By Angela Green, Content Executive: Sodexo’s ‘Partners with Purpose’ suppliers conference focuses on collaboration.
Catering News is sponsored by Two Services
Attended by more than 100 guests from its supply chain, Sodexo’s ‘Partners with Purpose’ supplier conference saw senior leaders from Sodexo share its progress, priorities, and future plans in areas such as supply chain development, net zero, social impact as well as insights on working with the government.
In late 2021, Sodexo announced its ambitious net zero target, which covers all three scopes. As both the supply chain and client sites are critical to achieving this, naturally this subject was top of the conference agenda.
Phil Smith, managing director of tech and services at Sodexo UK & Ireland, gave an overview of the company’s net zero roadmap, the targets within its commitment, and the progress it has already made – reducing carbon emissions by a third as announced in January 2023.
Smith concluded his presentation with the launch of a roadmap for its supply partners to support not only Sodexo’s net zero journey but also their own.
Stephen Beech, managing director of Sodexo subsidiary Entegra UK & Ireland, Francois Blanckaert, chief procurement officer; and Patrick Forbes, head of supply management at Sodexo UK & Ireland, all provided an overview of the importance of supply chain partners in achieving Sodexo and Entegra’s goals for collaboration, tackling social value, and being market leaders together.
Paul Anstey, CEO for Sodexo UK & Ireland’s Government business shared how Sodexo – which has been a strategic partner to the government for over 30 years – and its suppliers, clients and communities are all working towards the same goal to ensure social value is at the heart of everything they do when delivering public services as partners with purpose.
Anstey highlighted initiatives such as The Village, developed for military bases to elevate the Lived Experience and bring together the whole force.
The day’s opening speaker, Sean Haley, CEO of Sodexo UK and Ireland, who set the scene with a focus on social impact, said: “Preserving and developing long-term partnerships with our suppliers is so important. All our suppliers have a part to play in our ambitious plans for growth while maintaining a focus on purpose, so it is vital we are open, honest and transparent about our progress, priorities and plans so we can work in true partnership to have a positive impact on the communities we all live, work and serve.
“Just like Sodexo, our supply partners need to ensure that these practices and commitments are reflected in their businesses too. We simply cannot achieve our goal of a positive social impact unless we all share the same ambition and work together to realise it.
“The conference was a great success and it was fantastic to welcome them to Headingley Stadium and get together in person at our own client venue so they could experience some brilliant hospitality by Sodexo Live.”
The conference ended with a number of suppliers being recognised by Sodexo for their efforts in supporting the organisation and its commitments. The first three awards reflected Sodexo’s corporate values, while the final two recognised the SME and supplier of the year.
Service Spirit: Excellence in service award winner was Roydon Recycling: Roydon demonstrated excellence with initiatives to help reduce Sodexo’s environmental impact while delivering cost efficiencies. Highlights include implementing resource efficiency initiatives which delivered significant benefits each year and helped to reduce Sodexo’s carbon footprint by 5% across the estate by reducing delivery frequency.
Team Spirit: Partnership with purpose award winner was Lyreco: Lyreco supported Sodexo’s net zero ambitions by investing in a zero-emission fleet and supporting Sodexo’s move to 98% FSC certified green paper, of which the organisation currently uses 154 tonnes a year. In order to combat period poverty, Lyreco has also become a distributor of “Hello Girls” products, which provide free period products.
Spirit of Progress: Positive impact award winner was Change Please: Change Please and Sodexo have collaborated on several key initiatives over the past year, including surpassing a key milestone of helping 50 people who are experiencing homelessness by offering barista training and a job opportunity; implementing Change Please and Stop Hunger collections at Sodexo sites with donations going to both foundations, and delivering a carbon neutral coffee offer.
SME of the year winner was Thomas Kneale: Thomas Kneale supported Sodexo with its recent prison mobilisation at HMP Lowdham Grange. The business has also actively participated in the Sodexo mentoring programme and has been praised for its work on sustainability by both Sodexo and Ecovardis.
Supplier of the year was Brakes: Brakes has supported Sodexo through a number of challenges, including mitigating inflation through a category partnership approach, ensuring continuity of supply based on collaborative supply chain management, driving procurement excellence, and embedding Sodexo’s responsible sourcing priorities including tackling modern slavery and achieving net zero.