Social Impact Partners logoA key element of our social value strategy focuses on our commitment to enhancing the capabilities and capacity of our small, medium enterprises (SME) and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) network and suppliers. This group currently represents over half of our core supply chain and accounts for 44% (£256 million) of our total spend.

Our 2021 social impact pledge details our commitments through four impact pathways, our partners pathway includes our approach to creating resilience and growth among our partner network.

Sodexo’s Supply Chain Inclusion Programme

As part of Sodexo’s commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative, we launched our Supply Chain Inclusion Programme in 2015, supporting 17 SME’s (small and medium size enterprises) that were owned by women, minority ethnic groups or social enterprises. The programme continues to this day, helping more SMEs become suppliers to Sodexo. 

We work with WEConnect, MSDUK, Social Enterprise UK, Enterprise Nation, Scotland Food & Drink and Bord Bia to identify potential suppliers and invite the most exciting and relevant SMEs to join our programme.

We have developed a comprehensive, tailored programme that provides support to navigate our onboarding process for new suppliers, one-to-one mentoring and a guaranteed meeting with a relevant category manager.

The programme is all about sharing information on our business requirements and breaking down barriers which historically may have put off some SMEs’ from pitching to our supply contracts.

The programme has also been designed to provide a safe environment where we can work together to discuss potential future partnerships and help demystify ways of working with large companies such as Sodexo.

Prompt payment

In line with the UK Government’s prompt payment terms, all our SME suppliers are paid within 30 days. These terms are also being extended to our suppliers identified as VCSEs (voluntary, community & social enterprises) and charities.

Having achieved the prompt payment targets set down by the UK Government, Sodexo has carried out an independent evaluation of its supply chain to identify all SMEs within OECD definition and updated vendor management processes to ensure that an SMEs status is logged at the onboarding stage.

We have also worked with our largest suppliers to ensure that prompt payment is passed down the supply chain.

Buy Social Corporate Challenge signatory

In 2021 we joined a number of other high-profile businesses in the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, run by Social Enterprise UK.

The initiative aims to bring together corporate partners from a range of industries with a collective ambition to spend £1 billion on social enterprises. Currently Sodexo works with 128 social enterprises/charities which accounts for £8.9 million in spend.

The Challenge helps social enterprises grow their revenues and impact by tapping into corporate supply chains. Social enterprises reinvest profit or donate them to their local communities to create positive social change. This allows them to tackle social problems, improve people’s life chances and provide training and employment opportunities for marginalised communities.

In September 2022 Social Enterprise UK published it the sixth annual Buy Social Corporate Challenge annual report, revealing in the last year the group of 30 major businesses have spent more than £91 million procuring services and products from social enterprises. Since its launch the group has spent more than £250 million and helped create 2,700 jobs. Read the 2022 report here.

Local, seasonal and sustainable

From north to south, east to west, we scour the country for the best ingredients. It’s important to us that our suppliers are knowledgeable and passionate about their products and that sustainability and ethical practices are high on their agenda too. Local provenance is a key consideration, both for our clients and Sodexo because we know that locally sourced food tends to be fresher and more sustainable. Find out more about some of the food producer SMEs we partner with. 

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