Within ESS, we’re undertaking considerable work to operate more sustainably, and we’re committed to progressing on this journey.

In 2021 our parent company, Compass Group UK & Ireland, announced its commitment to reach Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions across its own operations and its value chain (GHG protocol Scope 1/2/3) by 2030. This is in line with targets to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

This was the foodservice industry’s first commitment to a Climate Net Zero economy, with the company announcing changes at scale to ensure that sustainability is a core business objective across all services.

Three people stand on a stage in front of a screen. The display reads 'future of food - creating a sustainable food system'


Our Climate Promise provides more detail on the strategy to create a sustainable food system that delivers Climate Net Zero, including the guiding philosophies we will champion this decade. It has two clear objectives: 

  1. To support industry-wide systems change for a sustainable food system.
  2. To enable meaningful change across our wider business activities in both the public and private sector.

We also recognise the importance of developing a Climate Net Zero strategy that isn’t blinkered by carbon impacts alone and acknowledge that environmental issues are interconnected. Our key focus areas reflect this and include:

  • Climate
  • Biodiversity
  • Deforestation
  • Waste
  • Water
  • Plastics and packaging


Our roadmap sets out the milestones to delivering our challenging target, incorporating:  

  • Collaboration to improve our business and be a catalyst for wider change
  • Carbon reduction to meet Climate Net Zero emissions by 2030 in the right way
  • Carbon compensation in partnership with high quality UK&I based carbon removal projects evolving to the neutralisation of any remaining carbon emissions.

Our commitments include the launch of a seed investment fund of £1 million to support the development of carbon reduction and sustainable food production innovation.

Our Carbon Reduction Plan is available here

An infographic setting out Compass Group's roadmap to Net Zero


Our targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in line with a 1.5°C trajectory as set out in the Paris Agreement.

The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets.

The assessors commended our ‘best practice approach’.

A logo for science based targets


Compass Group UK & Ireland has appointed leading University of Oxford expert, Professor Sir Charles Godfray FRS, as Chief Climate and Sustainability Advisor to its Executive Team.

Professor Godfray is a population biologist with broad interests in the environmental sciences and has published in fundamental and applied areas of ecology, evolution and epidemiology. He has spent his career at Oxford and Imperial College and is currently Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Population Biology at Oxford.

In 2017 he was knighted for services to scientific research and for scientific advice to government.

A photograph of Charles Godfray. He wears a grey suit jacket, pale blue shirt and green tie


Robin Mills, MD, Compass Group UK&I said: “At Compass we are passionate about food and great services. We believe it is our responsibility to contribute towards a future of sustainable food production and regenerative agricultural principles and practices, and a commitment to Climate Net Zero is an important milestone. Critical to the delivery of our targets will be the partnerships with our clients, suppliers, employees, civil society partners and government. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of foodservice.”