How We Raised Our Sustainability Game in 2021
Welcome to our first ever sustainability report – a chance for us to look back on another extraordinary year for Gousto.
There’s still a lot to do in the race to protect our planet.
Right now, the food industry is the second biggest contributor to climate change, but also has many of the solutions we need to tackle it. That means it’s our responsibility at Gousto to do what we can to improve things.
The good news is our business model reduces food waste and emissions by its very nature. And while there are plenty of challenges left to tackle, we’re at the beginning of a very exciting journey. Here’s what we delivered in 2021 to work toward our goal of every meal leaving the world better off.
Proud to be a B Corp. But wait, what’s a B Corp?
Joining the B Corp community in August was definitely a highlight last year. If you’re not sure what B Corp is, here’s the lowdown, but in short – it’s a group of companies who believe in doing business responsibly and being a force for good.
We couldn’t be prouder. Becoming a B Corp doesn’t just mean sustainable street cred – it confirms that we’re focused on doing right by people and the planet. And with our fellow B Corps, we’ll be making an even bigger impact than we could on our own.
Slashing CO2: How much does Gousto reduce your carbon footprint?
*Klaxon sounds* In 2021 we cut our customers’ carbon footprint by a whopping 69,000 tonnes.
In fact, if you’re a customer, a weekly Gousto box reduces your carbon emissions by 23% compared to the same shop from a supermarket. So the more boxes you order, the more emissions you take out of the system.
We’re not sitting on our laurels, either. To reduce more of our emissions, we’re finding more ways to source sustainably, adding more plant-based recipes and seasonal ingredients to our menus, replacing more packaging with recyclable alternatives, and making all our sites more energy efficient.
Fighting food waste: Where do undelivered Gousto boxes go?
In the UK, we throw away around 9.5 million tonnes of food a year. That’s 15 billion meals – enough to feed the population 3 meals a day for 11 weeks!
Our model cuts food waste by design, and we’ve introduced a grading system to redistribute edible food to people in need with the help of our partner FareShare. They turned them into 424,469 nutritious meals last year, sent to 1,961 local charities and communities. It prevented 285 tonnes of wasted carbon emissions and 267 million litres of water. Yowza.
Anything left is fed to animals, composted or sent for anaerobic digestion.
We have a policy around here: Zero waste to landfill
None of our food gets sent to landfill, ever. Nada. Niet. It’s just not what we’re about. But we couldn’t do it without our waste providers, FirstMile for London, and Veolia for our fulfilment sites. They both operate a zero-to-landfill policy – right up our street.
What’s Gousto doing about our packaging?
Tackling plastic is tricky when it comes to food. It’s often crucial for keeping ingredients safe and fresh (spinach, we’re looking at you). Despite this, 58% of the packaging across Gousto’s own-brand ingredients is now recyclable – and now you can recycle a lot of our plastic film in larger supermarkets.
Also in 2021, Gousto trialled the world’s first edible stock sachet, Xampla, made from pea protein.
Rest assured, plastic is high on our priority list. We’ve given ourselves until 2025 (in line with the UK Plastics Pact) to make all our own packaging 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable. It’s a huge goal, but that’s never stopped us before.
Health and happiness: How Gousto’s upping the cauliflower steaks
More plant-based and veg options
It’s 2022 and you want options. Now one third of our weekly menu is vegetarian or plant-based. More choice, more veg, and this just in, there’ll be even more where that came from very soon.
Healthy, on your terms
You might have seen two healthy ranges arrive on the menu last year, Calorie Controlled and Lighter.
Getting your reds, yellows and dark leafy greens really does amp up the vits and mins in your diet. Since last year, you’ll find an average of 1.8 portions of veg per recipe, and 66% of recipes had at least 2 of your 5-a-day.
Fun fact: Overall in 2021, Gousto customers piled their plates with 148,235,667 portions of veg.
Giving at Gousto
Last year we donated £150k to charities, including our staff’s own contributions through Gousto’s Payroll Giving & Matching Scheme. Donations supported those with mental health concerns and complex illnesses, people living in poverty or who are homeless and more.
The pandemic was a challenging time, especially for the hospitality industry. We created the Cookstarter campaign to help five local restos, chosen by the public, from the UK’s diverse food scene.
The five winning independent restaurants each whipped up a dish for the Gousto menu, received £10,000 funding from us (plus your tips from TipJar) and a year of business coaching.
Living the team. No wait, dream.
In 2021, our team grew from 1,028 to 1,625 Goustonians, and we were nominated by the Otta Rocket List 2021 as one of the fastest-growing London companies to fast-track your career.
Real Living Wage
Everyone deserves fair pay. We’re keeping ourselves accountable by joining the Living Wage Foundation as a Living Wage Employer. We also like to give other companies a nudge to do the same.
We know we’ve got a long way to go, but we look forward to the challenges ahead, and can’t wait to see where it takes us.
Thank you to everyone who’s helped us along the way.
Hungry for more info? To read all the ins-and-outs of our efforts, you can find our 2021 sustainability report here.