Peas Please: PwC commits to boost employee fruit and veg intake

PwC has become the first professional services firm to make a pledge to increase the amount of fruit and veg eaten by employees, a move which it hopes will create a healthier and more sustainable workplace.

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.

By signing up to the Peas Please scheme, PwC has committed to boost the overall proportion of fruit and veg offered in meals from 16% to 20% by the end of 2018. PwC head of corporate responsibility Bridget Jackson said the firm was “delighted” to be involved in the campaign, which she said would deliver a range of health and environmental benefits.

Jackson said: “We’re excited about this initiative, as food has such a big carbon and water footprint and the choices people make could really make a difference in terms of reducing the greenhouse gases (GHGs) which are leading to climate breakdown.

“That’s why we’ve set ambitious goals for ourselves and we’re hopeful that we’ll meet the Peas Please plant-based dietary aim well within its 2020 timeframe.”  

Nutritious choices

The Food Foundation estimates that only 20% of adults eat enough fruit and veg, with most people needing to eat at least one more portion a day.

PwC’s campaign will impact around three-quarters of its 18,000-strong workforce. To encourage a plant-based dietary shift, employees will receive recipe cards and a dedicated portal on sustainable food.

The commitment has been made in collaboration with hospitality provider BaxterStorey, which runs PwC’s six in-house restaurants in London, Belfast, Birmingham and Derby. BaxterStorey will introduce dedicated vegetarian and vegan options across PwC staff restaurants, alongside office fruit and veg mini-mart stands and ‘hero’ veg campaigns which champion dishes made with seasonal veg.

“We are delighted to partner with PwC on the Peas Please pledge,” BaxterStorey head of sustainability Mike Hanson said.

“The concept is in line with our own commitment to work with clients to create healthier and more sustainable workplaces – increasing employees’ fruit and vegetable intake with more nutritious choices.”

Going Circular

The Peas Peas scheme is just one of the many behaviour change approaches being adopted by PwC as the professional services firm seeks to deliver a more sustainable workplace. In the area of jobs and skills, PwC will deliver digital training sessions to help the workforce develop digital and technology-related skills, while biodegradable Vegware food and drink packaging is offered to its UK staff members.

PwC has set lofty goals in relation to waste management through the new ‘Going Circular‘ initiative. A decoupling goal that aims to halve the amount of energy used and waste produced, while improving company growth by 50%, is joined by an ambitious target to recycle 100% of the waste that the company generates.

George Ogleby

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