Sodexo develops, manages and delivers a diverse range of services, designed to improve the quality of life for our clients and customers – from food services to construction management and from reception to asset maintenance for our clients in offices, schools, prisons, hospitals, military bases, remote sites and hospitality events. In Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, 1,800 employees operate on 180 sites.
In 2008, the food price inflation impacted on Sodexo’s cost base significantly. In 2009, Sodexo launched the Better Tomorrow Plan, its sustainability strategy to 2020, which includes commitments to source produce locally and reduce carbon emissions. Sodexo Ireland started the initiative in 2009 in a bid to mitigate administrative costs and improve on procurement and environmental sustainability.
Sodexo Ireland’s Buying Manager analysed all aspects of deliveries to Sodexo’s catering services on the island of Ireland to identify opportunities for improvement:
The Buying Manager established open discussion with operations teams to involve them in the initiative from the beginning. All were informed of the process, goals and expected impacts on the units. Core suppliers were also engaged with to seek their commitment to work better together. The following steps have since been taken:
Through open dialogue with operations teams and suppliers, Sodexo Ireland has reduced its catering supplies delivery miles by 72%, CO2 emissions by 82% and number of deliveries by 90% from June 2009 to April 2013.
This initiative supports Sodexo’s sustainability strategy to 2020, the Better Tomorrow Plan. The 2009 roadmap focuses on the issues that are material to Sodexo’s business identified through extensive, continued consultation with stakeholders and based on commitments, objectives and targets to 2020. The five priority areas for action include commitments as a responsible employer; promoting nutrition, health and wellbeing; supporting local community development; developing sustainable supply chains and improving environmental management.
The key to making this a success was to establish clear communication. Changing the structure of deliveries means changing habits of both suppliers and receiving units.
The Buying Manager engaged with all unit managers to explain what we were trying to achieve, what it would mean in practice, what was expected from them and what they would gain in the process. Suppliers were engaged with to better understand their delivery routes, fleet and logistics and the initiative was positioned as a win-win exercise where suppliers could save significant amounts of money and time.
Ken O’ Riordan, Buying Manager, Ken.ORiordan@sodexo.com