Vacherin becomes zero-waste business one year ahead of schedule

London catering business Vacherin has revealed that it has achieved a zero-waste to landfill business status, one year ahead of schedule, as it also closes in on an 80% recycling target set for 2018.

The company’s bi-annual waste audits, which are carried out across all its sites, have revealed that Vacherin now sends zero-waste to landfill. The company had originally set this target for 2017, but a range of waste reduction initiatives has seen it reach the landmark status 12 months early.

Vacherin’s lead for sustainability and CSR Zoe Stennett-Cox said: “At Vacherin we have had our fill of landfill! Manging waste is a challenge facing us all and this landmark achievement is testament to every colleague, team and client who makes a daily commitment to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.

“We train our employees and work with our clients and suppliers to reduce the amount of waste coming from the food supply chain and in food preparation. Then we work to ensure the waste that is created makes it to the most sustainable end of life solution. It seems to be working!”

Over the past few years, Vacherin has accelerated its waste reduction efforts. The company has already converted 10,000 litres of rapeseed oil, that would have otherwise been discarded, into biofuel. The company has also served more 3,000kg of fruit and vegetables from its “cosmetically rejected” I’mPerfect range.

Recycling revamp

With the zero-waste status in place, Vacherin has pledged to ramp-up its recycling efforts. The company’s recycling rate already sits at 70% – well above the industry average of 57% listed by signatories that report to WRAP – but is aiming to reach 80% before a 2018 deadline.

Vacherin will now introduce new strategies for staff and suppliers to improve recycling rates, having already installed food waste recycling plans across three-quarters of its sites. Vacherin has also partnered with coffee bean recyclers Bio-Bean to recycle more than 1500kg of coffee beans last year. By the end of 2017, Vacherin hopes to triple this effort.

Since its formation in 2002, Vacherin has announced 13 years of “unbroken financial growth” which has allowed it to deepen its sustainability commitments. For 2015, company turnover hit £15m and the company has been observing the progress of a hydroponic herb garden beneath the streets of Clapham to see what investment benefits it holds.

Matt Mace

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