Sodexo promotes carbon-conscious school meals

Sodexo has introduced carbon-labelled school meals at 12 secondary academies in its Oasis Community Learning portfolio. The follows a successful trial earlier this year that saw an uptake in low-carbon options such as chickpea curry and white bean chilli.

As a provider of more than 100,000 school meals per day around the UK, the caterer says it has a responsibility to promote sustainable food choices and play an active role in empowering young people to choose more CO2e-friendly dishes. Before launching carbon-labelled meals across all Oasis secondary academies, Sodexo carried out a trial using a CO2e labelling application (Klimato) at two academies – Oasis Academy Arena in Croydon and Oasis Academy MediaCityUK in Salford.

Sodexo uses the app to calculate the quantitative carbon footprint of each of the main courses on its secondary school menu and has created a traffic light system with ‘low-medium-high’ CO2 emissions labels so the students can see at a glance the environmental impact of each dish. At both academies, the number of students choosing low carbon meals (0.1-0.5 kg CO2e) increased – from 78% to 90% at MediaCityUK and 71% to 88% at Arena.

Steve Hawkins. managing directors, schools, for Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: “Sustainability is a high priority for Sodexo and Oasis and together through initiatives like this we are helping make a better tomorrow for future generations. Opting to choose a more CO2e friendly lunch may seem like a small gesture for an individual but when people change their behaviours in large numbers it really adds up.”

John Barneby, chief operating officer for Oasis Community Learning, added: “As an education provider, Oasis Community Learning recognises its responsibility to protect the environment for the current and future generations. We are pleased with the success of Sodexo’s carbon-labelling trial, which has been well-received and is contributing to our net-zero journey.”

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