During the 1990s, 3663 First for Foodservice set the food service industry benchmark for the way we placed environmental issues at the heart of our business management.
We were the first food service company to achieve a corporate ISO 14001 certified environmental management system, which we obtained in 2003, and we remain today the only national dedicated food service provider to hold it. Sustainability is now an inherent part of our DNA at 3663.
The word "sustainability' is often bandied about, but few stop to think about what it means. We are part of the Bidvest Group, which believes in a better way of doing business: one where we don't plunder the present, we build for the future. And we try to make sure everything we do now lessens our impact on generations to come.
We invest in communities and support local producers, buying only from ethical sources. A responsible approach to purchasing is taken, and we enable others to have a more positive effect on their environment. Company-wide, we have reduced the amount of packaging we use, and wherever possible made it recyclable.
At 3663, we strive for a greener fleet and seek ways to reduce vehicle miles and fuel consumption. We are pioneers of alternative fuels and our new buildings and refurbishment projects incorporate environmentally friendly features. We recycle where we can, and dispose of waste responsibly.
Currently, we are trialling recycled oil in our vehicles, and hope to increase our capability in this area in the future. This makes 3663 the only major, dedicated food distributor in the UK to be using recycled oil - something which is a clear environmental benefit and closes the environmental loop.
There will come a point where we have to ask suppliers the question: "Are you managing your business in a way that puts people, product and environment in the forefront of strategy and decision-making?" And in the future, we will be looking to do business with people who share our values in this area.
Fred Barnes, chief executive, 3663 First for Foodservice