Every year, Earth Day brings a heightened platform to discuss climate change, conservation efforts, and share learnings as we all strive to have a better impact on this planet of ours.
For us in Aramark, and my particular role as Supply Chain and Procurement Director for Northern Europe, Earth day is just one moment that makes up a wider part of our ever-growing commitment to do right, and do better, by both people and planet. As one of the Executive sponsors for our upcoming ESG Strategy launch, I wanted to take a moment to outline the important, exciting, and credible steps we will take before Earth Day 2022.
One Step Back, Two Steps Forward
There is no doubt that the challenges of the last year as COVID-19 changed the face of the business environment. Our Supply and Procurement teams, along with operations, had to manage the food waste implications of rolling lockdowns, the increase demand for packaging in Covid-safe workspaces, and the seemingly immediate need to source items such as PPE from far-flung places. Despite this, however, I can confidently say that we mark Earth Day on even stronger footing than ever.
The theme for this year’s Earth Day is ‘Restore our Earth’, which focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems. When it comes to planet and reducing our environmental impact, we’re focusing on addressing climate change with a clear understanding of the elements that we know are, and are not, within our control.
Whether that is a deliberate effort towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, or working with our broad client base to recommend innovative, sustainable solutions on waste and energy management connected to green technologies, we are proudly taking a partnership based approach to minimise our impacts on the planet - from the foods we serve to the vehicles we drive, and everything in between.
Best Practice and Good Behaviour
The culmination of our efforts will be the launch of our Northern Europe plan for Be Well. Do Well., Aramark’s global sustainability plan that combines UN Sustainable Development Goals to give rigour to the monumental efforts of our operations and support teams as we all undertake responsibility for the betterment of the world we live in.
I’m excited to be an executive sponsor for our efforts, and want to reaffirm our focus on tangible policies, rooted in best practice, and supporting our employees, partners, clients and customers to improve their behaviour so that we can deliver on our combined corporate-client aspirations at every site possible.
In terms of my remit, there are some ‘big ticket’ items with the impact on planet earth to the fore of our thinking. They are:
- To Source Responsibly
- To Operate Efficiently
- To Minimise Food Waste
- To Reduce Packaging
Our Earth Day Commitment
Sustainability is rooted in all our work with our clients and we proudly enable countless examples all over the business of great work being done in the sustainability field across the region. One message that I’ve heard repeated for this year’s Earth Day is, “when life around the world returns to normal, our world cannot return to business-as-usual.” As a solutions provider, Aramark has the opportunity to utilise innovative solutions and technology to drive sustainable practices.
Looking to Earth Day 2022, I look forward to sharing great stories about the year gone past as we continue to match intent and effort with governance and corporate support. Across every facet of our business, our mission is to deliver incredible experiences for our customers and clients, with a long-standing commitment to sustainable practices that minimize impacts to people, animal welfare and the environment.
Stephen Brennan is the Supply and Procurement Director for Aramark, Northern Europe, and executive sponsor of the region's ESG programme.