado because a kilogram of avocados requires 1000 litres of water to grow in a country where water is scarce

    Foodcheri have adapted their recipes for dishes which previously included these ingredients and now serve chicken spaghetti Bolognese, mackerel brandade and broccoli guacamole for example.

    Patrick Asdaghi, CEO of FoodCheri challenges you to taste their new, more sustainable, dishes to see for yourself that they are equally delicious to the traditional versions.

    Sustainable meals of the future

    As a food service provider, we will continue to reduce the environmental impact of our food supply chain whilst ensuring we maintain amazing taste and high-quality nutrition.

    Will you be changing the meals you choose to eat? Will cactus, kale and wild rice be in your shopping basket every week? Will you have one taste of broccoli guacamole and never look back? Let us know in the comments.

    Find out more about our food services around the world.

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