Compass Group is a multinational contract food service company with activities in 50 different countries and serving 5.5 billion meals each year. It operates in five distinct sectors: business and industry, healthcare, education, sports and leisure, and defence. Most of its revenue comes from North America, followed by Europe. It also manages an International Clients' Programme that offers customers a centralised management approach. The group was founded in 1941 as Factory Canteens.
Compass Group ranks 3rd in the restaurants and food service segment, demonstrating leadership in this group. The company leads most of its peers in the governance and strategy and nutrition measurement areas, but achieves an average score when it comes to environment and social inclusion. In the governance and strategy measurement area, it is one of few companies demonstrating how and with which stakeholders it engages, while in nutrition, it is working towards making healthier foods available. The company has an opportunity to catch up to its peers by committing to environmental topics, such as setting a scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions target, and providing quantitative evidence of reducing plastic use. Like all of its peers, it can also improve in social inclusion by paying its workers a living wage.
Sustainable development strategy
Compass Group discloses a materiality assessment that covers all benchmark topics, listing items such as food safety, healthy lifestyles, food waste and human rights as material topics. The company has set targets covering all topics and discloses information on all of them.
Governance and accountability for sustainable development
Compass Group’s Corporate Responsibility Committee has oversight of and reviews and monitors the effectiveness of the group’s safety and sustainability strategies. The company has an opportunity to improve by linking sustainable development performance criteria in its remuneration policy.
Compass Group has a list of stakeholders with whom it engages and who are listed on its website. The focus areas for engagement include topics across the benchmark’s environment, nutrition and social inclusion dimensions. The company can improve by disclosing how it identified this list of stakeholders.
Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions
Compass Group has committed to set a target that will be approved by Science Based Targets initiative and is in line with a 1.5-degree scenario. While the target has not yet been set, the company discloses that it reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity ratio significantly from 2018 to 2019.
Protection of terrestrial natural ecosystems
Compass Group states that it is focused on achieving zero net deforestation through the increased use of sustainable palm oil, soya, beef, timber and paper materials in the products it sources globally. However, it does not report progress against the target by disclosing the proportion of commodities that are deforestation and conversion-free.
Compass Group discloses qualitative examples of providing plant-based foods, such as partnering with the Humane Society in the United States to provide plant-forward culinary training. However, it has an opportunity to strengthen its commitment by setting targets to increase the production and/or consumption of alternative proteins.
Food loss and waste
Compass Group has set a target to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. However, it does not report progress against this target except for providing qualitative examples of its efforts.
Plastic use and packaging waste
Compass Group provides several different ways in which its companies are reducing plastic and improving packaging. However, the company has not set a target, nor does it provide quantitative evidence of reducing plastics.
Availability of healthy foods
The company reports that 87% of its locations offer at least one healthy meal choice. It can improve its performance by providing more information on how it is reducing sugar, fat and salt and by increasing transparency around its definition of healthy.
Accessibility and affordability of healthy foods
Compass Group does not disclose a commitment and activities to improve the accessibility and affordability of healthy foods for vulnerable groups.
While the company discloses a programme in Ireland to improve workforce nutrition through nutrition consultations, it has an opportunity to develop this programme further to ensure the provision of healthy foods at work, nutrition education, nutrition-focused health checks and breastfeeding support, throughout its operations.
While the company discloses some compliance with food regulation standards, it has an opportunity to strengthen its commitment by disclosing the percentages of its own operations that are certified to a food safety scheme/certification programme recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative.
While the company commits to prohibiting child labour in its own operations and requires its suppliers to adhere to the same standard, it has an opportunity to disclose a policy requiring its suppliers to have an age-verification system in place.
While Compass Group states that it is committed to the ILO core labour rights, it has an opportunity to disclose a requirement that prohibits its suppliers from retaining workers’ personal documents and/or restricting workers’ freedom of movement.
Farmer and fisher productivity and resilience
While Compass Group provides evidence of activities that support small producers, such as purchasing 201 tonnes of food from local suppliers, it has an opportunity to disclose the impact of this and its other support programmes.
The company does not commit to recognising and respecting the legitimate tenure rights related to the ownership and use of land of local communities.
Core social indicators
The core social indicators are part of the social inclusion measurement area. These indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
Compass Group has a commitment to respect human rights and the ILO core labour rights. The company also identifies its human rights risks and impacts covering its own operations and supply chain, where relevant. In addition, Compass Group provides a grievance mechanism that is accessible to both its workers and external individuals. While the company discloses different actions for the mitigation and prevention of human rights violations, it is unclear how or if these actions are part of a global system to prevent, mitigate or remediate its human rights risks within its supply chain. Furthermore, the company does not provide examples of its engagement with stakeholders whose human rights may have been affected by its operations.
Compass Group commits to paying its workers a living wage and requires its supply chain partners to do the same. It has a commitment towards the health and safety of employees and gender equality and women’s empowerment. However, it fails to disclose its high-consequence injury rate, number of hours worked and types of injuries as well as other categories related to diversity (such as age or race) and the ratio of remuneration of women to men in its direct operations. Compass Group does not state that workers and business relationship employees shall not be required to work more than regular hours. Finally, the company does not disclose information about collective bargaining or its approach to supporting its supply chain in relation to this.
Compass Group prohibits bribery and corruption and takes steps to identify and address any incidents. The company has a global tax strategy, and while it discloses its current income tax expense, it does not disclose the amount of corporate tax paid for each jurisdiction that it operates in. The company makes clear that it does not make donations to political party funds or candidates. However, it does not have a policy that sets out its lobbying and political engagement approach. Finally, while the company discloses how it uses and shares personal data, it does not state that it gives the right to all users to retrieve a copy of collected information.