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Sodexo Launches 2021 Social Impact Pledge

Sodexo's Social Impact Pathways
20 August 2021

Sodexo UK & Ireland has announced its commitment to a series of pledges forming its ethical manifesto for leading the way to improve quality of life for society and our planet.

These pledges include: gifting up to 25 per cent of its apprentice levy to SME suppliers, enabling them to create 100 new apprenticeships, cutting food waste by 50 per cent across all its sites by 2030, and ensuring 40 per cent of the business’ spend is with SME and VCSE suppliers – above the Government’s own target of £1 in every £3. 

"It has never been more important than it is right now to operate with purpose and responsibility"

– Sean Haley
Sodexo Regional Chair, UK & Ireland

Six Years of Positive Progress


This launch represents the fourth iteration of Sodexo’s Social Impact Pledge. First published in 2015, the business has faithfully reported on its progress against the pledges each year, demonstrating with evidence and examples the positive impact it is creating. This year, the pledges are focused on four social impact pathways: our People, our Planet, our Places, and our Partners. 

The business is taking additional steps to provide its People with support, as well as helping those within its communities that need it most to secure suitable employment that could kickstart their career, help them retrain or take the first steps to long-term rehabilitation. Sodexo recently employed three new staff to deal with its social impact, including a Director of Corporate Responsibility, Head of Environmental Sustainability and a Head of Community Development – Social Value.

Sodexo’s responsibility to protect the Planet remains, as it has always been, at the forefront of its business strategy. It has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 34 per cent and moving to 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025, as well as to cut food waste by 50 per cent across all its sites by 2030.

As a major employer in many communities across the UK & Ireland, Sodexo has committed to supporting the agenda of stepping up by helping communities and the Places in which it operates to overcome the social and cultural challenges that drive economic disparity.


Pushing Targets for the People and Planet


Sodexo has continued to commit to providing targeted and tangible support for its Partners, particularly Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSEs). This support includes skills-based mentoring and coaching, pro bono technical and professional support and 30-day payment terms.

Each social impact pathway fully aligns to the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Sodexo’s strategic sustainability roadmap, Better Tomorrow 2025; providing a clear measurement framework for capturing and reporting on the company’s social impact.

"It has never been more important than it is right now to operate with purpose and responsibility," said Sean Haley, Sodexo Regional Chair in the UK and Ireland. "Last year, despite the unprecedented circumstances, we fulfilled our commitments laid out in our 2019 ethical manifesto, meeting and even exceeding the ambitious targets we had set ourselves.  

"You are, however, only as good as your last performance, so our challenge now is to continue to do even better. COVID-19 has touched every aspect of our work and personal lives, so this year our pledges reflect the impact the pandemic has had, and directly contributes to improving the communities we work within."

In December 2020 Sodexo published its 2019-20 Social Impact Report outlining progress made on its commitments, these included: 

  • Exceeding its target on recruiting ex-offenders into the business, with 67 new recruits  
  • Five years ahead of schedule, achieving its pledge on supporting SMEs with 44% of total spend going to SME suppliers, and
  • Surpassing its projection for creating new apprenticeship opportunities by over 250, with more than 1,100 apprentices on plan.

Picture: Sodexo's Social Impact Pathways graphic.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 20 August 2021


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