Increased focus on sustainable and ethical business practices, driven by a shift in demographic preferences, are prompting many organizations to increasingly embrace environmental, social and governance (ESG) tenets such as climate change and sustainability.
According to Pew Research, millennials are the largest portion of the population as well as the largest component of the workforce at most companies. Their unique preferences and interests make them committed to implementing sustainable practices, including climate change, justice and poverty. For this reason, millennials are choosing to invest in and work for companies that have embraced visible sustainable practices.
It’s no longer OK for companies to simply talk the talk. Instead, it is imperative that ESG tenets are part of the overall culture of an organization to fully engage with what’s important to this new workforce’s shifting priorities and expectations.
The U.N.’s Greenhouse Gases Goal
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its core are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries in a global partnership. These aim to create a better, more sustainable world by 2030 regarding an end to poverty and inequality, and urgently addressing climate change.
The U.N.’s combat climate change goal explains the global nature of climate change and calls for the broadest possible international cooperation aimed at accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and addressing the adverse impact of climate change.
The global food system is a leading contributor to climate change, responsible for around one-third of GHG emissions annually.
As stated by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission, “Business has the unique opportunity to embrace SDGs’ focus and recognize them as a driver of business strategies, innovation and investment decisions. Doing so makes business sense and will give them an edge over their competitors.”
In addition to being the right thing to do for the climate, companies that are strategically and credibly oriented toward sustainability goals have a better chance of attracting younger talent due to millennials’ great interest in how seriously a potential employer takes its social responsibility.
Compass Group’s Climate Commitments
As the largest food and support services company worldwide, Compass Group understands the impact we can have on reducing GHG emissions related to the food supply chain and that’s why, in October 2021, Compass Group was the first international company in the contract catering industry to announce a global commitment to Climate Net Zero by 2050. It includes ambitious emissions reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) over the next decade, and a further commitment to be carbon neutral worldwide in its operations (Scope 1 & 2) by 2030.
We are working to achieve these targets in various ways, such as redesigning our menus, promoting plant-forward ways of eating, reducing food waste, switching to renewable electricity across our controlled operations, and electrifying our fleet. We will also work throughout the supply chain, increasing sourcing from regenerative agriculture across all key food product categories, while leveraging our scale to reduce the overall GHG emissions of the ingredients we purchase. Our unique business model has enabled this action to be locally led in the communities in which our businesses operate.
Launched in July 2022, our Sustainable Financing Framework was developed to enable us to issue Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds, and other types of financing in support of our ESG objectives, including our Net Zero commitment. The Sustainable Financing Framework further aligns the company’s financing strategy with its Planet Promise, which guides our proceeds usage, management and reporting, as well as project selection and evaluation process. Proceeds raised under this new framework are used to finance or refinance new or existing eligible green and social expenditure projects that provide clear benefits to the environment and society.
In another foodservice industry first, Compass Group successfully issued two Sustainable Bonds. The proceeds from these bonds will be used on projects that will enhance responsible sourcing, products purchased from local and diverse suppliers, and other sustainable expenditures that support decarbonization within our value chain.
Eligible projects include:
- Expenditure on goods that are certified sustainable, fair trade or organic
- Expenditure on goods from local, socially diverse or minority suppliers
- Expenditure in support of Compass Group’s Net Zero commitment, such as the costs of electrifying fleets, use of renewable energy, promotion of plant-based products, and investment in regenerative food production
- Food waste reduction projects, including measurement technologies and systems
- Nonfood waste reduction projects, including tackling plastic waste, and the promotion of reusable items
- Investment in healthy eating initiatives, including in-unit education, labeling and staff training
Accomplish Your SDGs
Many companies talk about sustainability, but with these steps, Compass Group is “walking our talk” to deliver a tangible, positive impact for people and planet, and helping our clients meet their sustainability and carbon-reducing emission goals.
Interested in how we can help your company accomplish your sustainability goals as well? Lets talk about it.