We have taken concrete steps to reduce our environmental impact:
- 170 sites in France and 70 in Italy are entirely powered by renewable energy;
- Anti-waste assessments at 300 sites in France have led us to redistribute 55 tons of excess food;
- 50% of French and Spanish recipes have a low carbon score;
- 90% of sites process their organic waste.
Sustainability is the watchword at Elior’s 21,000 restaurants and corporate canteens, where the Group serves 3.9 million meals a day. Elior pursues a cutting-edge approach to catering that guides its suppliers, clients, guests, and employees along the path to a sustainable society. During this 22nd European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW), we wanted to highlight the work the Group has done to meet its 2025 ESG goals.
2025 ESG goals: limiting Elior’s climate impact
Every aspect of our business is focused on meeting a shared set of ESG goals aimed at shrinking our carbon footprint and protecting the planet’s resources. To that end, the Group has set a target of lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 12% by 2025 relative to 2020 by: (1) sourcing 80% of our sites’ electricity needs from renewable sources and improving energy efficiency; (2) cutting food waste by 30%; and (3) lowering our food offerings’ carbon footprint.
“We work in an incredibly rich business ecosystem that inspires us to do our part: 21,000 restaurants, nearly 4 million guests, five main countries, and thousands of suppliers and partners. Elior acknowledges its position as a role model by pursuing concrete action and making firm commitments to shrink its environmental footprint. At the same time, we are engaging with all our stakeholders to change behaviors through education and bring them along as we make the transition to a sustainable society,” says Aurélie Stewart, Group Head of CSR and Sustainability.
These three priorities are aimed at transitioning the Group’s operations to a lower-carbon future in which its guests, clients, and suppliers all have a role to play. Elior is convinced the climate transition must be a collective effort—no one can do it alone. A good example is the way our Ansamble subsidiary displays carbon footprints for each of its recipes. Our catering teams provide guests with transparent, easy-to-read information to help them understand the environmental impact of what they eat every day with the goal of nudging them towards responsible food choices.
Did you know?
France’s Anti-waste and Circular Economy Law calls for experimenting with environmental impact signage, so Elior has been displaying dishes’ eco-scores in seven corporate canteens to see how the information affects guests’ food choices. For more information, please visit Food for Good.
80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025
- Today, 170 sites in France are powered by renewable energy suppliers, including wind, hydro, and geothermal;
- Elior manages the energy supply at 70 of its sites in Italy, and all are powered by renewable energy;
- 90% of sites process their organic waste.
To take the next step, we have created an auditing tool that lets operations teams gauge their energy efficiency, implement targeted action plans, and measure progress. Teams will be able to use the tool to see how much they consume and orient their actions to meet targets. Elior has also adopted training sessions to help influence behavior. To date, more than 2,100 of 2,300 employees in the catering division have received training.
The organic waste we process becomes an input for biogas production. In France, the Education and Healthcare teams have processed 800 tons of organic waste to make renewable natural gas—fuel for the Group’s delivery trucks—and compost for the farmers Elior works with.
Reduce food waste by 30% by 2025 relative to 2020
- So far, 300 sites have performed anti-waste assessments;
- Elior has redistributed 55 tons of food in the form of donations in France, sparing it from waste disposal.
We are tackling the problem from several angles: training, measuring, better calibrating the quantities we produce, creating zero-waste recipes, raising guests’ awareness, donating food, and implementing partnerships with “Too good to go”. For example, our teams in Italy are testing an artificial intelligence solution, Winnow Vision, that tracks food waste to help kitchen staff see what food is being thrown away and adjust their offerings to guests’ tastes. “Using zucchini peels as salad ingredients is a way of saying, ‘You can do this at home, too’. The response has been tremendous every time.”
Jon Lilley, Elior UK’s Group Development Chef, is part of the “Trashed” project to invent healthy, delicious, zero-waste recipes using food that is typically thrown away.
Reduce our food offering’s carbon footprint with vegetarian dishes
- Today, 50% of French and Spanish dishes are low carbon, meaning they emit under 180g of CO2 per 100g of food.
Chefs in all the countries where Elior operates are being trained to create delicious, seasonal vegetarian recipes as part of a nutritionally balanced menu. Devising vegetarian recipes and dishes requires some special skills, notably from a nutritional standpoint. Chef France Franco has led a training course in vegetarian cuisine for Elior’s teams. As she explains, “It’s vital for us to show that meals can be both healthy and tasty. I’ve designed 20 recipes for Elior that are easy to make and enjoyable for non-vegetarians, especially kids.”
Food offerings have clearly evolved in all of the Group’s markets:
- In Spain, with AlimentadeConSentido, Elior offers a sustainable / low-carbon menu every month;
- Vegebond in the US offers university students 100% vegetarian or vegan meals;
- In France, with Re-Set, Elior serves a vegetarian menu twice a week;
- And in the UK, Elior’s Wildgreen fast food offering prepares 50% of dishes using vegetarian recipes.