Offshore catering giant Sodexo has pledged to make a third of all its meals vegan in a bid to meet its net-zero targets.
Plans are underway to increase the number of plant-based meals and recipes the firm provides to 33% by 2025.
It’s part of Sodexo’s comprehensive roadmap to net zero and decarbonisation of its UK and Ireland business.
However, the announcement has been met with some concern from union bosses who don’t believe it’ll be a popular decision with North Sea oil workers.
Unpopular decision offshore
John Boland, Unite regional officer, said: “I don’t think this will go down well with the offshore workforce.
“This has been trialed before on other installations and the healthy eating meals didn’t last long.
“There was lots of complaints from people saying they needed meat in their meals to help build up their strength for the day.
“I also think it’s more to do with Sodexo trying to make savings than their net-zero targets. I would imagine vegan meals are actually cheaper than there other meals to put on.
“Don’t know for certain on that point but I don’t think this will be popular.
“It’ll probably last for about a month or so and then be taken off.”
Jake Molloy, regional organiser of the RMT Union, believes the success of the plan will be driven by workers’ reactions.
He said: “Any change will inevitably drive a reaction and whether that’ll go down well with the workforce offshore only time will tell.
“We’ve got a population which has seen a slight increase in vegetarian and veganism but I think the majority of those working offshore will want a balanced diet which will include meat.
“It’s also whether or not they’ll be allowed to as well.
“Sodexo, like most of the supply chain, are providing services to the client and I think they will have some say as to whether they support the contractor moving in that direction.”
Vegan meals part of updated plan
The organisation, headquartered in Paris, had previously set a target of reducing its carbon footprint by 34% by 2025.
But having exceeded those levels already it has now unveiled a new carbon reduction plan which also includes the launch of a 100% hybrid and electric vehicle company car policy.
It has also committed to ongoing membership of the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative and procuring 100% renewable electricity by 2022.
And it will switch to 100% reusable, recyclable and compostable packaging by 2025.
The plan will also tackle food waste with the aim of reducing food waste by 50% by 2025.
Sean Haley, Sodexo UK and Ireland chairman, said: “The commitments we make today are the culmination of an extraordinary amount of work from our world-class team of sustainability experts.
“Their unswerving dedication to developing, not just a set of targets, but a detailed action plan to achieve them, gives me absolute confidence in our future ability to not just meet but to exceed our net zero goals.
“This will enable us to continue to support and improve the communities in which we live, work and serve.”