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Sodexo’s restaurant at AstraZeneca R&D Center

In July 2021, Sodexo committed to start measuring and tracking the carbon footprint of the food served in the canteens they manage across the UK. They teamed up with Klimato, as the first Klimato partner in the UK, to calculate the carbon footprint of their recipes, carbon label the menus, and track emissions and sustainability metrics over time.

One of the first restaurants to roll out Klimato’s solution was the canteen at the AstraZeneca Research & Development Centre (RDC) in Macclesfield, UK. In addition to AstraZeneca’s purpose to push the boundaries of science, they are now also pushing the boundaries for climate action, by helping hungry researchers make more climate-friendly food choices for lunch. 

For restaurants, typically 80-90% of total emissions are Scope 3 emissions. This is essentially emissions attributable to the food as the ingredients make their way along the value chain to the plate. Therefore, by putting measures in place to reduce emissions from food, a restaurant or foodservice business can significantly reduce their total carbon footprint. And that’s exactly the result that has been observed in the canteen at AstraZeneca RDC!

Tangible progress

Since the launch of Klimato’s solution at AstraZeneca RDC, Sodexo has produced monthly sustainability reports to track the development and impact. Even though it can take time to see any major progress, the results of the partnerships instantly proved to be very fruitful.

“After using Klimato for three months, I’m impressed by the user-friendliness of the app - it is very simple, clear and precise. Composition of new recipes is not too time-consuming, and monthly reporting is great to keep us updated on our progress.”

- Karl Griffiths, Head Chef, AstraZeneca RDC

Karl Griffiths, Head Chef at AstraZeneca RDC

But a user-friendly tool isn’t going to cut it if it doesn’t contribute to greater impact on emissions levels. That’s why tracking emissions month over month using Klimato’s reporting function becomes incredibly important, to really prove the impact and value of the measures made. And the numbers speak for themselves.

In only three months, from July to September 2021, Sodexo managed to reduce the average carbon footprint per serving from 0.9kg CO2e to 0.8kg CO2e. That’s a reduction of 11% in only three months! For comparison, the average carbon footprint per serving in the UK is roughly 1.6kg CO2e, which means that the average meal served at RDC has half the climate impact of an average UK meal!

Upwards and onwards

Considering that the average carbon footprint per meal was below the UK average prior to the collaboration, the Head Chef at RDC was doing a lot of things right even before they started working with Klimato. But guidance and support on how to improve recipes to further reduce the carbon footprint and monthly reports to track the progress has made it easier to stay on track to constantly improve.

“I’ve received excellent service from Klimato, they’re always just a quick email or text away”

- Karl Griffiths, Head Chef, AstraZeneca RDC

If you can reduce the average carbon footprint per meal by 11% in only three months, there is great potential for fantastic emissions reductions in the longer term. Karl and his kitchen team at RDC are true climate champions, and we look forward to following their continued progress towards lowering the carbon footprint of the food served in the canteen at RDC, as well as in the rest of Sodexo’s canteens across the UK.