Exclusive: PwC to hit Mission Possible pledge target

Accountancy firm PwC has revealed to edie that it is only 1% off its Mission Possible target following extensive work on sustainable, healthy food options within its staff restaurant facilities.

Chief Sustainability Officer for the company, Bridget Jackson, said that the pledge would be met to increase its spend on vegetables sold in the Social Co. restaurants inside PwC’s UK offices from a 2017 baseline of 15% to 25%, by 2020, as part of the Peas Please campaign.

The move was done to create a healthier and more sustainable workplace, providing produce that had less carbon and water footprint in the PwC estate. The shift in diet has meant that the carbon is down about 20% and water is down around a quarter.

The Peas Please initiative from The Food Foundation brings together the foodservice industry and supply chain to increase plant-based food consumption in the UK, with commitments monitored over a three-year period until October 2020.

The news, which was revealed in edie’s podcast Sustainable Business Covered, also showed how staff are re-identifying as eaters. A post-campaign survey of thousands of employees revealed that the percentage of people identifying as ‘vegan’, ‘vegetarian’, or ‘meat-reducing flexitarian’ rose from 70% to 90%, and, most notably, the percentage of respondents that identified as ‘meat-loving’ dropped by 85%. Additionally, 64% of respondents said they thought the firm should encourage people to consider changes to their diets.

Strong fit

Jackson said: “It was a very strong fit between what Food Foundation were aiming to do and our values, our purpose and our employee programmes. We have a very young and very diverse workforce, who are interested in environmental issues, and many of whom culturally have a vegan diet.

“Our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems and we know that a plant-based diet can really help us to make big inroads into the environmental crisis we have at the moment.

“To be able to offer this and encourage our people to make healthy choices was a bit of a no-brainer.

“The feedback has been very positive. People told us when they started to have a plant-based diet then had more energy, some of them lost weight and some had better sleep. We got really quite direct and quite quick feedback of feeling more healthy and seeing the benefit of a plant-based diet.”

Jackson also said that employees were also offered recipe cards so they could take the meals home and prepare them with friends.

Mission Possible is edie's purpose-driven campaign for sustainability professionals, launched in 2018, which aims to inspire and empower businesses to ramp up efforts across all areas of sustainable development. Through this campaign, it aims to illustrate how sustainability professionals and energy managers are meeting ambitious goals through Mission Possible pledges, such as achieving a specific carbon reduction target by a set date.

James Evison



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