How we’re delivering social value in the food service industry
At Eurest, we’re passionate about connecting people across our industry, and at the heart of human interaction and community spirit is food and drink. It therefore makes perfect sense that the food service industry is pivotal in contributing to and creating social value.
While the subject of social value is far from new, we’ve witnessed a collective effort within the industry to step up to the plate – most likely post-pandemic, following a period of reflection on how we’re impacting our planet, people, and wider communities.
In this article, we unpack the ways in which we’ve achieved a total social and local economic value of £591m, and how Eurest and the wider business are a driving force behind social value creation within the food service industry.
Committed to creating social value
Along with our parent company Compass Group UK & Ireland, we’re shifting our organisational focus – going from wanting to be the best in the world to wanting to do what’s best for the world.
Working with the Social Value Portal, our total social and local economic value has been measured at £591m. Our social value contribution is delivered by our network of Social Value Ambassadors and underpinned by our Climate and Social promises.
For more information you can read our full People and Communities Report.
Food services putting employees at the fore
50% of Generation Z agree the workplace should prioritise people before profit, which indicates that if a business wants to futureproof their ways of working, we must ensure people remain a priority focus. For business food services, where employees have a direct influence on the value output to customers, clients and local communities, this focus is even more prevalent.
As such, Compass has invested £230,000 in mental health support for our employees, including a medical helpline, the ‘Helping Hands’ financial fund for employees needing further support, and an enhanced Employee Assistance Programme.
We also deliver industry-leading apprenticeships, have supported over 200 Kickstart placements, and have put in over 7260 hours of equality, diversity and inclusion training to ensure all our people are given an equal chance to thrive.
A collaborative climb to Net Zero
With the UK foodservice and hospitality sector throwing away 1.1 million tonnes of food a year, we know that radical change is needed imminently if the food service industry is to continue sustainably.
Since 2021, we’ve been on a mission with our people, partners and the wider Compass Group to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030. This was the food service industry’s first commitment to a Climate Net Zero economy, with changes being made at scale to ensure sustainability is a core business objective.
Our Climate Roadmap shows milestones met, target progress, and wider sustainability commitments in support of a just transition to Climate Net Zero by 2030. Read more about our commitment to net-zero by 2030 in our recent Climate Impact Report.
We’re passionate about designing dishes that are truly good for our planet. From our Kitchen Promise which provides a transparent look at what we’re doing to reach net zero, through teaching sustainable practices via our Forward with Marcus Wareing programme, we're dedicated to crafting a sustainable future for the next generation of consumers and food service industry leaders.
Seeing sense with social enterprise
Over 55% of Gen Z’s and millennials, do not agree that business is having a positive impact on society, therefore it’s clear that food services need to become part of something bigger - such as partnering with social enterprises.
Working with over 22 social enterprises to achieve both business and social value goals, Compass Group UK & Ireland invested £1.2m in social enterprise in 2021 and a further £5m in 2022. One of Compass Group’s most recent partnerships is with FoodCycle – a charity tackling food poverty, loneliness and food waste. This partnership has seen Compass provide a grant through the Compass Group Foundation, and involves fundraising, volunteering and training cooking volunteers.
Through trial and error of new approaches, social enterprises are a chance for corporate businesses to test the water when it comes to addressing tricky social and environmental challenges. These partnerships offer businesses an invaluable opportunity to figure out new ways to drive social value and the chance to be first in line for emerging markets and new practices.
Planet-positive business & industry food services
At Eurest, we give your workforce something to look forward to each day. Our business and industry food services helps to keep employees physically and mentally healthy, fuels their concentration, supports decision-making, boosts productivity and protects the planet along the way.
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