Food services firm Compass targets net-zero emissions by 2030
The UK's largest food services company, Compass Group UK & Ireland, will switch to 100% electric vehicles (EVs), move 40% of its food offerings to plant-based proteins and will launch a £1m carbon reduction fund in a bid to reach net-zero emissions by 2030.
Compass Group UK & Ireland has unveiled the steps it will take to reach net-zero emissions across its own operations and value chain by 2030. The company will attempt to deliver a 55% reduction in emissions across the value chain by 2025, rising to 65% for 2030 from a 2019 baseline. Targets to be developed through the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) criteria.
The company, which serves three million customers a year in the UK, will also switch 40% of its food offerings to plant-based proteins, with an interim target of at least 25% by 2025. Additionally, 70% of the top five food categories (dairy and cheese, fruit and vegetables, pork, beef and chicken) will be sourced from regenerative agriculture by 2030.
Compass will also support UK-based carbon removal projects to offset unavoidable emissions and by 2030, the programme will be evolved to neutralise any remaining emissions.
Compass Group’s managing director Robin Mills said: “At Compass we are passionate about food and great services. We believe it is our responsibility to contribute towards a future of sustainable food production and regenerative agricultural principles and practices, and a commitment to climate Net Zero is an important milestone.
“Critical to the delivery of our targets will be the partnerships with our clients, suppliers, employees, civil society partners and government. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of foodservice.”
Compass will also aim to make all fleet cars 100% plug-in electric by May 2024 and will launch a dedicated £1m fund to support sustainable food production initiatives. The business is already working to remove all single-use plastic cutlery and food items by July 2021.
Research from the Food Climate Research Network suggests that the consumption of food in the UK, accounting for agriculture through to consumer use, accounts for 19% of the nation’s product and services greenhouse gas emissions.
As such, Compass will aim to engage its clients, employees and suppliers by offering carbon neutral and carbon reduction offers.
Through the new commitments, Compass Group has become a signatory of Business Ambition for 1.5°C and has therefore joined the UN’s Race to Zero campaign. In joining Race to Zero, corporates commit to setting more ambitious targets in line with climate science and to using their reach to encourage climate action across their networks.
As of March this year, almost one in three FTSE100 companies have signed up to the campaign.
Andrew Griffith MP, UK Net Zero Champion, said: “I’m delighted Compass Group UK&I has signed on to be part of the UN’s Race to Zero, as businesses have a central role to play in making a successful transition to a low carbon economy.
“Compass Group UK & I’s ambition is great news for the UK's green recovery and I welcome its aim to help build a more sustainable food system. I hope other businesses across the sector follow in its footsteps and join the Race to Zero.”