WasteLESS Week 2020 winners

Fighting food waste and bringing people together

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Each year Sodexo’s companywide WasteLESS Week campaign looks to encourage colleagues across the world to tackle waste reduction. In 2020, we asked the UK and Ireland to learn, share and shout about how small individual actions to reduce food waste can have a dramatic impact on the environment.

Food waste reduction remains an important topic and a key commitment as part of our Better Tomorrow 2025 corporate responsibility roadmap, contributing to the planet pathway of our recently launched Social Impact Pledge.

In last week’s edition of The Weekly Brief, we announced our overall regional winners of WasteLESS Week 2020 - the Sodexo catering team at Diageo Shieldhall. Congratulations again! You can read more about their efforts to tackle food waste before it even reaches customers here.

For our second story, we’re sharing how our Sodexo runner’s up from Microsoft EMEA brought people together to tackle food waste whether they were in the workplace or at home.

Our Sodexo colleagues from Microsoft EMEA were WasteLESS Week winners in 2019, working collectively to reduce single use plastic across the contract. As most of Microsoft’s sites were closed due to the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, they had to approach 2020’s WasteLESS Week in a different way. They came up with a virtual solution in the form of a Food Donation Challenge.

Microsoft EMEA teams collecting food donations

As an opportunity to build on their previous year’s success, the team prepared for WasteLESS Week 2020 by raising awareness of food waste in regular meetings with client Microsoft as part of in-country Sustainability Champion groups. The team also took this chance to review the contract’s Sustainability Best Practice Guide, bringing it in line with Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow 2025 commitments.

By relaunching the guide, and sharing information upfront and in advance, the team were able to plan a virtual activity that involved Sodexo teams across the Microsoft EMEA contract. To support the team’s Food Donation Challenge activity, new communication resources were created with Microsoft employees and technology in mind – as an example, on the site posters a QR code was included that took participants to a form where they could easily record their food donations.

Over the course of WasteLESS Week, the UK’s contract team took to their local communities, donating food where they could whilst clearing waste from parks and other communal outdoor spaces.

Through the Food Donation Challenge, 5,013 individual donations were made to local food banks and organisations across Europe, United Arab Emirates and Africa – the majority of which would have otherwise gone to landfill. With some maths, the team were able to calculate this equates to more than 2 tonnes of food!

Emma Siva, Sodexo’s EMEA Environmental and Sustainability Lead at Microsoft, comments: “As always, our teams across EMEA have risen to the challenge and exceeded expectations. We are proud to support communities across the region, whilst contributing to waste reduction, and to be WasteLESS Week winners two years running is testament to the great teams we have and who contribute to such success.

Both Emma and the team received positive feedback from client, customers, and colleagues alike, saying that this innovative approach was “leading the way”.

Angelique Ferreira, IFM Progam Manager EMEA from Microsoft, adds: "Congratulations on this victory! We are very proud to have a partner like Sodexo who knows how to meet the most daring challenges. You have been able to combine two elements that are important to us: the environmental protection and the human being. We wish you continued success like this one!"

Microsoft EMEA litter picking

By creating a virtual activity, the Sodexo team at Microsoft EMEA were able to bring people together to tackle food waste head on, extending its life cycle, and creating social impact for the planet and its places. Well done to all involved and of course congratulations for your second-place win!

Food Waste Action Week is coming

Sodexo is committed to tackling food waste across our operations. As part of this work, Sodexo has joined forces with WRAP as a strategic partner and will be taking part in Food Waste Action Week (1 to 7 March 2021).

Next week we will continue our food waste journey, exploring how Sodexo’s 2020 WasteLESS Week third place winners - the Department of Work and Pension’s (DWP) Integrator team - fought food waste where everyone can help; at home.

If you’d like to hear more about the real impact of food waste, you’re invited to join a webinar hosted by Sodexo’s waste experts alongside a panel of external partners from WWF UK and WRAP.

The webinar will be taking place on 2 March 2021 at 2:00pm and will explore how everyone can make small, practical changes both in the workplace and at home to help make a big difference to our planet. Click here to register your interest - we can’t wait to see you!


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