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As consumers increasingly prioritise sustainability, organisations are reevaluating their procurement practices. These strategies involve careful considerations of delivery methods, pricing, product choices, and environmental impacts, all aimed at aligning with long-term business goals.

In this article, Michelle Parnham shares valuable tips for making eco-conscious procurement decisions.

Eco-Conscious Dining

Some of our university client’s catering teams are looking to include food carbon labels on their menus. This encourages chefs and customers to make environmentally responsible purchasing decisions, contributing to the business’s sustainability journey.

Our Food Carbon Footprint Calculator tool, available in our Pi eProcurement system, can automatically calculate an indicative CO2e for each dish, and provide easy identification labels for meals ranging from very low to very high carbon emissions.

Efficient Waste Management

Moreover, some healthcare and education organisations are taking a closer look at waste management to minimise food waste and expenses. We are currently collaborating with customers to conduct waste audits, finding solutions for more effective recycling, leading to certifications that businesses can proudly showcase to environmentally conscious customers.

We recently helped one of our NHS hospital client’s catering teams to enhance their food waste monitoring processes. By introducing a cost-effective waste management solution that seamlessly integrated into their existing processes, they successfully reduced food waste by more than 15%!

Streamlining your supply chain

A growing number of organisations are taking the lead in sustainable procurement by streamlining their supply chain. This approach minimises delivery drops, reduces road miles and cuts carbon emissions.

For example, we recently supported a client who was previously sourcing from multiple suppliers. We helped them consolidate their procurement by identifying a supplier offering a wider range of products and even expanding their product line to accommodate their needs. This transition enabled them to receive deliveries via a single delivery truck, increasing efficiencies and significantly reducing their carbon footprint.

Removing Single-use Plastic

In response to growing environmental concerns, catering teams are increasingly adopting eco-friendly practices and reducing the use of single-use plastics. This includes the widespread use of biodegradable straws, recyclable tetra packs and compostable take-out trays.

As of October 1, legislation has come into effect, banning single-use plastic plates, bowls, containers, cutlery trays, and balloon sticks, further emphasising the collective commitment to sustainability.

Prioritising Local Food Sources

Likewise, certain organisations are placing sustainability at the forefront by opting for local supply solutions. Despite potential cost savings with national suppliers, these organisations prioritise local suppliers to reduce their environmental impact, aligning with their eco-friendly ethos.

Reduce Energy Consumption

Energy efficiency remains a pivotal element of sustainability. Standard practices include transitioning to more energy-efficient lighting and implementing timer switches to reduce energy consumption.

Some organisations are even investing in renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, which may entail higher initial costs but offer long-term sustainable benefits and showcase their commitment to sustainability.

We are here to help.

If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and need advice or help sourcing sustainable solutions for your organisation – contact our team at

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