Sodexo delivers on social impact pledges: new three-year report launched

Sodexo has today published its 2024 Social Impact Report, providing a detailed account of the positive impact created throughout the company’s three-year social value strategy. This strategy – initiated in 2021 with the launch of its latest Social Impact Pledge – underpins Sodexo’s commitment, leading the way to improve quality of life for its colleagues, society and the planet.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of the actions Sodexo has taken over the last three years, to create meaningful impact for its people, planet, places and partners.  It showcases compelling data and case studies bringing to life the ways in which the business – in partnership with its clients and suppliers – has addressed a variety of societal challenges.

Developments since 2021 include:

  • Increasing average spend with SME/VCSE supply partners to 50%, exceeding the 40% target.
  • Providing over 1,000 hours of mentoring to supply partners and charities with diverse ownership.
  • Reducing supply chain emissions by 30% since 2017.
  • Reducing food service Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 21% by increasing sales of sustainable options.
  • Investing in the Starting Fresh programme to encourage even more businesses and Sodexo managers to employ 567 prison leavers within six weeks of release, and 701 within six months of leaving prison.
  • Donating over £1.1 million to charity partners and social enterprises, supporting 105 organisations through the Stop Hunger Foundation.
  • Graduating 643 apprentices by ensuring appropriate vacancies and job roles are considered for apprenticeships.
  • Gifting £2.28 million of apprenticeship levy to support small and not-for-profit organisations.
  • Co-founding the cross-industry BSA Modern Slavery Council, which now has 20-plus members collectively representing two billion employees.

In 2025, Sodexo will announce the next phase of its social impact strategy, with commitments that focus on existing and emerging issues that align with the company’s responsibilities and priorities as a leading provider of sustainable food services and valued experiences. This will mark Sodexo’s tenth year of publicly pledging its social impact commitments.

First published in 2015 as the Public Service Pledge, the business has openly reported on its progress against the pledges each year, demonstrating with evidence and examples the positive impact it is creating.

Commenting on the report, Sean Haley, CEO of Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “The positive impact showcased in this report represents three years of my colleagues’ ambition and hard work – I find it both extraordinary and humbling.

Sodexo has always been a purpose-led business, but since 2021 we have seen a real shift in how deeply ingrained and essential social impact has become – this is reflected in our day-to-day operations.

“I am confident that every contract we retain, or win is – in part at least – in recognition of the quantified and tangible positive social impact we deliver in partnership with our clients and suppliers. 

“Our various commitments, such as accelerating the decarbonisation of our business to achieve our net zero target sooner and recruiting more ex-offenders into our business, drives us to continue making progress.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone in our ecosystem involved in creating maximum social impact—our colleagues, clients, suppliers, and charity partners. Thank you for making this all possible.”

Steve Chalke MBE, founder of Oasis Community Learning, a Multi-Academy Trust currently operating 53 academies across the country, added: “Oasis has found a soulmate in Sodexo. Thirteen years ago, we began our partnership through a contract to provide food services for our academies. As our relationship grew, we discovered a shared passion for tackling poverty and creating opportunities for all.

“Over the years, this has led to numerous initiatives in our schools and communities. Oasis works in low-income areas where many families live below the poverty line. This means food insecurity is an everyday issue, and school holidays can put parents under even more financial pressure, increasing the risk of children going hungry. Each summer, Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation helps us provide free lunches and activities for children. Additionally, Sodexo’s WasteWatch programme reduces food waste in our schools and inspires students to have a positive impact on the planet.”

Ken Love, Managing Director at Change Please, said: “We are incredibly proud to have Sodexo as one of our most important commercial & impact partners. Sodexo embodies social value, delivering meaningful change through their operations. This commitment is evident throughout their business.

“Change Please benefits greatly from Sodexo’s support in various ways. In 2023, their coffee sales alone funded 60 months of support for our beneficiaries. They provided volunteers for employability workshops, offered work experience and employment in Manchester, and placed digital collection tins across their sites to collect funds for Change Please in partnership with Stop Hunger Foundation.

“Sodexo’s support goes far beyond buying our coffee. Their passion for doing more with Change Please makes them a joy to work with and highly regarded by all of us. Thank you, Sodexo!”

Paul Coombs, VP Facilities, Real Estate, and Infrastructure Projects (Helicopters) at Leonardo UK, said: “Leonardo is committed to working in collaboration with industry to create value and make a positive impact on our people and the environment. We work alongside Sodexo to elevate the way businesses adopt effective social mobility practices for all members of our communities, regardless of their background. As such, it is paramount that our supply partners are aligned with our values and take action to ensure inclusivity and sustainability.

“Through our partnership with Sodexo, Leonardo UK has seen first-hand their impressive commitment to creating positive social impact in so many different ways. We are proud of the work we do together as Purpose Coalition members alongside the Rt Hon Justine Greening and her team.”

View the full 2024 Social Impact Report.

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