The Humane Society of the United States has just published its annual report evaluating food service companies on their environment and animal welfare commitments. The HSUS Protein Sustainability Scorecard assesses which companies are actually keeping their sustainability promises and which are lagging behind.
In March, as scientists delivered a “final warning” about climate change noting that only drastic action can prevent irreversible damage to the planet, the HSUS sent a survey to the largest food service companies to collect specifics about their sustainability goals. The organization then ranked companies on three simple metrics: transparency, goals and execution on a plan of action.
“Food service companies can play a huge role in mitigating the harmful effects of climate change by reducing their animal-based offerings and increasing their plant-based offerings. When companies have sustainability commitments without measurable strategies for increasing plant-based menu items it raises doubt about their commitment to sustainability. Customers deserve to know which companies are following through and which companies are falling short,” said Karla Dumas, vice president of food service innovation at the HSUS.
With increasing client demand and public concern, virtually all major food service companies have claimed sustainability as a central to their business model. The scorecard reveals that while many companies tout seemingly impressive climate goals they fail to implement concrete strategies to reduce their environmental impact, like reducing the amount of animal products served.
Animal products have a much larger environmental footprint than plant-based foods, using more resources and causing more GHG emissions. Increasing plant-based offerings is one of the most meaningful ways food companies can reduce their carbon footprint to meet their sustainability goals. The scorecard results suggest that companies which lack active strategies in place for reducing animal products continue to fall behind those with stronger commitment to tangible increases in plant-based entree options and/or reducing animal protein purchases.
The companies that ranked the highest include:
- ISS Guckenheimer (55% of all offerings will be plant-based by 2025)
- HHS, LLC (50% meatless and/or plant-based retail menu offerings by 2025, and a goal to reduce animal protein purchases by 10% by 2024)
- Fresh Ideas (50% of its menu entrees will be plant-based by 2025, and a goal to reduce animal protein purchases by 5% by 2025)
- Metz Culinary Management (50% or more plant-based dining menu offerings by 2025)
- Sodexo USA (33% plant-based menus by 2025 and 50% plant-based menus on Sodexo’s U.S. Campus segment by 2025)
- Elior North America (50% of menu and recipe development for entrees will be completely meatless by 2025, with an emphasis on plant-based proteins)
- Southwest Foodservice Excellence (increase plant-based offerings by 10% by the end of 2024, reaching 36% - 40% plant-based options overall)
- LPM & Affiliates, dba Epicurean Feast Cafés (40% of menu entrees will be plant-based by 2025, and a goal to reduce animal protein purchases by 5% by 2025)
- Creative Dining Services (50% of entrees served will be plant-based by 2025)
- LPM & Affiliates, dba Epicurean Feast Cafés (40% of entrée served will be plant-based by 2025 and a goal to reduce animal protein purchases by 5% by 2025)