Caterers must enforce a ‘strong’ CSR policy, says industry supplier

Gareth Brown
07/08/2018 - 07:00
Issues surrounding plastic waste and overall environmental impact are not going away, with consumers becoming increasingly aware and making purchasing decisions based on it. Market development manager at Duni, Gareth Brown, discusses how foodservice businesses can foster a strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy.

“Becoming and remaining sustainable is one of the biggest challenges that the catering sector faces today,” Brown said.

While working with clients who have similar sustainability/ CSR values can help to win business, recent research from BRITA Professional revealed that 40% of hospitality outlets want more advice and information on becoming sustainable.

Brown lists his top tips below for ensuring your CSR strategy is in-line:

  1. Achieve organisational buy in – sustainability changes don’t happen overnight. The process can be long, so everyone within the business should be fully behind you. Achieving buy in from senior management will be the most important job, which can then be escalated to employees at every level of the business
  2. Ensure your policy fits with your wider company ethos – look at the issues that impact both your employees and customers, and mould your CSR strategy around this. There’s no point developing a CSR policy that is too far removed from your business goals, just to be seen to have one. Also think about involving your employees and asking them to contribute ideas during the strategy development phase. This helps to embed responsibility into your company culture, can improve staff loyalty and will be a crucial factor in achieving buy in.
  3. Vet your suppliers – decent suppliers should be able to prove their CSR and sustainability credentials, so don’t be afraid to ask how they measure up.
  4. Measure progress on an on-going basis – this is crucial in ensuring that your strategy remains effective to both your business and your customers. Pencil time in on a regular basis – once of quarter, for example – and stick to it. Use your time to reassess the strategy and make any necessary tweaks to ensure a continuous evolution.

Ultimately, Brown says, “having a robust CSR strategy in place not only benefits your bottom line, customer and employee loyalty and brand perception, but helps the environment too.

“By committing to getting a strong policy in place, caterers can play a part in reducing the issues threatening our globe and strengthen their business at the same time.”

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