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Sodexo Norway - going above and beyond with food sustainability
Sodexo, the renowned caterer operating in corporate spaces, schools and sporting events; has always had an impressive sustainability strategy. Sodexo Norway, however, really takes it to the next level.
What started as a pilot with Klimato, then turned into a collaboration with all of Sodexo Norway Corporate Services, a total of 47 restaurant sites. The key Sodexo sites that have reduced their carbon footprint the most are Fortune 500 in Tromsø and DNB HQ in Oslo, which serves up to 4000 people every day.
Operating in 56 countries, Sodexo serves 100 million consumers each day and thus understands the huge impact they can have on the climate:
“We as a big, big, huge company on a global scale need to be in front, because if we don’t make changes, who should? So, it’s important to raise awareness about the climate, and it’s also a business opportunity, of course.” - Christian Hallemyr, Head of Food Platform at Sodexo Norway
So how has Klimato collaborated with Sodexo Norway? Let’s start at the beginning …
Sodexo one day gave Klimato a call (well not quite, but almost), saying they needed help reaching their goal to reduce carbon emissions by 34% by 2025. We were happy to offer our expertise and support, and so since 2019, we have been working with them to reduce their carbon footprint and inspire climate-friendly eating. The partnership so far has been both successful and positive:
“Working with Klimato gives us a lot of energy. It’s positive, and it clearly helps us move in the direction we want to go with sustainability communication.” - Kirstine Holst, Head of Sustainability & Strategy at Sodexo Norway
Implementing Klimato across all the Sodexo Norway sites was gradual, smooth and took just 3 months. Each site was given an introduction explaining Klimato’s solution and why it was important to Sodexo Norway. Virtual onboarding sessions were set up and then follow up sessions were scheduled every Friday for Q&A about functions, communications etc.
This process enabled all Sodexo Norway staff, especially the chefs, to fully understand the tool and become passionate Klimato champions. Klimato’s advantage as a startup is that we can give bespoke support to each customer and really take the time to guide them to reach their sustainability goals:
“Working with a startup clearly helped us speed up, because we’re a big corporate player, and things take time. And we now got this first as a pilot, but then rolled out very smoothly.” - Kirstine Holst, Head of Sustainability & Strategy at Sodexo Norway
The CO2e reduction for all 47 sites is huge. More than half of Sodexo Norway’s dishes are low emitting (0.5 kg CO2e or lower). To compare, the average carbon footprint in Scandinavia is 1.7 kg CO2e. Since August 2021, the average carbon footprint per dish has gone down from 1.2 kg CO2e to 0.7 kg CO2e (applause!).
DNB HQ in Oslo
Sodexo serves the food at the DNB staff canteen and our carbon labels are proudly presented on the menus!
The overall emission reduction per dish from January 2021 to January 2023 has decreased by 24%, from 1.2 kg CO2e to 1 kg CO2e. The Klimato tool has enabled Sodexo chefs to be equipped with sustainability knowledge to better plan their menus:
"Using Klimato as a tool within our menu cycle has helped to focus our decision-making processes and brought attention to the carbon impact decisions we make around food and our climate.” - Alexander Findley, F&B Specialist - Food Platform, Sodexo Norway
Sodexo DNB HQ’s sustainability initiatives were recognised when Daniel Szarolkiewicz, the canteen chef, was a finalist for the 2022 Sodexo Global Sustainable Chef of the Year award.
Sodexo aren’t the only ones that have gained value from using Klimato. The staff at DNB HQ in Oslo have been influenced by the carbon labels and are choosing more sustainable food options:
“The great thing about Klimato is it gives us the possibility to work towards low emission menus in all areas. Now all our employees can make a conscious choice based on CO2 emissions, which dish they would like to go for.”
“In general, we have seen that Green dishes (Vegetarian, Vegan) are becoming more popular, around 25% of our daily sales. To further reduce emissions, we don’t have any more red meat in our canteen menu.” - Stephan Hardi, Food & Beverage Manager at DNB
We are proud of Sodexo and DNB for how passionately they have incorporated sustainability in all areas of their businesses.
Chef Filip Cieslik and his ‘green’ Fortune 500 canteen
Canteen manager Filip Cieslik is a true Klimato champion at a Fortune 500 canteen operated by Sodexo in Tromsø. The canteen frequently tops the Klimato leaderboard (currently in third place). The overall reduction of CO2e per dish from April 2021 to March 2023, has decreased from 0.7 kg CO2e (medium impact) to 0.4 kg CO2e (low impact).
With the help of Klimato's tool for climate calculation of dishes, the committed chef has considerably reduced the emissions of his canteen by adapting recipes, planning and making better purchases. He has learned about plant-based food and how to swap high emitting ingredients for more climate-smart alternatives:
“With Klimato I have full control and overview of all the products so I can plan my menu and use lower CO2e products. Klimato has taught me that sustainability is the most important key factor in my work. The tool is fantastic, really easy to use and changes my work for the better.” - Filip Cieslik, Canteen Manager, Sodexo Fortune 500.
The canteen was certified with the Green Star by Grønn Framtid, which means that a 100% plant-based lunch is offered twice a week. Sodexo has a goal of offering at least 30% plant-based meals by 2025. Since using Klimato, Filip’s average percentage of low-emitting dishes served has been 77%, and this peaked in January 2023 at 81%. For his contribution to a green transition, Filip Cieslik won Commercial Kitchen of the Year at the Matprisen Food Prize 2022.
What the future holds
So we’ve seen Sodexo do some great work already, but what more can they do to improve even further? Sodexo has the ambitious goal that by 2025, all their canteens will have an average of 0.5 kg CO2e per meal. They are well on their way to reaching this target. As of February 2023, they are already at 0.7 kg CO2e.
Sodexo, alongside a huge chunk of their customers, are mandated by the EU to report on their Scope 3 emissions as of 2024. Therefore, in the coming months they will be using Klimato procurement data reports to calculate and report on the total CO2e of their procurement. This will help them fully comply with regulations and better understand where they can take immediate climate action in their supply chain.
The work we do with large enterprises such as Sodexo, definitely has the most positive impact in terms of reducing carbon emissions as they serve hundreds of thousands of meals every year. Regardless of the size of your company, sustainability should always be a priority:
“We have had a great partnership and I think that all big companies, all clients, all people should care. And it’s not that big a step to take. Just be interested, be curious, make a choice. Do the right thing.” - Christian Hallemyr, Head of Food Platform at Sodexo Norway
To find out more about our successful partnership, watch the video below featuring Kirstine Holst and Christian Hallemyr.