With just over one week until the inaugural DeliveryX World, Robin Clark, senior director ESG & Sustainability, Just Eat Takeaway.com, sat down with Katie Searles to explain why collaboration is key to driving sustainable behaviour.
Q: JustEat has pledged to be Net Zero by 2030, how will you achieve this? And are you on target?
We’re committed to driving sustainability through the food delivery sector in a credible way and doing what we can to reduce the environmental impact of our business and wider network. As such, we’ve implemented a target for Just Eat Takeaway.com’s direct operations to be Net Zero by 2030. Our target, which covers scope 1 and 2 emissions for our global business, is founded upon a comprehensive assessment of our global carbon footprint. To meet this target, we are:
- Optimising our heating and cooling systems to be more efficient
- Switching to renewable electricity contracts across our facilities
- Transitioning 100% of our corporate car fleet to electric vehicles
Q: Removing single-use plastic must be quite a challenge for companies working with food products. What can be done to limit the amount of plastic used?
As a leading online food delivery business, we have an opportunity to drive change in the industry and guide our partners about what they can do to tackle plastic pollution and use more sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic packaging.
While all of the partners on our platform are independent of our business and as such, the packaging they choose to use is not in our direct control, we take our role seriously and do what we can to drive more sustainable behaviour across the industry. We know that there are still challenges in the sector and there is still a way to go in finding alternatives for the variety of different cuisine types. This is why we believe the focus should be on testing and funding credible solutions for all types of cuisines – this will enable startups to scale, driving investment in innovative solutions resulting in more sustainable solutions that will cater to consumer needs.
This is also why we’re taking a more practical approach at Just Eat Takeaway.com. Our focus is on testing new solutions which we then share with our partners. As part of this, we’ve been working with companies including Notpla and Vytal to test both sustainable single-use and reusable solutions across our markets.
Q: Making delivery greener is a big task, is partnership and collaboration key to cleaning up the final-mile?
Yes, of course. Collaboration is hugely valuable when it comes to driving sustainable behaviour and is a key part of our strategy in supporting our partners. As an example, we’ve been working with a sustainable start-up called Notpla, for the last five years. They recently were awarded the prestigious Earthshot Prize.
When we first visited their lab in Old Street back in 2018, it was clear that their ideas had scale potential. Notpla’s solution is lined with a seaweed and plant composite and contains no synthetic additives. We’ve gone from testing home-compostable sauce sachets in one restaurant to rolling out Notpla’s seaweed lined boxes across Europe and trialling their plastic-free alternatives at UEFA competitions. It’s great to see how our work has developed in this space – altogether, they have made more than 1 million takeaway boxes for Just Eat Takeaway.com.
More widely, we’re also leveraging the partnerships we’ve built. As an example, We’ve worked closely with UEFA over the last two years to help find a more sustainable solution to reducing single-use plastic waste at big sporting events. This year alone, over 175,000 of Notpla’s packaging was made available to football fans attending UEFA finals over the summer and we also partnered with Vytal to drive forward a circular packaging pilot at the Women’s Champions League final in The Netherlands. This has given us a real opportunity to encourage more sustainable behaviour across a much wider audience.
Clark will take to the stage at DeliveryX World on 12 October 2023 to share Just Eat’s sustainability mission.