Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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Jamie Oliver’s Big Sustainability Push


In the company’s most recent climate pledge, the Jamie Oliver Group lays out significant sustainability goals, including a big shift away from meat.

Iconic British chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver has long been a champion of sustainability. The Jamie Oliver Group is a certified B Corp, and the chef and personality’s food ethos is all about eating better, cleaner, and more sustainably for personal and planetary health.

Now, the company says it’s taking big steps toward a more sustainable future, including plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 across its entire supply chain, operations, and partnerships. By the end of the year, the Group says it will promote food sustainability across all of its content platforms, with a focus on reducing waste.

Image courtesy The Jamie Oliver Group

The Group says it will also incorporate clearer sustainability goals into existing standards for food as well as non-food items such as the chef’s books. It will also increase its social impact work across food education and campaigns.

But the Group’s most significant sustainability pivot is the announcement that by next year, 65 percent of all of Oliver’s new recipes, whether in books, on television shows, or shared across social media will be meat-free or meat reduced.

Livestock production is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, producing more than 14 percent of all emissions.

A more sustainable food system

Creating a more sustainable and fairer food system is one of the most pressing challenges of our time – and something we have campaigned on for many years,” the Group said in a statement on the Jamie Oliver Group website. “Our food system is responsible for ⅓ of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and for each of us, the food we eat accounts for about 25% of our carbon footprint.”

Oliver has been a vocal advocate for vegetable-forward dishes, publishing a plant-based cookbook called Veg in 2019. But the chef has equally embraced his love for meat and specifically its place in British cooking.

“As a B Corp and campaigning organisation, we care deeply about our impact on people and the planet and our teams are already doing some fantastic work,” said Zoe Collins, Managing Director of the Jamie Oliver Group. “Our content champions seasonality and high environmental and animal welfare standards, for example, and we offer plenty of inspiration to help home cooks eat more veg and reduce food waste. We know that we have a key role to play in helping to shape a more sustainable global food system, and we want to use the power of our platforms, and our ability to reach a huge global audience, to truly inspire people to eat a more sustainable diet.” 

Image courtesy The Jamie Oliver Group

The company says its aim as a global food brand is to inspire nutritious and environmentally sustainable diets. “We campaign for legislation that prioritises public health and high food standards,” the Group said. “And we want to empower people with the skills to cook healthy food through our food education programmes.”

To that end, the Group earned its B Corp status in 2020, a move it says is holding the company to higher standards for social and environmental efforts as well as accountability and transparency across all areas of the business.

In order to build a better and fairer food system, we need to change our food environment to make healthier, nutritious and sustainable food the norm across our high streets, workplaces, homes, schools and hospitals,” the Group said. “We also need to transition to a net-zero carbon emission food system – by dramatically reducing food waste, significantly reducing the consumption of animal based proteins, and embracing seasonality.”

Related: What Happens When Butchers Give Up Meat? Very Good Things.


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