Hungry for a Healthy planet? Check Out the Carbon FOODprint

By Dennis Weinerman, Senior regional vice president, Compass Group
Carbon FoodPrint

Verizon has pledged that by 2015 it will focus 55 percent of its overall supplier spending on partners that measure and set targets to reduce GHG emissions. In this guest blog, Dennis Weinerman discusses the Compass Group’s approach to lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of its food service operations.

It seems that everyone is talking about climate change and carbon footprint these days. But Compass Group, the world’s largest foodservice company, has been working hard since 2012 to develop solutions to lower the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of its food service operations.

The global food supply chain represents 33 percent of all GHG emissions and 18 percent of that comes from beef and dairy. Food waste is the largest single component of landfills in the United States. Undeniably, commercial food service is a resource intense operation that is helping to contribute to the problem of climate change. At Compass Group, we recognize that we can be part of the solution.

That’s why Compass Group not only partners with environmental-conscious vendors and suppliers, but we’ve also developed a proprietary online tool called Carbon Foodprint™. Carbon Foodprint is a unique, web-based tool that is designed to assist our cafes in lowering the carbon footprint of their operations by decreasing waste disposal, and energy and water use.

Our onsite teams are now able to use science-based technology to make their operation more sustainable by minimizing their eco impact. Carbon Foodprint focuses on creating more sustainable menus, which includes reducing the amount of beef and dairy that we serve. The tool also tracks equipment and water use in our kitchens so that we can make smarter decisions about our day to day practices.

In 2013, Compass Group’s combined participating accounts were able to lower their carbon intensity on average by 5 percent and lower the water intensity by 11 percent. At just one national account, the toolkit was able to help reduce their GHG emissions by 19 percent from January 2013 to November 2013. That’s 234 metric tons per guest. And they realized a spend reduction of over $1,000,000 in present value terms. That’s pretty impressive!

To sum it up, Compass Group strives to make small changes that bring about big impacts to the environment in which we all have the right to enjoy. Together, we can make a difference.