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Why you need to consider sustainable catering for workplace catering

Why you need to consider sustainable catering for workplace catering
  • PublishedJune 17, 2024

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What we eat affects the planet as much as our health and well-being. The decisions we make today about food can impact generations to come. The Earth is already fragile, fighting for its survival while trying to sustain us. Human activity causing climate change is threatening the viability of our planet. You may be doing your bit already – driving an EV, swapping disposables with a reusable cup and straw, recycling, retrofitting and using a bag for life. But have you thought about how you can extend those good deeds to food? Specifically, when feeding your workforce? If you have contract catering for your office, here’s why you should switch from regular to sustainable.

Minimising the impact on the planet

Agrifood systems account for one-third of total greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural activity of current proportions generates greenhouse gas emissions detrimental to the planet. According to the EAT-Lancet Commission Report, livestock farming and intensive meat production are the most significant contributors to climate change. 

Unsustainable food systems have led to the exploitation of natural resources, deforestation, soil erosion, water withdrawal, waterway pollution, waste accumulation, and increased carbon concentration in the atmosphere due to machine-intensive activity.

The food and drink industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, forming part of a diverse and complex supply chain. Imagine how much it can contribute to reversing nature loss and global warming by decreasing its impact on the planet! 

Sustainable catering is a key influencer of the shift towards healthy, sustainable diets. A sustainable diet is flexible and includes a wide variety of foods. It prioritises plant-based nutrition, sources ingredients locally and includes seasonal produce. It is mindful of how meat, dairy, eggs and fish get sourced and incorporated. Sustainable food systems choose organic, free-range, grass-fed and welfare-oriented ingredients whenever possible. 

Sustainable corporate caterers play a vital role in reducing food waste when feeding the nation’s workforce. A local supply chain ensures food remains fresh for longer. It means suppliers can deliver frequently and per requirement. There’s a limited chance of ingredients going bad during long transits or sitting in packaging or storage. 

Long supply chains also mean getting food delivered in larger quantities, requiring storage and increasing the chance of perishability. Short supply chains reduce the need for packaging, storage and transportation – all reducing environmental impact from waste, energy consumption and carbon emission.

Contributes towards corporate social responsibility efforts

Choosing sustainable workplace catering is a part of eco-conscious social responsibility. We are at a defining moment in human and ecological history. Faced with the urgent challenge of ensuring food and nutrition security for a growing population while reversing nature loss and global warming, a sustainable food system is the only way forward. 

Whether you are a major corporate player or a small family-run business, enabling and encouraging sustainable diets in the workplace can make a difference. Our diet isn’t just about preference. Sometimes, better choices are beyond the ordinary worker’s control. Availability, accessibility, affordability and marketing influence our food choices. 

Facilitating sustainable office catering will ensure your workers are eating planet-friendly, nutritious food. They get the chance to understand, recognise and appreciate low-footprint good food. It also supports the nature-positive, net-zero transition the UK aims for.

Economic benefits

The most significant individual economic impact of embracing sustainable office catering is a positive brand reputation. It attracts eco-conscious consumers, investors and a workforce. Your brand becomes relevant when your ethos aligns with the solutions for modern-day challenges. It shows you are responding to current ecological concerns and doing your part to fight global climate change. Such endorsement resonates with like-minded individuals and groups. It reflects the human aspect of your business.

When you choose sustainable corporate caterers who can keep costs lower due to energy savings, reduced waste, local partnerships, initiatives and bespoke solutions, you get a better contract catering deal than those with conventional standards and operational costs.

Sustainable catering supports local businesses. Sourcing ingredients locally and seasonally allows catering companies to partner with local suppliers. It helps local businesses to thrive and create jobs in the area, generating more income for the local community. 

Sustainable practices far exceed food production. It also promotes fairer wages and better working conditions. Less dependence on mass producers and global suppliers ensures a more resilient local economy. When caterers need to source outside local supply chains, choosing Fairtrade products improves social, economic and environmental standards of communities around the world.

Boosts employee health and wellness

Foods higher in sustainability are also rich in nutrients, flavour, texture and freshness. These diets do not contain highly processed or ultra-processed foods which are high in calories and low in nutrition. 

Organic produce does not contain artificial fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators, routine antibiotics and genetic modification. They also contain fewer additives and preservatives. 

Higher animal welfare standards in sustainable meat, dairy and poultry ensure reduced stress and disease in livestock. Sustainable and seasonal varieties are the healthiest fish choices. A meal consisting of sustainable ingredients is distinctive from a regular one. Your employees will enjoy wholesome meals that keep them satiated for longer and nourished better.

Factors to consider when integrating sustainable catering practices in your workplace

Sustainable food production must cut carbon emissions, support local businesses, reduce & manage waste and contribute to minimal environmental impact and higher social responsibility. 

Your workplace caterer should be able to accomplish the multidimensional aspects of a sustainable food system without compromising on quality. They should also be able to deliver versatile and bespoke solutions for your company culture. 

Learn about their sustainable policy, initiatives, supply chain and partnerships. Look for the Soil Association Organic logo – the only animal welfare, environmental and wildlife protection standard certification underpinned by law. Sustainable fish certification, Carbon neutral certification, SafeContractor, Living Wage Employer, QMS accreditation and Hospitality Action logos represent their sustainability efforts. 

When caterers have a dedicated sustainability & CSR manager, it signals their full-time, company-defining commitment to the cause. Catering companies must invest in both eco-conscious and people-conscious approaches.

Peak sustainability and welfare from The Good Eating Company 

We choose our suppliers with gold-standard scrutiny. Our food, prepared from scratch, has wholesome nutrition and flavour locked in. 

The Good Eating Company principle is simple – we look to inspire your hardworking teams with moreish food and quaffable drinks. We bring restaurant-quality food to corporate dining. Every day, our team of chefs, sommeliers, food buyers and baristas rise to the challenge of corporate cuisine to raise the bar and its reputation. 

We are also carbon-neutral by certification. In our constantly refined efforts to build a sustainable food system, we promote fair wages, protect community rights and improve water efficiency. 

Bring the good life to your workplace with Good Eating. Want to serve delicious, fresh, diverse and sustainable food at your office? Let us know, and we’ll design a curated menu just for you.