Fitzers Catering, the event catering specialists, has become the first catering company in Ireland to have been awarded the world-class sustainability standard ISO 20121, a specification for a Sustainability Management System for Events. Indeed, Fitzers is one of the first catering companies across the globe to have achieved the ISO 20121 certification to date. Fitzers Catering holds contracts for all catering and hospitality requirements at Croke Park Stadium, The Convention Centre Dublin, Titanic Belfast and Slane Castle.
The ISO 20121 certification was introduced internationally to coincide with the London 2012 Olympics. Awarded by SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company which is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity, the certification is a management system standard that has been designed to help organisations in the events industry to improve the sustainability of their event related activities, products and services.
In order to obtain the certification of ISO 20121, Fitzers Catering devised a full programme to demonstrate sustainability within all levels of its management system including financial, economic, social and environmental issues related to its operations.
Fitzers Catering has introduced a number of initiatives across all venues over the past year to build a sustainable ethos. The company developed a brand manual for each venue outlining guidelines on reducing waste to landfill and promoting recycling. By ensuring all waste is properly segregated and stored, the Fitzers staff contributed hugely to the CCD managing to send only 5% of its waste to landfill from January to September 2012. Fitzers also contributed to Croke Park Stadium achieving a recycling rate of 70%.
By actively reviewing suppliers and using those closest to the venues and reducing deliveries from 5 times a week to 3 times, Fitzers has significantly reduced their carbon footprint.
The company set up workshops for their employees and also for suppliers to ensure that both were working together as one team to ensure the best practice was running across all areas. During these workshops Fitzers implemented a number of initiatives including: the aim to recycle 100% of oil used for cooking, the ensuring of full traceability, the sourcing of food locally when possible and the introduction of the use of fully recyclable containers for deliveries from suppliers. Fitzers also introduced checklists to ensure equipment is checked and turned off each night. A quarterly newsletter was developed to support and encourage two-way communications between staff and suppliers.
From a social perspective Fitzers Catering began an initiative to employ people from the local area as part of their full time and casual workforce. Through running local recruitment days with an aim in getting people back to work in the local area of Croke Park and CCD, Fitzers now employs 38% local staff with employees from Dublin 1 and Dublin 3. Similarly in Belfast, Fitzers worked with the Department of Employment and Learning in order to recruit staff for Titanic Belfast as well as working with a disability group to ensure fairness and equality in recruitment. Fitzers also altered the delivery times of goods at all 3 venues to accommodate the community by avoiding noisy early morning and late night deliveries.
Fitzers Catering has won many accolades including Best Event Catering Company in 2011 and Deloitte Best Managed Company in 2012.