Sodexo UK & Ireland says it has seen a 33% cut in its Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since its baseline year of 2017 – equating to 300,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
The group said this decline has been realised by implementing a continuous improvement strategy including the designing and introduction of a carbon trajectory tool to support analysis of its emissions and identifying what actions and reduction levers to achieve its climate goals.
Sodexo reviewed its 2017 baseline – as recommended by SBTi. Re-baselining gives a more accurate picture of a company's carbon footprint, and the group is calling on other businesses to continually review their baselines to ensure that they are accurately tracking them against their activities.
It added that as knowledge and systems evolve, the group’s understanding of the data and how it is used has improved, which, together with changes in its organisational structure, have led to a revised total baseline figure of 928,160 tCO2e. This, said the group, represents the amount by which it needs to reduce its emissions to reach net zero, and puts it on track to meet its near-term target.
In November, Sodexo Group pledged to reach net zero by 2040. Sodexo UK & Ireland has adjusted its roadmap and brought forward its net zero target by five years to 2040 and is now updating this target with the SBTi.
By the close of its last fiscal year, Sodexo had cut emissions by a third against the revised 2017 baseline. There was a dip in emissions during the pandemic and a rise in emissions since fiscal year 2021 as the organisation resumed operations post-pandemic. By using its data, Sodexo has determined that energy used to deliver services on client sites, its supply chain, and staff commuting generate the most emissions.
Decarbonisation measures that have led to Sodexo’s emissions reductions so far include:
- Joining the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative and committed to switching to 100% renewable electricity globally by 2025 at its directly controlled sites. In the UK and Ireland, 92% of electricity was procured from renewable sources during the last financial year.
- Launching a 100% hybrid and electric vehicle company car policy across the UK in November 2021, replacing all diesel and petrol vehicles.
- Deploying its food waste prevention programme, WasteWatch, to reduce food waste by 50% by 2025, five years ahead of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.
Undertaking a net zero survey with its supply chain to understand the climate strategies and progress to date of key suppliers (including SMEs) to inform its wider net zero supply chain engagement strategy.
Its next key milestone in the UK and Ireland will be to reduce the group’s GHG emissions by 55% against the 2017 baseline year across all three Scopes by 2030.
Claire Atkins Morris, Sodexo UK&I’s director of corporate responsibility, said: “Sodexo is committed to reducing our impact; and data is fundamental to this. We are continuously looking at ways to improve how we calculate and measure our data so that we have a clear picture of our emissions and impact. Despite the progress we have undoubtedly made, we know there is a way to go and that it is not about mitigation, it’s about adaptation – organisations need to consider how they do business to be able to meet their commitments and make an impact.”
CEO Sean Haley, added: “These figures show that we are moving in the right direction toward a significant reduction in our carbon emissions. This progress is of course, in part down to the work of our team of sustainability experts whose dedication to developing and measuring our detailed action plan has kept us on course to meet our commitments. But their efforts would be for nothing if the changes and improvements being made throughout the business were not being taken up and activated by our 30,000 plus colleagues – net zero is a collective task, for which we are all responsible.”