Footprint Blog


SILENT RUNNING

Posted in Equipment,Food Miles,Foodservice Footprint news,Logistics,Sustainability by foodservicefootprint on February 21, 2010

Michelle Hanson and Max Harris at the launch
On the subject of transport savings, Footprint attended the launch of an electric vehicle initiative on Friday.

A joint venture between foodservice operators Bunzl Catering Supplies and Sodexo sees the launch of the CO2 emissions-free and noise-free vehicle as part of continued sustainable distribution initiatives developed by the two businesses. Seeing it run, one could whistfully imagine the difference to noise levels if all vehicles were similar.

The 7.5 tonne light-goods vehicle, which will make its first official delivery on March 1st 2010, will have a range of up to 130 miles and a top speed of around 50mph. Drivers will be able to ‘refuel’ by recharging the vehicle at any standard three-phase socket. A day’s usage will cost ten per cent of the cost of fuel used by a conventional vehicle coveringthe same distance.

The vehicle was officially launched by Jim Haywood, Director of Environment Impact at Business in the Community (BITC), alongside Michelle Hanson, Commercial Director Sodexo UK and Ireland, and Max Harris, Operations & Regional Sales Director at Bunzl Catering Supplies. Both Sodexo and Bunzl are members of the BITC’s Mayday Network on Climate Change, the UK’s largest coalition of businesses that have committed to take action on climate change.

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FOOD & GROCERY COMPANIES EXCEED FOUR YEAR TARGET IN THREE YEARS –

Posted in Foodservice Footprint news,Logistics,News by foodservicefootprint on February 21, 2010

International food and grocery expert, IGD has announced today that 124million HGV miles have been taken off UK roads as part of its Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) UK Sustainable Distribution initiative.

The miles saved initiative has exceeded its four year target of removing 120million road miles by the end of 2010, a year early – the equivalent of removing 2000 lorries from Britain’s roads – and conserving 60 million litres of diesel fuel per year.

Originally spearheaded by companies involved in ECR UK under the auspices of the IGD, the activities have been extended across the industry and now includes 40 of the UK’s leading household retailer and manufacturer brands. Engaging in initiatives such as the use of double-deck vehicles and the sharing of lorries to deliver grocery products, these companies are significantly reducing the environmental impact of transporting food and groceries in the UK.

Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD comments: “This is an outstanding achievement. Sustainability remains top of the agenda for both the food industry and the Government. This successful initiative demonstrates that even in a highly competitive industry, companies remain committed to minimising environmental impact, meeting consumer demands, and at the same time reducing costs.

“This innovative and efficient way of working could shape the way we transport food and grocery items in the future. ”

Chris Tyas, Business Services & Group Supply Chain Director, UK & Ireland, Nestlé comments: “One quarter of lorries on our roads are still estimated to be running empty on their way back from delivering goods. This offers huge scope for more companies of all sizes to implement similar activities, potentially saving millions more road miles in the UK.

“ECR UK continues to be the collaborative forum helping companies to secure high performance from its operations. Despite the recessionary environment we have seen companies come together to collaborate and make a real difference to the environment.”

The road miles saved have been generated through a mix of best practice internal projects and external partnerships between retailers and suppliers. IGD has helped to contribute towards the miles saved by providing the industry with a suite of online resources designed to capture and share best practice across the supply chain. These resources can be found at http://www.igd.com/ecr.

Global tea brand Tetley adds Rainforest Alliance certification

Posted in 1,Foodservice Footprint news,International,News,Sustainability,Sustainable Sourcing by foodservicefootprint on February 17, 2010


Tetley, the world’s second largest manufacturer and distributor of tea, has today announced its decision to obtain Rainforest Alliance certification for the Tetley brand globally.

Tetley has committed to purchasing all of the tea for its branded teabag and loose tea products from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms. All Tetley branded black, green and red (Rooibos) tea, including flavoured and decaffeinated varieties, will be part of the certification programme, which is scheduled for completion by 2016.

The first certified products will be available for the UK foodservice channel from April 2010. Tetley products sourced from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms will then become more widely available in the UK and Canada early in 2011, followed by launches in other key markets including the US, Australia and mainland Europe from 2012.

