waste to landfill
Reducing food waste remains a priority, with all country management teams tasked with reducing food waste within their operations.
We have the most developed waste control programmes in our largest markets plus many of the smaller ones, including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Spain. Each of these countries, and each individual unit within the country, has a target around food waste reductions, with performance tracked at a country level and also at Group level. During 2019, the waste control programme was rolled out to our Asia Pacific and EEME operations, initially focusing on Hong Kong, Australia and Cyprus, where targets were set at country and unit level, and were reviewed each month with actions set accordingly. We now have waste controls operating in 13 of our markets, up from six markets in 2017.
Many of our country teams have also built partnerships with local charities so that we can offer them donations of any foods which is unsold at the end of the day. In Spain, we donate to the Red Cross and in Paris, our Pret units donate unsold food to local homeless charities. Our M&S units in the UK work with an organisation called Neighbourly, which puts our teams in contact with local charities who would benefit from unsold food donations. There are currently 27 M&S sites taking part in the scheme.
Several of our European markets use a third party app called Too Good to Go, which lets consumers know when unsold food is available to be purchased at reduced prices. Customers come in half an hour before closing and can take a ‘mystery’ bag of food, which is going out of date that day. The app is being used across all our French rail and air locations, and in a growing number of our units in Norway. The app is now being rolled out by SSP Sweden and SSP Germany.
Single use packaging
Single-use plastic remains a key area of concern for clients and customers. All of our markets globally have been tasked with developing a plan to move away from the use of single-use plastic wherever viable.
In the majority of our European markets, plastic cutlery, stirrers and straws have been replaced already or will be replaced within the next year. Within our European businesses, all salad containers, tumblers and similar items are now made from recycled PET which can itself be recycled after use. In the UK, we are also moving milk from polypropylene bottles to pouches, reducing plastic waste tonnage by around 80%, phasing out plastic straws and replacing single-use carrier bags with Bags for Life. SSP Sweden switched from recycled plastic to pulp packaging for take-away salads, and in 2018, we replaced all plastic bags with paper. This saved 650 kg of plastic last year. Wherever plastic packaging continues to be used in our Swedish business (if there is no suitable alternative), we use only recycled or bioplastic. Where possible, disposable plastics have also been replaced with steel or wood, for example, replacing all single portion sugar ’sticks’ with sugar dispensers.
The team at our Indian JV, TFS, has worked to completely eliminate single-use plastic across all Indian operations. Plastic plates, cutlery, cups and straws have all been replaced with paper, aluminium or biodegradable alternatives, making TFS the first retail business in India to go plastic- free.
SSP Sweden wins Environmental Initiative of the Year at 2019 FAB Awards
Our team at SSP Sweden was delighted to have their environmental work recognised at the 2019 FAB Awards, winning Environmental Initiative of the Year.
SSP Sweden has actively been working on environmental issues since the late 1990s and has been certified to the ISO14001 standard since 2001, recognising our commitment to reducing energy consumption and promoting best practice in environmental management. Environmental sustainability is wholly integrated into the way we run our business in Sweden. We only buy renewable electricity, and 95% of units and offices across SSP Sweden have LED lighting. Our kitchens use induction stoves which are 35% more energy efficient than old iron stoves, and our customer facing refrigeration units all include doors which saves 40% energy compared to models without doors. Cleaning agents are Nordic Ecolabelled, as are the detergents used to wash uniforms and linen, and chemically free cleaning methods chosen for combination machines. Since 2015, our food waste has decreased by 50%, and we are also working to reduce plastic waste, switching from recycled plastic to pulp packaging or bioplastic.
Environmental impact is also a factor in SSP Sweden’s product ranges with all eggs from free-range sources, organic wine, beer, coffee and milk served, and work underway to ensure that any palm oil used is from certified sustainable sources.