FT - Roadchef-Planet Mark sustainability partnership

L-r: David Ratcliffe, Corporate Sustainability Sector director FM, Novati; Mike Jackson, director of Supply Chain Management & Head of Charity at Roadchef; Graham Dixon, Business Solutions Innovator, Zoosch/Novati; and Robert Jones from Booker

Motorway service area operator, Roadchef, has announced a new partnership with sustainability certification provider, Planet Mark – which the company describe as a major step in its journey to reducing its carbon footprint.

Roadchef and Planet Mark have been working together to measure the company’s carbon footprint and  will soon set a target to reduce carbon emissions, involving a number of pledges to ensure they achieve it in the near future. Over the course of the partnership, Planet Mark will help Roadchef to both deliver on its sustainability goals and certify its achievements.

Roadchef is also supporting Planet Mark’s Zero Carbon Tour that aims to illustrate the actions the business community is taking to address the climate crisis and take the net-zero carbon message to communities across the UK. As part of its eight-month tour - ending at the COP26 in Glasgow - the 100% electric tour bus made a stop at Roadchef Killington Lake services in Cumbria.

Key members from the companies, including Roadchef’s non-executive chairman, Simon Turl, and Planet Mark’s engagement manager, Hannah Dean-Wood, as well as a number of Roadchef’s key suppliers, spoke to visitors about the concept of net-zero carbon and how businesses like Roadchef are key in the collective effort to transition to a net zero carbon economy.

In addition, Roadchef has recently begun a new partnership with the world’s largest surplus food app, Too Good To Go. Leading the food waste movement, Too Good To Go lets people buy surplus food and drink from restaurants, grocery stores, pubs, cafes and producers to stop it from going to waste. Since the launch earlier this year, Roadchef says visitors to its sites across the country have saved a total of 1,348 meals from going to waste - equating to 3,370 kg of CO2e saved.

Roadchef says the new partnerships complement a raft of existing sustainability-focused initiatives it has been working on both recently, and for a number of years. In 2019, Roadchef introduced Reverse Vending Machines in an effort to encourage customers to recycle PET plastic - a project which recycles over 500 tonnes of card, 250 tons of coffee grounds and 200 tons of food each year. In addition, all waste disposed of in general bins goes to a recycling facility, which helped the company achieve Zero to Landfill accreditation in 2020.

Other initiatives implemented on the business’ journey to reducing its carbon footprint includes the use of LED lighting and reduction in electricity and water usage. Working with Everything Water, the company aims to save 577 million litres of water within the first three years, equivalent to 198 tonnes of CO2e – or driving around the equator 20 times.

Mark Fox, CEO at Roadchef, said: “Roadchef is proud that sustainability has been top of the agenda for some time and that this is realised through many existing initiatives, but we also know that the business community needs to come together and do more. We are delighted to propel our sustainability goals forward through this new partnership with Planet Mark. With their help, we will be able to truly measure our carbon footprint and better understand the initiatives we need to implement to enable meaningful change and create a more sustainable future for our planet. We’re also thrilled to host the Zero Carbon Tour bus at a number of our Roadchef locations, demonstrating our strong commitment and support for this cause.”

Steve Malkin, CEO at Planet Mark added: “It’s fantastic to welcome Roadchef on board and be a part of their sustainability story. Killington Lake motorway service area has been the perfect stop for our Zero Carton Tour as we’ve had the chance to engage with people from across the country. It’s clear that operating sustainably is of utmost importance to Roadchef as a business, and we are excited to partner with them to help them realise a carbon zero future.”