15 days ago
Last year, Sodexo UK & Ireland’s WasteLESS Week campaign encouraged colleagues to learn, share and shout about how individual actions fighting 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.
Over the past three weeks we’ve been sharing in-depth stories about our 2020 WasteLESS Week winners, showcasing their food waste reduction techniques in the lead up to WRAP’s Food Waste Action Week which starts next week (1 to 7 March 2021).
We’ve already explored how overall WasteLESS Week 2020 winners – the Sodexo catering team from Diageo Shieldhall – reduced food waste before it even reached customers, and last week how runners up – the Sodexo contract team from Microsoft EMEA – came together to make a positive impact on communities.
This week, we learn how third place winners from the Integrator team (Department for Work and Pensions) helped to reduce their food waste where everyone can make an impact; at home.
As a team spread across the Britain, Integrator’s Quality, Safety and Environment (QSE) team work together providing a range of health and safety services to support 84,000 DWP colleagues who work across over 850 sites and also from home.
Being a team of remote workers didn’t stop the QSE team from participating in WasteLESS Week beyond the workplace. So, over two separate challenges the team worked virtually to tackle food waste at home and general waste in their local communities.
Colin Barber, QSE manager, was determined to get the whole team involved in WasteLESS Week 2020. He says: “The plan to get involved with WasteLESS Week was initially hatched during our weekly QSE team call, drawing motivation from some amazing efforts from Integrator colleagues who had recently completed a number of litter pick events out in their local community. We decided to build on their determination and commitment and make a difference as remote workers - we just had to be a bit more inventive with our approach!”
The first initiative the QSE team cooked up was Fridge Foraging – a challenge that asked everyone to create a healthy meat free Monday night meal using vegetables close to their use by dates, from you guessed it, the fridge. The idea was to use up any food before it spoilt, reducing the amount ending up in the bin. Those who participated came up with some delicious dishes, with some even going so far as rescuing food waste from local outside spaces like apples from wild orchards.
Inspired by their colleagues to make a positive impact outside, through WasteLESS Week and into November 2020, the QSE team decided their next challenge would be to go litter picking in local parks, woodlands and trails.
The whole Sodexo Integrator team is big up on their volunteering and make sure to record all their activity in the Stop Hunger Goodness Platform – in 2019, 36% of Integrator colleagues volunteered at least once!
The QSE team used WasteLESS Week as an opportunity to volunteer and make a difference close to home, whilst being able to safely adhere to social distancing guidelines. Family members and pets were both equally encouraged to participate, with some of the team receiving comments of praise from members of the public.
QSE manager Jeremy Nicholls and his son thoroughly enjoyed their time sprucing up their local outdoor spaces. He commented: “Our more frequent local walks during 2020 made us more aware of our local environment - this included seeing litter becoming a greater problem with more people out and about on foot. This was an opportunity to go out as a family, get some exercise, and at the same time make our local environment that bit better for everyone.
“It was a good experience and certainly my son has become more aware of the different types of waste from products we take from granted, encouraging us to seek out household items with less packaging.
“We met a lot of people on the pick who were very encouraging, potentially inspiring others as we have since seen other families doing similar! The good news is that this litter pick has now become a regular part of our time outside in the fresh air."
‘Dreaming of a waste free Christmas’, Kirk Crosby, QSE and Compliance co-ordinator based in Leeds, took things one step further. Taking inspiration from his Great Uncle, the legend Bing Crosby, his family made their very own Christmas crackers using upcycled materials – no plastic moustaches or tiny screwdrivers for the Crosby family!
Kirk thinks it’s important for everyone to recue their waste. He says: “I’m a stingy Yorkshireman who doesn’t like spending money! But in all seriousness, recycling and sustainability in whatever form is positive and I just cannot justify the waste at Christmas. There is packaging waste, food waste, wrapping, unwanted gifts and more, so anything you can do to offset that waste is good.”
By working together, even though apart, the QSE team were successfully able to reduce food waste at home and combat waste in their local communities, whilst having some fun along the way. They have been able to demonstrate that collectively small and powerful actions can make positive social impact. Well done to everyone from the DWP Integrator team who was involved and congratulations for placing third in WasteLESS Week 2020 – an amazing achievement.
Food Waste Action Week starts next week
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).
If you’ve been inspired by our three 2020 WasteLESS Week winners and would 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 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’ll see you there!
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