One of the UK’ Leading foodservice providers, Bidvest 3663, has announced its’ 2014/2015 sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) targets in its newly published sustainability report, The Road We Travel, in order to raise the sustainability benchmark in foodservice.
The sustainability report documents Bidvest 3663’s sustainability journey since it began in 1995. In 2003 the company had an industry first by achieving an ISO 14001 certification and has since been actively working to reduce its’ own and its customers impact on the environment, as well as engaging in community based projects.
The report highlights the company’s progress against a number of sustainability targets that it set itself last year, which span areas such as healthy eating, waste, transport, products, environment, supply chain, people and community. The new targets have also been set under these areas and include;
- Introducing 100 new Euro trucks, in order to reduce emissions throughout 2014
- Ensure that more than 50% of all Bidvest 3663 Own Brand product range meets or exceeds Government 2017 salt targets
- All Bidvest 3663 Own Brand products will be supplied in packaging that complies with the new EU Food Information Regulations by December 2014
- Increase the amount of company cars that are lower emission or hybrid powered
- Implement the employee volunteering standard
Bidvest 3663 conducted research into the thoughts, beliefs and current behaviours its customers have towards sustainability; customers in both the profit and cost sectors responded and around 9 in ten of those who did claimed that sustainability is important to their business.
The company has initiatives it offers customers to help them demonstrate they are actively working to be sustainable; through its partnership with Convert2Green, customers can arrange for their cooking oil to be collected and turned into biodiesel which fuels the lorries making delivers to their outlets. Customers can request to find out the true carbon saving relating to the oil recycled from their site, in line with ISO 14064-1; 1,000 litres of waste oil would demonstrate a CO2 saving for customers of more than two tonnes. Last year working with 91 customers, this saved 2,630 tonnes of carbon emissions.
The company also leads the market in the breadth and range of ethical and sustainable products it provides, with; 114 Fair Trade lines, 106 Free-range products, 53 Farm Assured products and 45 MSC certified lines. It has also doubled its British Red Tractor assured products in the past twelve months to 195 and has increased its sustainable non-food lines by 30%.
Also to help customers demonstrate CSR to their own consumers, Bidvest 3663 ensures it doesn’t use any artificial trans fats in any of its own brand products and is making sure all of its own brand ViVAS wines have the alcohol content and NHS guidelines for alcohol consumption on their label. In preparation for the new Food Information Regulations which come into force in December, the company has been relabeling all of its Own Brand packaging to make sure it is compliant and are providing customers with more information and guidance through its marketing channels and on its website.
Shirley Duncalf, head of safety and sustainability commented: “We know that sustainability is very important to foodservice operators, as 24% of our customers said they relied on suppliers to overcome their sustainability issues and more than 300 customers have enrolled in our Bidvest 3663 Zero scheme, our fully comprehensive waste and recycling service to help our customers achieve zero waste to landfill. This is why we are striving to increase sustainable options for all customers and are helping them to reach their own targets to become more sustainably viable.
“We are also working hard to make our depots and sites more environmentally efficient as we are conscious of the effect that we, as such a large business in the UK, can have on the environment. Since 2012 LED lighting has been fitted into 14 of our sites, saving nearly 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Also, to date, we’ve installed the IceSpy System at 22 sites, which is the most environmentally efficient way to ensure our food is stored safely at optimum temperatures.
“We take the time and effort to compile a sustainability report on an annual basis, so our customers can be sure that we take our sustainability policies seriously and our processes can make it easier for them to achieve their targets in terms of environmental responsibility.”
Bidvest 3663 has won three awards during the past 12 months for its sustainability excellence, including; Green Wholesaler of the Year, Federation of Wholesale Distributors Gold Medal Award and two Footprint awards for Stakeholder Engagement and Economic Sustainability.
The full sustainability report, entitled, The Road We Travel is available to download from http://www.3663corporate.co.uk/cser.