Each year, over 10,000 companies apply to be part of one of the S&P Global Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, the major global sustainability benchmarks for business.
In a rapidly evolving sustainability landscape, they have become a reference, along the RobecoSAM Sustainability Yearbook, for many investors looking for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) data transparency.
For the 16th consecutive year Sodexo has ranked as one of the top-rated companies of the Restaurants & Leisure Facilities on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI). Sodexo has the highest scores on the Environmental and the Social Dimensions and ranks second in the Economic and Governance dimension. Sodexo’s overall score is at par with a new industry leader. With 30 Restaurants & Leisure Facilities companies now part of the S&P Global Dow Jones Indices in 2020, up from 16 in 2019, this is a sign that a broad shift towards sustainability is accelerating in the sector according to Maria Outters, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility at Sodexo.
“We’re very proud to lead our sector on the Environmental dimensions given all the efforts we have put on that front in recent years, while sustaining our leadership of the Social dimensions but our overall ranking is extra motivation to continue our progress in important areas for our investors, clients, suppliers, employees and customers. Of course, we are disappointed for not being the industry leader this year but it is encouraging to see that the bar has been raised with many companies dedicated to making our sector more sustainable. This is a virtuous competition for the good of the planet and society”, she said.
Sodexo took the lead on the environmental dimensions, thanks to key initiatives such as:
- Being the first and still only food services company that adopted a Scienced-Based, total carbon emission reduction target;
- Taking action on food waste by deploying WasteWatch the most comprehensive data-driven program in the industry on that matter;
- Adopting a stringent set of environmental policies, including a Commitment to Protect Forests and Peatlands taken in 2020; and
- Increasing our menu mix target for plant-based meals to more than 30% globally.
Sodexo also has the higher score in several areas of the Social Dimensions including Human Rights, Local Impact of Business Operations, Stakeholder Engagement reflecting the progress we bring through our diversity & inclusion approach and responsible sourcing strategy. Areas of improvement for Sodexo, especially in the Governance & Economic dimensions were also highlighted by the S&P Global Dow Jones Sustainability Indices assessment.
“The DJSI provides companies with a guide for where to improve relative to others in their sector. It lists relevant risks and opportunities for our sectors on which we can act upon to contribute to our long-term success. For example, the expectations from stakeholders on topics like Privacy Protection, Labour practices and Citizenship & Philanthropy have risen a lot over the last few years. We clearly have our work cut out for of us to come back as the industry leader next year,” added Maria.
Applying for the DJSI is a stringent process which requires a lot of effort by participating companies. For Sodexo, it involves a team of 46 different people working over the course of several months. The result was a 262-page document with 106 sections and 121 attachments presenting the economic, environmental and social activities at Sodexo submitted for assessment by the S&P Global Dow Jones Sustainability Indices team.
“This is quite a team effort, but one that is worthy because it provides credible, fact-based ESG data for investors, clients and suppliers; helping them differentiate between companies who only talk, and those who walk the talk and bring measurable progress to make our world more sustainable” concluded Maria Outters.