Zoe Stennett-Cox, Lead for Sustainability and CSR, Vacherin

Building a sustainable business has been a priority since Vacherin started trading 13 years ago – and by embedding it in our DNA we commit to make sustainable trading profitable trading. As we grow, our sustainability metrics continuously improve.

Waste management is a huge sustainability challenge in foodservice – reducing, reusing and recycling what we can, and ensuring the rest reaches the most sustainable end-of-life solution. That’s why we committed to divert all our waste from landfill, and this year we’re proud to have achieved that. It has taken years’ of effort – so here’s a few tips on how we did it…

Energise employees: Ours all receive mandatory sustainability training – they understand the impact their job has on the environment. This is incredibly valuable for any organisation – and makes my job easier!

Collaborate with clients: They have the final decision on waste management, so building strong relationships is crucial to leveraging our expertise and influencing change. One size doesn’t fit all – so work with clients individually to establish what works best for everyone involved.

Choose a champion:  As Sustainability & CSR Lead, I keep clients up to date on the latest priorities for foodservice sustainability – and the best solutions to tackle them. I act as the driving force – advancing our sustainability agenda and promoting our successes.

Look outwards AND inwards: Our SRA membership has been energising! We’ve earned a Three Star rating two years’ running – and five client sites now hold individual Three Star accreditations. Working in sustainability can sometimes feel lonely so it’s valuable to engage a network that shares ambition, knowledge and insight.

Communicate success: When you have an achievement, broadcast it. You will be in a stronger position to influence and make further changes. It’s great for staff morale too!

Set targets: Our annual Sustainability Report (April ‘16) made commitments for zero waste to landfill and an 80% recycling rate by 2018. One down, one to go!

In my view our success is built on our exceptional credibility with clients and staff – showing that we know what we’re talking about and delivering on promises.  Mutual trust facilitates collaborative work with clients, customers and on-site teams. SRA accreditation helps too!