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Creating sustainable menus - Ryan Holmes, Business and Industry Culinary Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland


We are really proud of our partnership with Oxford University, which has seen us use their “LEAP” eco-labelling and insights across the hundreds of workplace restaurants where we work.

We found that working on this project with Oxford University made us think about how we approach sustainability within the workplace, as we work towards our commitment to achieve climate net zero by 2030.

We also know that meat and dairy carry a hefty carbon price tag, so we know by making changes to our menu we can have a significant impact.

Following the successful LEAP pilot last year, we currently use its eco-labelling in locations across our B&I estate and are excited about the foundation this work has provided as developments in this space continue.

For us, it wasn’t about just ticking a box, we had to change our approach. Additionally, we have also looked at how we make our dishes inclusive and nudging consumers into making more sustainable and healthier choices, while also continuing to deliver great tasting food.

This is important, given surveys which have indicated that just under half of customers believe they know what a sustainable diet consists of (48%) with marginally more reporting that they understand the impact their diet has on the environment (51%).

As a result of this work we have been:

  • Consciously swapping out animal proteins for plants.
  • Talking to chefs about the importance of including wholefoods
  • Introducing a menu with a blend of plant-based and plant-forward dishes and that has more British produce overall.
  • Positioning plant-forward or plant-based options at the head of the menu, encouraging uptake

The 15% increase in sales of plant-based and vegetarian main meals in the past 12 months provides some evidence on the success of this approach and we’re looking forward to building on this.

We know that our work to achieve climate net zero is a journey and I have been really inspired by the enthusiasm and passion our culinary teams have shown as we adopt these new approaches to our menus.

We have received fantastic feedback from customers who are able to continue enjoying great food, with the added benefit of it being better for the planet as well. It’s a win-win!

We are continuing to learn more and more about the role of food and the environment and we will continue to evolve our menus.

Ryan Holmes (centre), Business and Industry Culinary Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland