We were delighted to be featured by Evening Standard as one of the sustainable business pioneers powering a greener future. ‘The Sustainables’ series shone the spotlight on businesses at the forefront of environmental and social sustainability.
We were honoured to be featured alongside pioneers of the food and beverage scene. Take Gosnells of London which runs a sustainable mead brewery in Peckham. Gosnells is also just down the road from our very own Crane’s Kitchen! And then there is Skye Gyngell’s Michelin-star restaurant Spring. Spring operates a fully plastic free kitchen and shares our mission to make food-waste-forward cooking the stuff of fine dining.
The goal at Social Pantry has always been to make a meaningful impact through food. Our approach to sustainability shapes everything from our kitchen culture to the social partners we work with, to how we handle waste and how we plan menus in line with the seasons and an ever-changing food ecosystem. Here are our three main considerations as conscious caterers.
Putting The ‘Social’ in Social Pantry
We make an intended effort to be socially aware in everything we do. We’re the leader in ex-offender employment in hospitality and we try to challenge the industry norm with our culture. We operate a no-shouty kitchen, offer flexible working environments and provide ex-offenders with mentoring. Looking after our employees is really important to us. So whilst we deliver an excellent service, our clients can rest assured that what goes on behind the scenes at Social Pantry is socially responsible.
Our social partners
Since 2015, we’ve been working with several charities and suppliers that contribute to prison reformation and crime prevention.
Key4Life was the first charity that we started working with back in 2015. We have provided mentoring, work tasters and jobs to young men on release from prison through their rehabilitation programme.
We’re humbled to be one of the first 15 UK companies who employ ex-offenders to be given the prestigious YOUNITED Flag award from Key4Life.
Ban The Box
We are proud to be officially recognised as a Ban the Box employer, removing the tick box from our job application forms that asks about criminal convictions. This removes barriers to employment for ex-offenders and helps to bring down the £18 billion a year cost of re-offending. It also brings diverse talent and essential skills into the UK workforce.
Novus is the education department behind 80 HM Prisons across the UK. We work with them to offer workshops to help offenders improve their interview skills and provide ROTL employment opportunities.
Bad Boys Bakery
Bad Boys Bakery is a social enterprise inside HM Prison Brixton that helps offenders learn new skills that they can use on release from prison. They supply our sites with bakery goods and we have run workshops in collaboration with the charity. Find out more here.
For several years, we’ve been using Redemption Roasters to supply coffee to our sites. They operate out of Aylesbury Prison and offer a barista training programme to young offenders.
Go green or go home
We’re on a journey to become the first zero-waste catering company. It’s not going to happen overnight. However, we’re taking steps day by day to make change. We’ve just brought on board Nash, our sustainability consultant, to help us ensure we provide an environmentally conscious catering service. We’re excited to really push the boundaries in this space. Make sure to follow us for updates!
Food guided by the seasons
Seasonal menus are an expectation now for any food business these days – and rightly so. Our food is guided by the seasons, and we invest a lot of time into creating menus that use the best produce, locally available to us.
If you’re looking for a sustainable catering option for your wedding, event or workplace, get in touch!