Contract caterer CH&Co claims to have become the largest firm of its kind to win a top-level three-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).
The award encompasses the whole business, including workplaces, destinations, venues, events, education, livery and healthcare.
It comes in recognition of the caterer's commitment to sustainability through the CH&CO Planet programme. The company has a team of ‘green ambassadors' made up of people from across the business, while its chefs regularly attend supplier visits to farms (pictured) and fisheries to help them to build an understanding of sustainable techniques and give them the knowledge to inform customers where their food comes from.
CH&CO and the SRA have worked together for the past 12 months to analyse and monitor the business' sustainability credentials across ten areas under the three key pillars of sourcing, environment and society.
Terry Waldron, CH&CO's chief operating officer, said: "We're very proud to have been awarded three stars by the SRA across the entire company. This is an incredible achievement, particularly for a company of our size and scope.
"A lot of people across the business have made this happen and I thank everyone for their commitment and contribution. Sustainability has always been an important part of our culture, so we started from a good place, but working with the SRA challenged us and helped us focus on embedding consistent sustainability practices across the business, regardless of sector or site. It's been an inspiring process and a pleasure to work with the SRA team."
"Of course, this is not a case of job done! It's just the beginning of a long-term commitment. We must maintain focus to improve on our scores across the board. Sustainability is a complex, ever-changing area and there will always be things that we can do better."
Andrew Stephen, chief executive of the SRA, added: "CH&CO approached us with an ambitious challenge: How could we help them to embed consistent, high levels of sustainability across their hugely diverse range of over 700 sites?
"A year on, and as a result of an unswerving commitment from the top of the business down to the kitchen floor, the business has achieved three stars in the SRA's Sustainability Rating. A fantastic achievement."