Given its presence in 70 countries around the world, Tetley’s commitment to Rainforest Alliance certification is a significant move for the global tea industry that will have a wide-reaching and positive impact across the brand’s global supply chains. The collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance will empower and support growers to proactively address and manage the social and environmental challenges they face. Tea producers in all the major tea-growing regions will benefit.

All farms that are Rainforest Alliance Certified™ have met the environmental, social, and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). The SAN standards cover ecosystem conservation, worker rights and safety, wildlife protection, water and soil conservation, agrochemical reduction, decent housing, and legal wages and contracts for workers.

Tetley is one of the brands of the Tata Beverage Group. CEO, Peter Unsworth, said, “Our consumers will be able to enjoy their favourite Tetley blend knowing it has been produced in a way that respects the environment and the tea growers and pickers. We are delighted to be working with the Rainforest Alliance and Sustainable Agriculture Network who are well positioned to support a brand with the scale and reach of Tetley”.

Responding to Tetley’s announcement, Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance said, “We welcome this commitment from Tetley wholeheartedly. Tea farmers have faced many challenges, but working together we can make industry-wide changes to ensure positive environmental and social practices, and give consumers what they really want – reassurance that their cup of tea benefits both farmers and the land.”

Tetley remain active members of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), whose existing programme and collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance will help facilitate the launch of Tetley certified products.

Sally Uren, Deputy CEO of Forum for the Future commented, “We have worked with Tetley for eight years, helping them bring sustainability to the heart of their business. Their plans with the Rainforest Alliance are evidence of a deep commitment to delivering a great product in a sustainable way. By doing the right thing for growers, pickers and the environment, Tetley is signalling its long term vision of helping create a sustainable global tea industry”.

Another wonderful example of how long term money saving and sustainability go hand in hand!

Posted in Comment,Credit Crunch,Economics,Foodservice Footprint news,Government,News,Sustainability by foodservicefootprint on December 15, 2009

According to Defra’s ‘Saving money – it’s your business’ campaign businesses are wasting £6.4Bn a year by missing simple money-saving opportunities.

Defra is highlighting the need for the catering and hospitality industry to cut down on waste, energy and water use to realise the financial benefits.

The campaign shows how simple environmental actions translate into money savings and is supplemented with practical advice on how to integrate resource efficient practices into daily operations.

For more information www.businesslink.gov.uk/savingmoney

Gosh, with such well thought out and helpful campaigns, how could Foodservice Footprint possibly argue that the Labour government isn’t doing enough for the catering and hospitality industry.

Envirowise Business Thrift Shift report gives insight

Almost three-quarters (73%) of businesses surveyed have developed a more detailed knowledge of their spending and resource use as a result of the recession, according to The Envirowise Business Thrift Shift Report.

This includes everything from investment in raw materials, transport and energy, to staffing, equipment and professional services.

For the hotel and catering industry, reduction of water and energy use was the biggest area of cut back (75%), with a large number also minimising spend on raw materials and consumables. And this ‘thrift shift’ is set to continue when the recovery comes, with 79% of respondents citing a greater emphasis on energy efficiency in particular as a possible legacy of the recession.

McCormick UK wins ‘Sustainable Manufacturer of the Year’ award

Posted in Foodservice Footprint news,News by foodservicefootprint on December 14, 2009

“The Manufacturer of the Year” Awards are designed specifically to recognise the achievement of world class excellence and best practice throughout the UK manufacturing industry.

The awards ceremony took place last month at the Tower Hill Hotel, London, and was attended by members of McCormick’s Haddenham Sustainability Team, led by Mark Whalley, Plant Manager.

McCormick’s Haddenham site was nominated in the category of ‘Sustainable Manufacturer’ together with other leading UK manufacturers; Avon Metals, Boss Design, Kerrygold Foods, Lush Manufacturing, Paul Fabrications and Pentagon Chemicals, and won the Award for ‘demonstrating an improvement in environmental performance and reduction in carbon footprint’.

Factors contributing to their success included; the achievement in 2008, of ISO 14001, a series of international standards on environmental management that defines practices to minimise a company’s environmental impact, green design with the Optix Project which removed 320,000 25kg bags from landfill whilst improving working conditions, energy management and performance as significant gas and electricity reductions have been achieved on the site, and employee engagement as the sustainability effort covers both the plant and the offices.

