Innovate Blog
Bunzl Catering Supplies to continue sustainability drive in 2018

Tuesday January 23, 2018

Throughout 2017 Bunzl Catering Supplies pioneered a broad range of sustainability initiatives including our first ever Sustainable Future e-brochure, the Square Mile Challenge with Simply Cups, and sponsorship of the waste2zero awards.

These industry-leading projects demonstrate our strong and ongoing commitment to reduce the impact of waste in our business and in the foodservice industry. We intend to build on our successes in 2018 with further commitments, an important one being the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in our organisation.

Sustainability successes in 2017

During 2017, Bunzl Catering Supplies embarked on a number of customer-centric and supply chain partnership projects. A significant achievement was the release of our first ever Sustainable Future e-brochure. This comprehensive, 50-page document presents the business’s evolving sustainability framework under our three key pillars: people, customers and suppliers, and reflects the growing culture of sustainable change within our business.

Another of 2017’s sustainability successes was our close involvement in the Square Mile Challenge with Simply Cups, a cup-recycling event in London’s financial district that was created and organised by environmental charity Hubbub. The Challenge is the UK’s highest-profile coffee cup recycling scheme to date, and led to the recovery and recycling of 3.6 million coffee cups.

Our cup recycling work continued as we became part of the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) agreement to accelerate UK recycling of PE-lined paper cups. McDonald’s, Starbucks and Costa Coffee are among leading organisations from across the paper cup supply chain that have also signed up to ACE UK.

Joanna Gilroy, Head of Sustainability, Bunzl Catering Supplies, comments, “Part and parcel of being a responsible distributor of certain materials is to offer a recyclability option. We need to move away from the idea that all high-volume packaging has an end of life, when it can have multiple lives and uses.”

This past year, we brokered an important partnership between the Food Packaging Association (FPA) and international sustainability consultancy Sancroft, to help lead our industry in tackling the urgent problem of Ocean Plastic.

Joanna Gilroy explains, “The packaging industry has hit a turning point in ensuring all of our packaging materials have a second or third life, and the FPA has always punched above its weight in leading on such industry issues. Sancroft also impressed us with their ability to partner with diverse industry groups, particularly on a new approach to packaging: that it needs to be functional and fit with an environmentally-aware society. We knew that if we helped to broker a deal, the industry would be in a very positive position in 2018.”

In addition, Bunzl Catering Supplies was the Headline Sponsor for Footprint News’ pioneering waste2zero customer awards, which showcased the year’s environmental achievements of our industry.

Continuing our commitment in 2018

In 2018, we pledge to continue our commitment to protecting all of the planet’s environments from the impact of waste. We commit to advising our customers on the most environmentally-responsible material choice for their business. Secondly, we will work with our supply chain to eliminate un-recyclable plastics. And thirdly, we will help our customers to eliminate excess plastic material through the adoption of alternative materials, reusable products and smart dispensers.

Our company will also undertake longer-term commitments between 2018 and 2020, one of our priorities being to adopt the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Set by the United Nations, the collection of 17 global, interrelated goals cover a broad range of social and economic development issues.

Between now and 2020, we intend to concentrate our efforts on addressing the Goals where we can have maximum impact, particularly in the areas of Good Health and Wellbeing; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life Below Water; and Life on Land.

As we have demonstrated, Bunzl Catering Supplies is firmly committed to protecting the Earth’s resources through our sustainability work, which we intend to continue to pioneer through 2018.

Joanna Gilroy, Head of Sustainability, summarises, “Our achievements have been truly remarkable – but there’s still much work that can be done. We are committed to building upon our 2017 Sustainable Future framework with a long-term strategy that protects the well-being of our people and the environment for years to come.”