Sodexo Inc. Releases First Performance Based Sustainability Report

Sept. 27, 2011
Sodexo, Inc. released its first performance-based sustainability report for North America, covering baseline data and progress for fiscal year 2010.

Sodexo, Inc. released its first performance-based sustainability report for North America, covering baseline data and progress for fiscal year 2010. Available online at, the report opens with an enlightening introductory video titled "What's for Lunch" and details baseline measures in three key areas: Environmental Performance, Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems, and Communities.

"Issuing our first performance-based sustainability report was a huge undertaking, but one that we see as equally large in its importance for moving our industry in the direction of greater environmental responsibility and accountability," said Arlin Wasserman, vice president, sustainability at Sodexo in a prepared statement. "It's a key step in tracking our progress, and we are already working to improve our measurement capabilities in order to deliver even more robust and transparent reporting to our clients, customers, and other stakeholders."

While the majority of the 2010 performance-based sustainability report from Sodexo sets the baseline, it also includes progress data. For example it notes that from 2009 to 2010 Sodexo's purchases of fair and responsibly traded coffee increased from 8 percent to 14 percent in the U.S. and from 47 percent to 49 percent in Canada. Over the same period, Sodexo's contracted purchases of MSC or BAP certified sustainable seafood increased from 31 percent to 43 percent. The majority of the report, however, formally establishes a baseline against which progress in a wide range of areas can be measured for subsequent reports.

Under Environmental Performance, Sodexo reports baseline measures for energy and carbon, water and waste. In the area of Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems, it addresses Fair Trade coffee, sustainable seafood, local produce, vegan and vegetarian options, point of selection nutritional information and healthy food marketing programs. Finally under Communities, Sodexo looks at matters related to employees, supply chain, and charitable outreach. In each of these three key areas, baseline data is accompanied by anecdotal program highlights to paint a more complete picture.

"Sodexo's report tells the story of the important work the company is undertaking to assess and address key social and environmental impacts and opportunities in its own operations and supply chain -- and those of its clients," said Andrea Moffat, vice president of corporate programs at Ceres. "We believe this is a critical step on the path to sustainability leadership, and we are excited to work with Sodexo to help them further address key stakeholder concerns and to set and achieve ambitious performance targets for its Better Tomorrow Commitments."

In addition to the metrics, Sodexo's 2010 performance-based sustainability report provides useful background on key issues that concern it most based on its business model and stakeholders. The report also outlines Sodexo's approach to measuring performance. Not only did Sodexo tackle its own carbon footprint; it went deeper to look at supply chain and site-level impacts in operations, with much of the data drawn from global survey responses.