North East bakery giant Greggs has announced strong progress in its pledge to make the world a better place, a year after launching the initiative.
The Newcastle based food-on-the-go firm last year launched The Greggs Pledge, a series of 10 commitments set out in an annual sustainability report, which included targets to reduce its environmental impact and protect animal welfare.
The pledge, which is aligned with the ambitions of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, is based on three key areas where the firm said it is best placed to make the most difference – building stronger and healthier communities, making the planet safer and being a better business.
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A year on from launching its pledge, Greggs said it has made significant progress and has reached some key milestones, leading to it setting some new targets for this year.
So far it has set up 686 breakfast clubs and is feeding over 44,500 children every school day, and this year it now wants the Greggs Foundation to support 760 breakfast clubs. By 2025 it wants to support 1,000 clubs while providing 70,000 free meals each morning.
As part of the plans, Greggs is also planning to open its first ‘eco-shop’ this year, after completing its template for the shop’s design, and it wants to have Eco-Shop elements in 250 more shops before the year is out.
In the latest report, Greggs said it wants 25% of shops to feature elements from its Eco-Shop store of the future design by 2025.
It said: “Every year, we open new shops and refit existing ones, and are embracing these opportunities to rethink our approach. We spent 2021 putting the finishing touches to a template store design with sustainability at its heart. As well as thinking about how we fit out a shop and how we power it, the Eco-Shop design also uses less energy and saves water when a shop is up and running. During 2022, we are opening our first Eco-Shop built using our new template.”
It has also reduced the ratio of manufacturing food waste to sales by 31% and redistributed 28% of unsold food from shops.
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 tonnes of food has been donated to charity partners and 32% of the products on the shelves in Greggs stores are now ‘healthier choices’.
Other 2022 targets include ensuring that at least 30% of all new Greggs products can be considered healthier options, reducing the amount of food waste created in manufacturing operations by an additional 10%, and increasing food redistribution by a further 10%.
Roger Whiteside, Greggs chief executive, said: “As we publish our 2021 report today, I’m proud of all that we achieved in 2021: we opened new breakfast clubs and outlet shops; we exceeded our target on providing healthier choices to our customers and we’ve made reductions to both food waste and our use of packaging across the business.
“As a business we have a strong sense of responsibility to do the right thing for our people, customers, suppliers and communities and to lead positive change. The Greggs Pledge sets out our ambition to deliver this and our work towards achieving this commitment in the past year has helped us to grow into a stronger and better business.
“Although there is still work to be done, with our clear plan for the next year I believe we are well-placed to meet our ambitious targets for 2025 and beyond, as our business continues to grow and evolve and we work together to make the world a better place.”