A new community of practice* has been formed by Sodexo’s Corporate Services division aimed at bringing together sustainability heads from some of the UK’s leading organisations to be change-makers through collaboration.
In today’s rapidly changing world, sustainability is a topic that concerns not just professionals in the field, but also senior directors and decision-makers across all departments. Building a climate and nature-aware business requires an understanding of the complex world of ESG and its potential risks and opportunities.
In March this year Sodexo, in partnership with FuturePlanet, launched its community of practice for sustainability leads from its clients and suppliers in both the public and the private sector.
Through a programme of intentionally designed events, a dedicated online community platform and community support, the Sodexo community of practice has three intentions:
- Be a safe space to come together as equals and to support each other as individuals.
- Share best practice and knowledge on achieving net zero, nature and social impact goals.
- To foster collaboration with commercial partners who have shared goals, climate and nature related risks.
Members of the Sodexo community of practice have shared a multitude of challenges, solutions and ideas that can be used to transform their organisations and achieve net zero, nature and social goals. These have been reviewed, sorted and prioritised by each of the participants.
Themes and solutions shared include carbon reduction particularly scope 3, supply chain engagement assessments with a particular focus on diverse supply chains, employee and wider stakeholder engagement. Topics covered with a shared relevance across sectors also include getting buy-in from stakeholders, climate related objectives for employees and sharing best practice on how to engage and empower employees to act.
With support from FuturePlanet, Sodexo’s vision is to foster a community which continually collaborates online and in person to drive ongoing impact both in the short and long term so that all can collectively achieve climate and sustainability goals to drive systemic transformation.
Julie Ennis, CEO Corporate Services, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “Navigating challenges such as calculating carbon emissions, influencing policy and regulations, leveraging business spend, and balancing ambition with delivery can be overwhelming for many. Through this new community we have co-created we are able to bring many organisations together from various industries to listen and learn from each other, so we can collectively achieve our climate and sustainability goals.”
Carl Pratt, Founder of FuturePlanet adds: “It is inspiring and energising to feel the potential for impact that we have when we come together, share openly and collaborate. Everyone has a piece of the puzzle in their organisation, it is through intentional community building that we can start to the amount of collaboration required to move further and faster towards out climate, nature and sustainability goals. When we do that it creates the feeling that together we can do this! Which I love.”
Claire Atkins Morris, Sustainability Director for Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We recognise that with our closest partners, we can play a role in leading adaptation, mitigation and transformation. I have thoroughly enjoyed the roundtables particularly connecting at a personal level, something so many events I have attended are missing. It is so important for change-makers to connect regularly to drive ambitious change in their respective organisations. By working together, sharing resources, co-creating solutions and amplifying our influence, we believe we can tackle the complexities of ESG, using anchor institute mentality to create impact in the communities we live, work and serve.”
Comments from some of the community participants include:
Justin Turquet, director of sustainability, Bunzl Catering and Hospitality division said: “I really enjoyed having a space to reflect and share with fellow professionals where we have aligned experiences and can learn from each other.”
Paul Andrews, director of global energy, Smith & Nephew, said: “I feel encouraged that other businesses are ahead of us who have stories that we can learn from and use to encourage actions in our business.”
Sodexo was one of the first organisations to have its UK and Ireland net zero 2040 target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). In January this year, Sodexo recorded in its progress update report a 33% reduction in scope 1,2 and 3 GHG emissions for the UK and Ireland, compared to its 2017 baseline.
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