Mark Whalley commented during the Awards ceremony, “We are really proud of this Award that proves once again that we see sustainability as an integral part of our business, and essential to our long term success. I would like to dedicate this Award to all Haddenham employees who made day-to-day efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. Without them, we would never have been recognised as the Sustainable Manufacturer of the Year. Thanks for all your hard work.”

Sodexo launches Better Tomorrow Plan!

Sodexo announces the launch of its ‘Better Tomorrow Plan’, which aims to consolidate Sodexo’s sustainability performance and provide a framework to measure the impact of the company’s actions worldwide.

Sodexo’s strategy is built around three pillars:

  • ‘We are’ – which embraces values and ethics
  • ‘We do’ – which sets out 14 commitments to action on sustainability challenges
  • ‘We engage’ – which recognises the dialogue required to translate commitments into action

The 14 key commitments are spread across health, nutrition and wellness, local communities and the environment. Progress will be monitored with milestone assessments currently anticipated in 2012, 2015 and 2020.

For each of its commitments, Sodexo is developing phased plans and indicators to measure the degree of implementation and impact across the business.

Apart from announcements on Nutrition, Health, Wellness as well as Local Communities, Environment is key in this announcement.

With 33,900 sites in 80 countries, Sodexo is committed to implementing practices and policies that minimise its environmental impacts. Commitments in this area include:

  • ensuring compliance with a Global Sustainable Supply Chain Code of Conduct in all the countries where it operates by 2015.
  • sourcing local, seasonal or sustainably grown products in all the countries where it operates by 2015.
  • sourcing sustainable fish and seafood in all the countries where it operates by 2015.
  • sourcing and promoting sustainable equipment and supplies in all the countries where it operates by 2020.
  • reducing the company’s carbon footprint in all the countries where it operates and at client sites by 2020.
  • reducing its water footprint in all the countries where it operates and at client sites by 2020.
  • reducing organic waste in all the countries where it operates and at client sites by 2015 and supporting initiatives to recover organic waste.
  • reducing non-organic waste in all the countries where it operates and at client sites by 2015 and supporting initiatives to recover non-organic waste.

Thomas Jelley, corporate citizenship manager for Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: “Our mission is to improve the quality of life for the people we serve and contribute to the economic, social and environmental development of the areas where we operate. Through this ten-year sustainable development strategy, we are committing to continuous improvement through a challenging but robust and structured approach.”

Copenhagen Climate Change Summit & Foodservice

Posted in Comment,Economics,Foodservice Footprint news,Government,International,News by foodservicefootprint on November 26, 2009

The Copenhagen Climate Change Summit is one of the elixir’s of sustainability and we have been trying to find an easy way to relate it to foodservice.

The meeting is the deadline to negotiate the successor to the Kyoto protocol, with the aim of preventing global warming. The biggest and most developed nations emit by far the most carbon thus have a responsibility to cut these significantly. Although emerging markets such as India and China are surging ahead in their emissions; per person emissions are relatively small (by way of example 400 million Indians live without electricity). The argument of these emerging markets is that pollution will be necessary to improve citizens lives. Nevertheless, cuts of 25%-40% rising to further cuts of 80%-95% by 2050 will be the focus of the Summit.

So, the richest nations are going to have to pay and this is exactly where foodservice comes into play. Gordon Brown and other EU leaders are suggesting figures in the realms of $100 billion by 2020.

But who’s going to pay this domestically? One would think those that utilise the Earth’s natural resources the most! Companies operating in the foodservice industry are significant stakeholders of natural resources and therefore will feel the impact of Copenhagen Climate Change Summit over the coming years. Whether by means of taxation or sanctions remains to be seen.

So, those still doubting the significance of climate change should brace themselves!

Sustainability dominates the Press Association Media Awards!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Hickman, The Independent’s Consumer Affairs Correspondent has been named Journalist Of The Year at the Foreign Press Associations Media Awards.

His report on the environmental effects of palm oil beat news reports from the BBC, Channel 4, Wall Street Journal and even the Daily Telegraph’s coverage of the MP’s expense scandal.

The report revealed palm oil is destroying the rainforest and is threatening the survival of the orang-utan, yet is still found in best-selling food brands.

