9 Ways We’re Building a More Sustainable Breakroom
With January here, there are renewed commitments to better oneself – to eat better, live better, do better. At Canteen, we are making a resolution of our own – committing to be better stewards of the environment. In 2020 – we commit to making sustainability a part of who we are, what we stand for and what we offer as a company. Our Sustainability Platform is made up of three pillars – environmental game-changers, better for the world, and health and wellness. We are sharing below the different ways Canteen hopes to make the greatest impacts.
Our head of Sustainability for Canteen, Leigh-Anne Wooten, MS, RD/LDN, FAND, LSS BB has been with Canteen for 4 years and Compass Group for 12. She has a background in nutrition which has evolved into sustainability and wellness over the years. You’ll see her extended thoughts on the sustainability program throughout the article.
1. Food Waste
Thirty-three percent of all food produced globally is wasted every year. To put it into context, if food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emission producing country in the world. And that’s why Compass Group, together with some of the most influential companies and celebrity chefs, is rallying millions of consumers to accelerate the fight against food waste with Stop Food Waste Day™. Our culinary teams are tracking waste and creating smart menus using our proprietary waste reduction tool, Waste Not, to track and measure waste over time. Soon we’ll have the ability to forecast and dynamically schedule our fresh food production to produce exactly what’s needed, nothing more.
2. Driving the Future
By implementing programs focused on fleet efficiency and driver safety, we have avoided nearly 8,000 metric tons of carbon emissions in the last two years. And we’re not stopping there. We continue to proactively seek, test and evaluate technology to improve the efficiency of our fleet.
“The long term vision for our fleet includes alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) like electric trucks. The problem? We want something that doesn’t exist yet – but it’s in the works! In the coming years we hope to be testing AFVs that meets our fleet needs along with an infrastructure to support it. In the meantime we look for other ways to reduce our fleet’s impact on the environment.”
3. Circular Approach to Waste
Astonishingly, only 9% of recyclable items are currently being recycled in the United States. Why? A combination of limited consumer education on the correct process and a confusing recycling infrastructure, make recycling a task that’s too ambiguous to understand for many. We aim to simplify that for our clients. We offer a suite of customizable solutions that focus on a more circular approach to waste. A circular approach is a system of strategic resource utilization where reduction, reuse, and recycling is the focus, in that order. The goal is to minimize waste and create a closed-loop system.
We want to be a part of the solution to this global issue, so we are getting creative in the break room space using a “circular approach” as our mantra. We look to reduce single-use items where possible, focus on reusable alternatives, and optimize recycling. To that end, we have committed to being a part of a new initiative alongside America’s beverage companies to get Every Bottle Back. The goal? Every bottle becomes a new bottle, instead of ending up in oceans, rivers, beaches, and landfills. And that means we use less new plastic.
4. Water with a Cause
Every bottle of RightWater sold, funds clean water projects across the globe, allowing Canteen and our customers to make a substantial difference to the world water crisis that currently affects over 663 million people. To date, our partnership has provided 17 communities across India and Africa access to a sustainable source of clean drinking water. We’re now more than halfway to our annual goal of 30 clean water projects. RightWater, our standard value water, is locally sourced, 100% recyclable and BPA free, and packaged in the most energy efficient bottling plants in the US.
5. Health and Wellness
We are committed to providing our customers the information needed to make informed choices when it comes to their food. Choice Plus is a customizable program designed by our team of registered dietitians and culinary experts to include the most popular products that also meet criteria supported by the latest nutrition research and in line with both government and expert nonprofit organization guidelines.
“Over the past couple of years, Canteen has worked with NAMA and The Alliance for a Healthier Generation in the development of a public health initiative. In October of this year, we were recognized as a Foundational Participating Operator Company in this commitment which focuses on increasing the percentage of ‘better for you’ offerings in vending machines to at least 33%.”
From refreshing teas and sparkling waters to fulfilling tasty snacks, our selection of better-for-you options continues to grow to meet the needs of the consumer.
6. The Green Breakroom
When we envision the breakroom of the future, we envision it green – a collaborative and inviting space that uses minimal energy and creates drastically less landfill bound waste than the breakroom of today, and we’re moving toward that vision. Today, that means Energy Star® rated equipment, sustainable disposables, bulk food and beverage options, sustainably certified coffee and sourcing local ingredients when possible. In addition, we collaborate with our vendor partners from production to distribution to reduce waste before it even enters the breakroom.
7. Sustainable Sourcing
For more than a decade, Compass Group has strived to make positive change within the realm of sustainability by supporting local economies, sourcing sustainable seafood, implementing measures to address climate change issues, and much more. Over the years, we have made various sustainability commitments, from sourcing sustainable seafood to only purchasing foods produced with minimal use or free of chemicals and antibiotics. Our craft coffee and specialty tea experts at Tradecraft pride themselves on working with the best craft roasters in the country, and their definition of best starts with being environmentally and socially responsible. When exploring potential new roasters, they go beyond ensuring great flavor; they make sure the roasters demonstrate integrity and transparency in their sourcing practices. To that end, sustainable sourcing does not stop with our food. We partner with companies like Bevi and Smartwell who provide innovative dispensed water solutions that minimize the impact on the environment.
Fuel up. Be active. Live well. enr.G, a fresh approach to vending, provides snacks and drinks that nourish the mind, body, and spirit. Every enr.G product has been chosen and approved by our team of registered dieticians and features at least one of these nutritional attributes – all natural, organic, vegan, gluten-free, kosher, non- GMO or Choice Plus. Interactive touch screens make it simple for guests to search for products by attribute or category and view nutritional information. Not only does enr.G support the wellness goals of our guests, this vending platform also supports the health of our environment by utilizing LED lighting and motion sensor dimmers. enr.G makes the better for you choice, the easy choice.
Today’s consumer is better informed and more aware of the impact single-use items have on the environment. We are committed to reducing our impact by providing sustainable alternatives to single-use disposables. To date, we have eliminated all plastic stir sticks in favor or wooden alternatives and we’ve adopted the nationwide “Skip the Straw” campaign. We offer a range of sustainable disposables, from compostable items to post-consumer fiber to recycled plastic. We partner with our clients to provide disposable solutions tailored to meet their sustainability goals and capabilities.
Our sustainability mission is to deliver better breaks that are better for you and better for the environment because it’s the right thing to do. We aim to deliver solutions that meet our clients’ sustainability and wellness goals by creating an environment that encourages well-being for people and planet.