- NEWS & CHAT
On Wednesday 15th July the Association of Catering Excellence (ACE) announced the winners of ACE Sustains 2015 at their annual summer networking event in the tranquil gardens at Stationers’ Hall. ACE Sustains is now in its third year and celebrates those in the food service sector that champion sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
There were 2 awards, one for an organisation, the other for an individual within an organisation.
The corporate award, sponsored by Douwe Egberts, was presented to West Horsley Dairy for creating the UK’s greenest food service lorry.
A food service vehicle needs to have the facility to transport chilled/frozen goods so there is a need to operate a refrigeration unit as well as to propel the vehicle. Given that a standard 7.5 tonne refrigerated truck only achieves 13mpg, West Horsley Dairy wanted to find an eco-friendly solution to making deliveries but found that there was nothing suitable on the market. Undeterred by the fact that a workable solution did not exist, they teamed up with Mercedes Benz UK for the chassis cab, and pioneering family firm, Jackson coachworks to build and design the refrigerated body. The chiller box units are based on eutectic refrigeration, using a semi-solid gel that radiates cold air when it is thawing, much like freezer blocks in a picnic box.
Catherine and Philip Colton founded West Horsley Dairy 23 years ago with one van and a shed in the back garden. Their aim then was to deliver a better quality of product and service than their competitors were providing. It is this same spirit that has led them to develop this unique vehicle.
Catherine says: ‘Our aim was to produce the most ‘realistically’ affordable, environmentally friendly food service lorry for London. The combined effect of the electric hybrid drive train and the eutectic refrigeration system is allowing us to achieve a 7mpg saving, week in week out. We are hoping Boris Johnson notices the green credentials of these new vehicles and grants us exemption from the London Congestion Charge!
This is the first time we’ve entered ACE Sustains and we’re thrilled to have won. We’ve been members of ACE for 4 years, and up till now, the Quiz Night has been one of our favourites.’
Lusso and The London Linen Group were runners up.
The people award went to Lin Dickens and the Green Bee team at Bartlett Mitchell for their ‘Read Your Wrap’ initiative.
Team member Hannah Carmichael came up with the bright idea of using sandwich wrappers to get green messages across. They now use biodegradeable greaseproof paper, printed with vegetable inks for communicating with customers, rather than relying on the traditional Table Talkers and printed leaflets.
Each wrap has a selection of stories and news snippets about the eco-friendly initiatives that are taking place around the business. They are updated quarterly, and the team are often asked when the next one is coming out.
Hannah says: ‘People are bombarded with notices, messages and signs everywhere and it’s hard to make information available without it being overwhelming. We needed a smart way to bring it all together. It’s amazing to have people coming up to us and saying things like ‘I didn’t realise we used free range eggs in all our cooking’. These are things that they have noticed because they read it on their wrap whilst eating their lunchtime sandwich!’
For their prize, Lin and her team will enjoy the Tasting Menu for 4 people at Michelin-starred Fera at Claridge's (sponsored by Pelican):
Renowned chef Simon Rogan's ever-changing tasting menu captures the spirit of the ACE Sustains competition. He uses the finest organic ingredients, and looks for produce in its prime to create truly seasonal menus that change with the weather.
Runners up in the people category were Lorna Burns, Brand Manager for KPMG, Restaurant Associates and Gary Vaughan, Catering Manager, Sodexo Defence.
The panel of expert judges included Shirley Duncalf, Head of Sustainability for Bidvest 3663; Brendan Hunter, Hospitality Manager, WRAP; Mark Linehan, Managing Director, Sustainable Restaurant Association; Mark Jankovich, Chief Executive, Delphis Eco.
Judge Brendan Hunter said “It’s not just about innovation. It’s easy to have ideas, but they’re not always practical. What impressed us this year is the systematic approach that companies have taken. We’ve seen organisations measuring, analysing and putting proper processes in place to ensure that these green initiatives can really make an impact.
We really liked the sandwich wrappers – what a great vehicle for getting messages across subtly without appearing to preach. The fact that people are waiting for the next edition speaks volumes.
West Horsley Dairy’s truck has the potential to really make a difference and have an effect on the whole industry. Their determination and collaboration with other businesses made it work, and is particularly impressive for a small family business.”