The report prompted Nestle, Marks & Spencer, Cadbury and Mars into moving to sustainable supply.

First ‘Foodservice’ Footprint Forum on sustainability calls on Government to do more!

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Footprint Forum 8th of October 2009

The inaugural Footprint Forum, sponsored by Sodexo on HMS Belfast in London, brought together the great and the good of the foodservice industry to discuss the burning issue of the day – how to achieve sustainability throughout the industry.

A panel of industry experts debated a wide range of concerns including waste, procurement, the confusion in some areas between organic and sustainable, fishing, equipment and energy, transport and incentives offered by the Carbon Trust to buy new greener kit.

Introducing the Forum, Footprint Media Group CEO Nick Fenwicke-Clennell said “the objective of Footprint Forum is to create an environment where the decision makers and influencers of this industry can come together to debate the issues, exchange ideas and benefit from the knowledge of others as we drive towards a more sustainable future for foodservice.”

The keynote address by chef Cyrus Todiwala MBE, concentrated on the huge problem of waste produced by the hospitality industry and how best to combat it. Todiwala’s multiple award winning restaurant, Café Spice Namasté is a showcase for sustainable practice. He is a highly vocal environmental campaigner and chairs the Waste Committee for London.

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Cyrus Todiwala speaking at Footprint Forum HMS Belfast 8th October 2009

Todiwala’s controversial take on the problem of waste is that collectors should pay operators to take it away, as happens in India. This would, said Cyrus, encourage people to segregate and conserve for recycling and save operators a fortune into the bargain. “In India newspapers, empty bottles, used clothes, pots and pans, old wood, scrap iron/steel, wood, aluminium, cardboard and cartons are all paid for by the waste collectors. People are very careful about how they store their valuable rubbish – scrap buyers come to your doorstep asking for rubbish to buy or exchange for new goods. I firmly believe that if India were a thousand miles closer to the UK I would become a millionaire just selling scrap from the UK,” he said. “The system we use in the UK is ridiculous and is the reason why there is no incentive for people to dispose of their useful rubbish effectively.

Restaurants and hotels pay hefty amounts to have their rubbish cleared away. Those of us who are environmentally conscious end up paying much, much more, thereby eliminating any incentive. The collectors, however, make massive profits since they sell on our rubbish by the tonnage and charge us for collecting it as well. “Waste disposal operators contracted by councils and other authorities should be made competitive. They should be made to collect free – if not actually to buy the rubbish. That way everyone would make sure they put their rubbish out as carefully as they can and not mix and pile it randomly. “Foodservice has to lead the way. Ideally, in five years time, if we all act collectively we will get manufacturers, producers and collectors all listening and doing exactly what we wish them to do which is to help us to create a zero waste community of end users,” said Todiwala.

He also went on to deplore the ‘unjoined up thinking’ afflicting many schemes designed to push sustainability. “There is a failure to communicate between initiatives and this leads to duplication of effort. There are several streams of Government funding going into several projects, the problem is no one knows about the various initiatives and often the organisations involved within those initiatives themselves don’t know what is going on and end up duplicating work someone else is doing.”

As Todiwala finished to applause from the delegates, the panel of experts chaired by Peter Backman of Horizons assembled to take questions from the audience. An expert on the structure and dynamics of the foodservice sector, and its supply chain in the UK and across Europe, Backman regularly speaks at conferences in North America and Europe.

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Footprint Forum Panel HMS Belfast 8th of October 2009

Responding to questions from the floor the general consensus of opinion from the panel was that although a lot has been done and improvement is ongoing it is just scratching the surface, not just on the problem of waste but also addressing other sustainable issue such as fishing, incentives for procurement both of energy efficient equipment and food and drink. The panel also echoed Todiwala’s concerns that there is no ‘joined up thinking’ from Government and there is a need for more incentives for operators to buy into sustainability.

