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Sodexo and WWF pilot Green & Lean meals

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Sodexo has teamed up with conservation charity WWF to develop and pilot a set of 10 sustainable meals. The project is part of Sodexo’s partnership with WWF on LiveWell, WWF-UK’s flagship programme of work which aims to encourage businesses and policy-makers to facilitate the adoption of diets which are both healthy and sustainable.

The meals, which were developed jointly by WWF experts and Sodexo chefs, align both with LiveWell principles and objectives set out in Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow Plan to ensure they are nutritious, lower-carbon) and that the ingredients are responsibly sourced. For example, plant-based foods have to account for at least two thirds of the volume of each meal; refined grains are replaced with whole grains; and meat and fish has to have relevant certification, such as MSC or RSPCA Assured. They include favourites such as beef lasagne, chicken and leek pie and Lancashire hot pot.

The meals, which will be marketed as Green & Lean, are being piloted over the next few weeks in eight of Sodexo’s independent school contracts.

The Green & Lean pilot was the subject of a panel discussion at today’s Food Matters Live exhibition. The panel discussed the concept of sustainable meals, considering the challenges involved in bringing sustainable meals to market and looking at future trends and opportunities in this area. It was chaired by Footprint magazine’s Amy Fetzer and featured Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association; Edwina Hughes, Sodexo’s corporate responsibility manager; Nick Hughes, food sustainability adviser at WWF-UK; and Tom Allen, executive development chef, Independents by Sodexo.

Sodexo’s executive development chef for Independent Schools, Tom Allen said; “It was really important that the meals we created tasted great. The idea was to make small changes to popular, well-loved dishes that would up the nutritional content and reduce the environmental impact, without dramatically changing the taste or the look of the dish.

For example, the Green & Lean lasagne contains more carrots, onions and celery than Sodexo’s original recipe and less beef mince. It also contains wholemeal rather than white flour pasta.”

Following the pilot, Sodexo intends to market the meals under the Green & Lean brand to other clients in the schools and universities sector, and within its corporate services business, which provides employee restaurants to some of world’s biggest companies.

Sodexo UK and Ireland’s corporate responsibility manager Edwina Hughes said; “At Sodexo we serve around one million meals every day in schools, hospitals, workplaces, sports stadia, army barracks and prisons. In short we reach consumers in every walk of life. For this reason we have an important role to play in both helping promote healthy lifestyles and in doing so in a way which is sustainable.

Green & Lean is an exciting development for us. We’re finding that consumers are more and more interested in the provenance of their food and want to make ethical, sustainable and healthy choices, but of course these options still need to be tasty and appealing.”

Nick Hughes at WWF said; “The food we eat – growing, producing and consuming it – has a massive impact on the planet. We have found that food is responsible for around 30% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions. Through LiveWell we aim to provide simple, workable guidance on choosing a diet that can improve your health and that of the planet at the same time and is also affordable. It is great that these principles can be applied to meals like lasagne and chicken pie and we are hopeful that Green & Lean will be successful. ”

Brentwood School in Essex is one of the eight schools taking part in the trial. Students at the school will get the opportunity to try each of the 10 sustainable meals twice during this half term. All the schools received promotional materials which help explain the ethos and principles of Green & Lean to students and staff.

A student at the school said; “So far I have tried the beef lasagne and the chicken biryani. They were both really delicious and I didn’t notice that there were more vegetables than usual. We have learnt a lot in school about threats to the environment and about climate change, but I don’t think any of us realised that what you eat can affect this too.”

Sodexo’s partnership with WWF and the Green & Lean pilot fits within the company’s broader strategic approach to operating more sustainably, as set out in its Better Tomorrow Plan. For over 25 years Sodexo has been encouraging employees, clients and customers to maintain a healthier, balanced lifestyle through its Healthwise philosophy. The company is also committed to operating sustainably – reducing the footprint of the business (working towards a global carbon reduction target of 34%), ensuring it sources sustainably and ethically and promoting a sustainable diet to our clients and consumers.

Environment

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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