In 2020, Sodexo celebrated the 10th anniversary of partnering with WWF to continuously improve the Group’s operations and procurement practices, as well as to reduce the carbon footprint associated with its activities. The main areas of collaboration are the responsible sourcing of agricultural and seafood products and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
« “We are delighted to renew our partnership with Sodexo, a longstanding partner of WWF. With more than 100 million consumers served every day around the world, Sodexo has the ability to drastically reduce its environmental impact in its practices, through its supply chain and in minimizing its carbon footprint. We are fully invested in supporting the company in its transformation and helping to create a collective dynamic throughout the Foodservices sector. »
DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS, WWF FRANCE
Preserving the health and safety of its employees was Sodexo’s utmost priority during the crisis. This involves not only physical health but also mental health and wellbeing. In the U.S., Sodexo introduced a text campaign to stay connected with frontline teams, when preparing to recall furloughed employees back to the workplace to address any concerns or anxieties they might have about returning to work. In the United Kingdom , the company launched a counseling service dedicated to helping more than 5,000 employeeshandling the additional pressure of working through the pandemic in healthcare environments.
Sodexo joined the Tent Partnership for Refugees in 2018, pledging to hire 300 work-eligible refugees by 2020 in Brazil, Canada, Sweden and the United States. With over 1,500 refugees hired since the initial pledge, Sodexo extended its commitment to hire 2,000 refugees globally by 2025. By providing what is often a first job opportunity in their host communities, Sodexo supports the livelihood and integration of refugees while enriching its teams with new talent .
In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Sodexo, like many businesses, reaffirmed its commitment to fighting racism and inequality. In the U.S., Sodexo has deployed a series of race and social justice interventions, training and resources to support its workforce, including a townhall meeting for 5,000 employees, in which leaders engaged in a conversation about race and shared messages of support. In addition, Sodexo hosted several external webinars and mobilized its Diversity Leadership Council. Sodexo’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion is further demonstrated by a 28% increase in African Americans in senior leadership roles and a 17% increase in middle management roles in the U.S. in the past four years alone.
With many employees confined to their homes or working remotely during the pandemic, Sodexo recognized the potential impact of isolation and the increasing importance of engaging teams. Sodexo launched a survey to measure the sentiment of employees and the different feelings and concerns of the teams. The feedback provided important data, which enabled the company to increase the frequency of communications, design e-learning modules to satisfy relevant needs, and further promote regular team and one-to-one conversations. The Group also launched its global engagement survey in September 2020, introducing a far simpler format of 13 key questions – including 3 Covid-related – enabling more agile responses and giving more ownership to site managers to engage their teams and drive performance at a local level. The survey, conducted online and sent to 328,547 employees, attracted a participation rate of 59% (versus 62% in 2018). Despite the pandemic, the employee engagement rate increased by 11 point to 80.1%, expressing employee satisfaction and involvement.
Sodexo has increased its menu mix target for plant-based meals to more than 30% globally to address the growing consumer demand for sustainable food and more natural, local and healthy ingredients. Sodexo is working with its partners to offer consumers more responsible food choices that positively impact the global food system. Sodexo now off ers its menus based on “Future 50 Foods” that encourage biodiversity at 6,500 sites in 13 countries. This initiative follows Sodexo’s launch of 200 plant-based meals in the U.S. in 2018 and Green & Lean sustainable recipes in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2017.