Sustainability / Environment

Humane Society Scorecard Exposes Gap Between Sustainability Pledges and Practice in US Foodservice

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has issued its latest Protein Sustainability Scorecard. This annual report evaluates major US foodservice companies’ efforts to diminish environmental and animal welfare impacts through their purchasing and menu selections, particularly as these companies serve vast networks, including schools, corporate offices, and stadiums.

“All companies should be transparent about their sustainability targets, goals, and progress”

Director of Food Service Innovation at the Humane Society, Kate Watts, underscored the need for transparency, stating, “All companies should be transparent about their sustainability targets, goals and progress. Customers deserve to know which companies are following through and which companies are falling short of their commitments.”

Providing a ‘hard look’ at company initiatives

“The HSUS Protein Sustainability Scorecard was created to provide the public and customers with a hard look at what companies are actually doing to keep their promises,” Watts continues.

The evaluation covered the top 50 foodservice providers in the US, focusing on transparency, set goals, and the execution of these commitments towards sustainability. Findings from the scorecard show that despite some companies setting ambitious sustainability goals, few have shown real progress beyond their initial pledges.

HHS LLC
© HHS LLC

Evaluating sustainability commitments

The assessment also recognizes companies excelling in their sustainability efforts by increasing plant-based menu options and reducing animal protein usage. Companies such as Guckenheimer, Metz Culinary Management, Sodexo USA, and HHS, LLC are noted for their high scores.

Guckenheimer aims for 55% of its offerings to be plant-based by 2025 and a reduction in animal protein purchases by 2027. Similarly, Sodexo USA targets a 50% plant-based menu in its US Campus segment by the same year. HHS, LLC also ranked at the top of the list, with a goal to reduce animal protein purchases by 25% by 2027 and make 50% of all retail menus plant-based by 2025.

Call for accelerated change 

The HSUS report urges an acceleration towards more sustainable and plant-based solutions in the foodservice industry, citing the impact of animal-based foods on global greenhouse emissions.

Karla Dumas, vice president of Farm Animal Protection at HSUS and a registered dietitian, pointed out the utility of the scorecard in making informed decisions: “This scorecard shines a spotlight on the companies that are committed to real change and those that do not or choose to operate without transparency. If I were hiring a food service caterer, I would be paying attention to this list.”

Find the full report here.

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