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Press Release

    News and Media - Interserve

Interserve praised for green agenda

by Interserve Press Office | Nov 28, 2018
Interserve praised for green agenda

Interserve has undertaken a wide range of initiatives to improve the company’s environmental footprint and has won praise from clients for its approach.

The business has worked with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to achieve significant results, including a water capture project that resulted in the FCO being the first public sector finalist in the BIFM awards hosted last year and creating a wildflower area at Hanslope Park.

A coffee cup recycling initiative has been implemented at Interserve’s LandSecurities contract; the firm’s Ingenuity House building is pioneering ways to avoid plastic usage and uses paper-based takeaway containers and the firm’s cleaning operation has drastically reduced the quantity of waste it creates . More recently, the FCO has praised Interserve after the company responded positively to a campaign to drastically reduce the amount of single use plastic at its UK catering facilities.

In April, the FCO pledged to be a trailblazer in cutting down on single use plastic. Interserve’s Facilities Management team was given the challenge to remove single use plastics and to replace items with sustainable materials, removing items such as: disposable cutlery, straws, salad containers and hot and cold drinks cups.

The aim of the FCO’s ‘Beyond Plastic’ initiative is to remove all avoidable single use plastics from catering services this year - and globally by 2020.

Peter Jones, the FCO’s chief operating officer, said: “I am grateful to Interserve for the constructive way in which they have supported our #Beyondplastic campaign.

“We set an ambitious target of removing all avoidable single-use plastic from the FCO’s UK estate by 2018, and the positive approach of Interserve’s Facilities Management team was essential.

“I’m pleased that by working with them we have removed more than 95 per cent of avoidable single-use plastic from our UK operations in under 12 months.”

Trevor Stagg, Interserve’s group manager for catering services in the UK is delighted that the FCO has been impressed by the company’s swift response.

He said: “Identifying ways to replace single use plastic with sustainable alternatives or remove them completely from the waste stream has been challenging, but we all appreciate the need to improve our impact on the environment.

“All of the grab and go consumables available to customers are now made of sustainable materials with the vast majority being plant based and therefore compostable.

“We have been only too happy to work with the FCO as part of their #Beyondplastic campaign.”

From 1st October, plastic bottles have been replaced by combination of aluminium cans, glass and the introduction of a self-service carbonated drinks machine with beverages consumed from metal receptacles badged ‘FCO bottles for life’. It is estimated this will remove more than 100,000 plastic bottles annually from the waste stream.

Facts and figures

Since January on the FCO contract Interserve has completely eliminated the FCO’s four largest sources of single-use plastic: coffee cups, water cups, take-away cutlery and food containers, and all bottled drinks.

  • Reduced the number of single use plastic items in the catering business from 310 to 10
  • Removed 1.56 million (out of 1.6 million) pieces of plastic from the UK operation annually
  • Removed over half a million plastic disposable coffee cups
  • By October 2018, no plastic hot beverage cups in use due to a 50p latte levy; introduction of china coffee mugs; and switching remaining disposable cups to a bio-degradeable alternative
  • Hot beverage cups were our largest single source (48%) of plastic waste in our UK catering in 2017
  • Removed over quarter of a million plastic water cups
  • 285,600 were used in FCO's UK Estate in 2017
  • By October 2018, no more plastic cups are in use in the UK; replaced with vegware & glass alternatives
  • Water cups were our second largest (21%) of plastic waste in our UK catering in 2017.
  • Removed all plastic take-away cutlery and food containers (231,286 were used in FCO's UK estate in 2017).
  • By April 2018, these had been entirely replaced with vegware biodegradeable alternatives.
  • Removed over 100,000 bottled drinks bottles.
  • Removed from sale all plastic drinks bottles in UK estate in September 2018, replacing with cans and drinks dispensers (with re-useable bottles)
  • This was our fourth largest source (8%) of plastic waste in our UK catering in 2017.
  • The sole exception is milk bottles: we have introduced large 4-pint bottles launched a “milk-club” campaign to reduce individual use of 1-pint bottles.


For further information please contact:

Stephen Hallmark
07484 085 098

Interserve is one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies. Everything we do is shaped by our core values. We are a leader in innovative and sustainable outcomes for our clients and a great place to work for our people. We offer advice, design, construction, equipment, facilities management and frontline public services. We are headquartered in the UK and FTSE-listed. We have gross revenues of £3.7 billion and a workforce of circa 75,000 people worldwide.
For news follow @interservenews
For facilities management updates follow: @INT_FM

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