The Association of Catering Excellence (ACE) has announced school foodservice firm the Brookwood Partnership as the winner of both categories at its second annual ACE Sustains 2014 awards.
The awards seek to recognise innovation in sustainability and corporate social responsibility, with two categories: the corporate award, which recognises the organisation as a whole, and the people award, which recognises an individual.
The Brookwood Partnership won the corporate award thanks to its Plant Matters scheme, which it uses to help generate and implement sustainable ideas in its schools. Launched in 2007, the scheme claims to have reduced waste by 47%, reduced deliveries by 30%, and promoted healthy eating and locally-sourced ingredients use.
Similarly, the company has raised enough in the past five years to help build a primary school in Uganda, and sponsor breakfast for underprivileged children in the UK.
Bartlett Mitchell and Kent Frozen Foods were in second and third place.
The People award was won by Sandy Hayton, chef manager at Greenfield School in Woking (a Brookwood Partnership school), thanks to her team's role in reducing plate waste in the dining room.
This was achieved through measures such as a bucket at the end of each table, with plate waste weighed and measured. This means that children ask for smaller portions, and then eat everything on their plate. This has also saved £400 in costs per month.
Beverley Richardson, general manager at Wakehurst Place (Ampersand) was in second place, and joint third place went to Vacherin's Sustainability Focus Group and Phil Clerkin, account manager at Credit Suisse (Restaurant Associates).
The prize for the team will include dinner at London restaurant Grain Store, which won Menu of the Year at this year's Cateys.
Judges included Shirley Duncalf, head of sustainability for Bidvest 3663; Brendan Hunter, hospitality manager, WRAP; Mark Lineham, managing director, Sustainable Restaurant Association; and Mark Jankovich, chief executive at Delphis Eco.
Sponsors included Mondelez, Bibendum, Reynolds, Unilever, and Nestle.
The evening also commended other sustainable ideas including Elior's ‘You & Life' programme, Bartlett Mitchell's ‘Green Bee', and CH& Co's commitment to sustainable fish.
Judge Mark Lineham said: "There has been a clear improvement in the focus of the entries since last year. Sustainability is an irreversible trend, and businesses that aren't doing it now will need to start doing it. We see so much waste and over indulgence in our industry. Someone has to be brave enough to break the mould."