Social Responsibility in a Commercial Environment

As a social enterprise we are fully committed to being socially responsible and we are working in cooperation with our customers and communities as we journey towards a greener and healthier future.

Reducing Plastic Usage

With plastic pollution and its effects on the environment becoming more prevalent, businesses have a responsibility to look at new sustainable solutions to reduce their impact. Small changes can have a massive impact and we are working more closely with our communities to identify new solutions and source alternatives wherever possible.

In 2018, our Cafeology Cafés discontinued the purchases of disposable plastic water cups and removed from free public access the provision of paper napkins, cup holders and plastic straws. Each are still available on request at the counter.

In Autumn 2018, we pledged to recycle up to 6 million coffee cups by 2023. We started to implement our plan to eliminate the usage of 1.2 million disposable coffee cups a year by introducing 100% compostable cups within our in-house Cafeology Cafés. We also introduced 100% compostable cups for our 100% natural fruit and vegetable smoothies along with straws made from compostable corn starch.  We are in the process of removing all plastic straws and working with our ‘Slush’ supplier to seek an alternative spoon-straw, thus further reducing impact on the environment. The cups are an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional disposable cups as they are lined with plant-based PLA, as opposed to PE plastic that many other manufacturers use. The cups are widely accepted for food waste recycling. A double walled design provides great insulating properties and the paper is from a sustainable source, with the lining made from plants not oil.

In addition to this change, our cafés now also offer for sale a Places Leisure Reusable Cup. They come with a free hot drink on purchase and provides our customers with subsequent savings on hot drink purchases, as well as reducing the amount of waste produced on site – great for our communities and environment.

Healthier Food and Beverage Options

We provide healthy eating options, as central to our core business, offering our customers a balanced choice of food and beverage that replenishes and nourishes their needs. We are committed to promoting nutrition, plus health and wellness, through the products we supply to our customers.

Last year health services were incentivised to improve the food and beverage choices they offer to meet NHS CQUIN requirements, which specify that:
• 80% of confectionery and sweets stocked do not exceed 250 kcal (Places Leisure already ensure that 100% of our vending confectionary and sweets stocked do not exceed 250 kcal).
• 75% of pre-packed sandwiches and other savoury pre-packed meals contain 400 kcal or less per serving and do not exceed five grams of saturated fat per 100g. (This is currently available from our supplier but depends on the stock displayed on a daily basis within each of our cafes).
• 80% of drinks line stocked must have less than 5g of added sugar per 100ml (100% of Places Leisure’s stocked vending drinks have less than 5g of added sugar per 100ml).

We continue to provide our customers with information, guidance and advice so they can make informed and healthier choices.