WWF-UK has teamed up with global catering and facilities firm Sodexo to launch a new range of sustainable meals to improve public health and reduce the environmental impact of food production.
The ‘Green & Lean’ meals – based on wholegrains, vegetables and a reduction of fat, sugar and salt – will launch across more than 40 independent schools in England in January 2017. The roll-out follows a successful pilot in eight schools in November 2015 in which almost 20,000 meals, containing more than a tonne of extra vegetables, were served to pupils.
WWF’s food sustainability advisor Nick Hughes said: “The way we currently produce and consume food is negatively impacting our own health and the health of the planet. If we’re to achieve a future where people and nature thrive together, we need to reconsider the types of food we eat in the UK and where and how our food is produced.”
Intensive food production is a major driver of habitat destruction and climate change, and now accounts for up to a third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
To help combat this issue, the Green & Lean meals initiative will deliver seasonal fruits and vegetables and source certified and sustainable meat and fish. All independent schools served by Sodexo will be serving at least one Green & Lean meal to students per day.
The initiative builds upon Sodexo’s collaborative efforts with various charities, which recently secured the firm the title of industry leader in the Consumer Services category of DOW Jones’ Sustainability Index.
Last month, Sodexo partnered with the International Food Waste Coalition to launch a European-wide programme to educate children, optimise meal production in school cafeterias and promote value chain collaboration among food service companies.
The results from the SKOOL pilot phase – which was deployed across six schools in France, Italy and the UK from January to July 2016 – reported an average of 12% food waste reduction, corresponding to 2.5 tonnes of food waste avoided.
Speaking at the time, Sodexo strategy chief Damien Verdier said: “The SKOOL programme will provide significant benefits to our network of schools and suppliers. Not only does food waste prevention lead to increased savings and new business innovation, it fosters employee motivation and teamwork around a positive project.
“Integrating the new programme into our schools offering will help Sodexo and our clients more accurately track food waste and implement effective measures to tackle the issue at every interaction across the food chain.”
Food waste has played a leading role in the sustainability headlines recently, with prominent food waste campaigners Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Tristram Stuart calling on both the supermarkets and the UK Government to improve their respective food waste strategies.
In its own bid to inspire healthy, sustainable living, Swedish multinational home appliance manufacturer Electrolux has today announced the winner of a global competition launched to help solve the food waste conundrum. The WatchYourself concept is a wrist-worn gadget that scans food on the supermarket shelf and projects recipes into the consumers hands.
“Engagement in the very first Electrolux Ideas Lab has been fantastic and has offered Electrolux an outstanding opportunity to tap into creative minds around the world for inspiration for healthier eating and life styles,” Electrolux’s chief marketing officer and jury member MaryKay Kopf said.
“The winning concept charmed us with its holistic approach; the creator was able to step into the shoes of consumers and solve challenges within food shopping and managing a busy family lifestyle. WatchYourself is something every busy parent would love to have.”
The announcement follows the recent launch of Electrolux’s wide-ranging food sustainability action planto address major global challenges, in support of the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).