BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 12 February '16

Soil Association and the Carbon Trust join forces to develop a sustainable catering standard

Soil Association Certification is partnering with the Carbon Trust to develop a bespoke sustainable catering standard.

While food provenance and supply chain are already covered by the existing Catering Mark award, the new standard will also look at waste, energy and water use.

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Potential savings

This new standard, which will be launched as a pilot, is the first and only to provide a ‘one stop shop’ verification scheme that aligns across all areas of DEFRA’s Balanced Scorecard.

‘Over 8 billion meals a year are served by caterers in the UK across 260,000 sites. Even small improvements in the environmental impact of each meal served can add up to a huge total.

‘Fortunately in many cases large improvements are possible. For example Carbon Trust analysis suggests that many caterers could achieve reductions of around 30% in energy costs, equivalent to an annual saving of £250 million.

‘Catering as a sector has the opportunity and the capability to drive significant positive change in the health and sustainability of our diets.’

Darran Messem, managing director of certification at the Carbon Trust

Food for Life

Hundreds of catering operations around the UK have been recognised by the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark award.

The endorsement recognises food providers who are taking steps to improve the food they serve, using more fresh, sustainable ingredients which are free from harmful additives and better for animal welfare.

‘We’re close to reaching a remarkable 2 million Catering Mark meals served daily in the UK –  wouldn’t it be great if those meals could also be provided with the justifiable claim they are using less energy, are more efficient and have less impact on our environment.

‘I’m sure that many businesses will be interested in our pilot project, and in turn can see the benefit, both socially and economically, of this partnership.’

Martin Sawyer, Chief Executive of Soil Association Certification

As well as helping caterers meet procurement requirements, the scheme can help with companies’ CSR requirements, improve efficiency in energy and water saving, enhance the company’s reputation and provide a comprehensive assurance of quality and integrity of catering operations.

Contact eyeats@soilassociation.org if you’re interested in taking part in the pilot scheme.