Suzanne James is proud to have achieved "Zero Waste to Landfill" status. 80% of our waste is recycled directly, and the remainder is taken, via a single weekly bin collection to the SELCHP Energy Recovery Facility in Deptford where it is used to help generate electricity.
For years we have recycled glass, paper, plastic, aluminium, cardboard and tin. More recently we have arranged for our waste cooking oil to be converted to Bio-diesel and 100% of our food waste is collected by a recycling scheme which produces high quality, sterile fertiliser which is used on farms around London.
Since 2005 we have won numerous awards, including two Green Apple National Gold awards, and a South London Business Award in the category 'Best Business for Sustainability'. We continue to work with Tree Appeal, planting a British Broad Leafed tree on behalf of our client every time we take our vans out to an event.
By choosing to pursue a policy of using seasonal produce, from within the UK, we are decreasing the size of our carbon footprint and supporting British farmers and producers. Without demand for local produce, it will become increasingly expensive and ultimately will not be available. Meanwhile, whilst we are happy to provide jugs of tap water at our events, when bottled water is required we supply FRANK water because all profits from this product fund global clean water projects. Every litre purchased in the UK provides over 200 litres of safe drinking water for villagers at the FRANK projects in developing countries; this is the equivalent of four months of safe, clean water for one child. In one year we purchased 960 bottles, which funded access to safe, clean drinking water to 48 people for life.
Our Wine List includes ethical, sustainable, fair-trade and organic wines from both the United Kingdom and overseas. This enables our customers to choose a wine that not only compliments their meal, but also supports good causes.
We take great pride in knowing that we have significantly reduced our impact on the environment, but strongly believe that being green is not about ticking a few boxes and then sitting back and congratulating ourselves. None of us can be perfectly ‘green’, but we should always be looking at ways to improve on our existing achievements.
Since April 2011 we have been supporting a Heritage Lottery funded project run by the Garden Museum in Lambeth. Its aim is to develop a training programme in sustainability for young museum professionals. This is the first scheme of its type in the UK. We are supporting the training of 4 students (1 per year over 4 years) in order to equip them with the skills to be able to place sustainability at the core of museum practice. Our commitment is to dedicate one day per month to teaching the trainees about sustainable catering. Here is a quote from our first sustainability trainee;
"I have felt it an absolute privilege to work with you, and the rest of the team- you have been so much of my inspiration through the last year. My two major projects, the Zero Waste to Landfill and the EcoWeddings have been inspired and influenced by you. You have given me so much hope that my dream of a sustainable society is actually 100% achievable and for that I am truly thankful. I will continue to spread the word about your amazing food and business".
Trainee in the Sustainability of Heritage