Leading foodservice supplier Bidvest Foodservice has doubled its community engagement outreach in 2016, supporting 1,200 charity causes.

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The milestone was unveiled today as part of 28 sustainability commitments made by the Planet Mark-certified company in its annual Sustainability Report 2016. The independently verified report highlights how the company is meeting its commitments on sustainability, including the environment, community engagement, responsible consumption and ethical business practices.

One of Bidvest Foodservice’s biggest sustainable achievements this year was through its partnership with One Water, the ethical bottled water brand that specialises in funding sustainable water projects in some of the world’s poorest countries. Against a target to increase its sales of One Water by more than 30% during 2015/16, it in fact increased sales by a whopping 136%.

Bidvest Foodservice said that since it started supporting One Water nine years ago, it has raised over £130,000 to help fund One Foundation projects. These funds have enabled the construction of 15 new water pumps in Malawi and Lesotho, along with the formation, training and provision of tools to 15 local groups to ensure they are maintained. The organisation has also rehabilitated 20 non-functional water pumps in vulnerable rural communities along with funding training for villagers to provide the knowledge and skills for on-going maintenance.    “We’re proud to support this amazing work and of our teams efforts to help fund these initiatives,” Shirley Duncalf, head of Sustainability at Bidvest Foodservice, said about about the partnership with One Water.

Other goals the company hit included ensuring all employees are paid the living wage and increasing support for World Environment Day to 14 sites across the business. It narrowly missed a target to use 100% responsibly sourced palm oil in Bidvest Foodservice’s own brand products, instead achieving 95%.

On the environment front, Bidvest Foodservice met three out of its eight goals. These included achieving a 71% recycling rate by June 2016 against a target of 70% and increasing the number of hybrid cars within its fleet by 4% and the number company cars with under 100g/km carbon emissions by 2.6% from June 2015 to June 2016, a measure it will continue improving on going forward. The company also exceeded its target to reduce its data centre energy consumption by 25%, instead reaching a 46% reduction.

Bidvest Foodservice, which has just entered its second year of certification with The Planet Mark™, missed its target to cut its carbon footprint by 2.5%, instead increasing it by 1.58%. This was mainly due to the fact that it no longer collects waste cooking oil to use within its delivery vehicles. However, the increase was a significant improvement on the14% increase reported last year and the company is on target to hit its 2.5% reduction target in its next reporting period.

In November, the company will be celebrating a year since it launched plate2planet, a a ‘one-stop-shop’ digital platform that aims to address the growing demand in the food sector for useful and practical information about sustainability. The Planet Mark™ is a partner in the project alongside Unilever, Premier Foods, Delifrance UK, Vegware, Jacobs Douwe Egberts and others.

Steve Malkin, founder of The Planet Mark™, said: “We congratulate Bidvest Foodservice on its sustainability achievements in 2016, and its commitment to ongoing improvements. It has excelled in terms of its sustainability engagement an communication, both of which are valued highly within The Planet Mark™ Certification Programme. We recognise the efforts its taken to address its carbon footprint, too, and although it has not yet hit is 2.5% target, we fully expect it to do so in its next reporting period.”

To access Bidvest Foodservice’s annual Sustainability Report, please visit http://www.plate2planet.co.uk/about/bidvest-sustainability-reporting/

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