Glenn Roberts of refrigeration giant Gram said: “The problem we see at Gram is that although the Government, in the form of the Carbon Trust, is doing good work promoting sustainability in the media it needs to understand ‘Catering plc’ better. The Carbon Trust’s Energy Technology List (ETL) lists 18,000 products in all that are eligible for Government tax breaks because they are ‘green’. In catering, only refrigeration figures on the list. Bearing in mind that refrigeration accounts for a mere 6 per cent of energy consumption in kitchens this is not enough, more equipment needs to be on the list. But first we need to know how energy is used in commercial kitchens. There needs to be a benchmark for prime cooking and other equipment. The catering Equipment Manufacturers Association (CESA) is currently lobbying the Carbon Trust and it is clear the Trust doesn’t understand the foodservice sector. As for manufacturers, we must listen to the market place. It is vital that we do this. Sustainable products are more expensive and very difficult to sell in the current climate.” Gram performed a survey of the industry two years ago and is now conducting another one to show the amount of change since then. The Gram Green Paper offers insight and statistical information on a range of areas such as operators’ interpretation of what green means to their business, as well as demonstrating personal green initiatives currently in place. It also highlights perceptions on cost/saving implications as well as which sectors could be doing more to ensure foodservice is an environmentally responsible industry. “The findings showed people are desperate to do something decisive. The market place can be bothered: they just want to be show how,” he said. “However, we have found there is a gap between what people say they want and what they do. The driving force is for the procurement department to save money. Joined up thinking doesn’t happen. If it costs £1400 to replace a refrigerator with an energy efficient version, they will go for the £900 option even though it uses 5-6 times more energy and will struggle to maintain temperature. It is very hard to get people to take that on board. After all, they may well be thinking that they may not be in business next year so why pay the extra?” he said. Thomas Jelly of Sodexo suggested that large companies that commit to sustainability should be ranked in a league table. He said that incentives in the form of tax reductions would get finance departments thinking hard and would get them behind the initiative.

Ian Booth, Technical Director of fresh food supplier Reynolds said: “In the public sector local government should set objectives such as the percentage of sustainability in procurement to be achieved whether it be in equipment, food – everything. The Government must do this to make it work. It will be interesting to see where that will go. Europe is telling Government to look at procurement.”

Mike Berthet, Director of Fish & Seafood, M&J Seafoods said: “It is disappointing that the Government has not set the pace. I raised this question with Hilary Benn recently at an open forum. The Government just hasn’t taken the lead. There should be two fish dishes on school menus per week and the fish should be from a sustainable source.” He had some good news to impart, however, telling delegates of positive initiatives taken by the fishing industry. One example he cited was that of seven boats out of Scotland now have video cameras rigged to the trawl so they can see what fish is being discarded. “One guy has a camera on the underwater trawl bar – if he sees they are about to catch cod when they are over quota they can simply reel in and start again. This is also invaluable, say, if they start fishing in an area with too many juvenile cod. They can pack up and move to another area. The area with the juvenile cod can then be closed to fishing for a month to allow stocks to grow.” Berthet also told delegates that we have the raw materials for producing fish feed for sustainable aqua culture literally on our doorsteps. “Ragworm can be farmed from any old detritus. There are billions of tonnes of that in London alone of that in London alone,” he said.

Ian Booth made the valuable point that there is confusion about ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’ products with some people thinking they are the same thing: a comment that was greeted with agreement from the panel and the delegates.

Thomas Jelley said: “Sustainability is not about one product being local or one recyclable. We have to take in other individual components such as transport and put it all together seamlessly.”

Heidi Easby of Brakes warned that working out a long term strategy takes time and industry employees have their part to play, saying that it sometimes pays to start from basics. “To really try to change the ethos of people in business it is important not to just concentrate on mileage. It is possible to have day to day impact. At Brakes we have no bins at desks so staff have to walk to recycle points to chuck stuff away. This has reduced waste by 40 per cent. Big schemes may require financing but small things like this work well.”

“Smaller things persuade the industry to take responsibility. Why not ask staff what they want to do?” responded Jelley.

“What we do in the crunch to offset against a lower income will work in better times. This is a good time to make changes and when things get better everybody is used to it,” said Todiwala.

“Ultimately, the Government must set out standards to look at the bigger picture. Sustainability is ultimately win-win for everybody,” concluded Ian Booth, who seemed to echo the thoughts of most people at the event.

Charles Miers, Managing Director of Footprint Media Group reflected: “It is desperately sad that the industry, friend or foe, haven’t cooperated more. Seeing all these influencers under one roof, nevermind talking to each other is unheard of – we changed that today! Let’s hope that this might set the precedence going forward.”

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