Sodexo and Nestlé are the latest signatories to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, the initiative which sees high-profile businesses use their everyday spending to transform lives.

The Buy Social Corporate Challenge is run by Social Enterprise UK and brings together corporate partners from a range of industries with a collective ambition to spend £1 billion on social enterprises.

The Challenge helps social enterprises grow their revenues and impact by tapping into corporate supply chains. Social enterprises reinvest profit or donate them to their local communities to create positive social change. This allows them to tackle social problems, improve people’s life chances and provide training and employment opportunities for marginalised communities.

Sodexo and Nestlé have worked together for seven years, with Sodexo providing catering and integrated facilities management services at 14 Nestlé sites in the UK and Ireland.

Sodexo has a history of partnering with social enterprises, with nearly 130 currently used in its supply chain, and an ongoing commitment to supporting social enterprises through its supply chain inclusion programme.

Nestlé also works with a number of social enterprises and joining the Buy Social Corporate Challenge is the next step in its ‘Procurement for Good’ approach, which aims to focus on helping more communities and increasing the diversity of Nestlé’s supplier base.

Sean Haley, Regional Chair, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said:

“We are delighted to be making this commitment to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge alongside our partner, Nestlé, as it demonstrates that we are aligned in our determination to ensure that our purchasing power is used in a way that has a positive impact on society. We are proud of the work we do to support social enterprises through our supply chain. At Sodexo we have our own commitments, through our social impact pledge, around supporting marginalised communities into employment, and ensuring we are sourcing responsibly, so it’s vitally important to us that we partner with other organisations who share these values.”

Robin Sundaram, Responsible Sourcing Manager at Nestlé UK & Ireland, commented: 

“When making procurement decisions, we incorporate the environmental, social and economic impacts of our decisions. We’re excited to join with Sodexo in the Buy Social Corporate Challenge so we can help even more communities by supporting more social enterprises.  We also want to increase the diversity of our supplier base, as we know that social enterprises are intrinsically more diverse than small, medium enterprises and larger organisations.”

One social enterprise that Sodexo and Nestlé already work with is WildHearts Office, which provides office supplies and is a fundamental supplier to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge signatories. WildHearts creates social change globally and locally, supporting initiatives that include addressing social mobility in the UK, such as its Micro Tyco entrepreneurial training programme for schools, colleges and universities, and addressing gender inequality in the developing world.

Social Enterprise UK will publish its fifth Buy Social Corporate Challenge impact report next month, showing progress made on this ground-breaking initiative over the last 12 months. 27 high-profile companies are currently signed up, representing a wide range of industries.

Charlie Wigglesworth – Deputy Chief Executive at Social Enterprise UK, added:

“Social enterprises help corporate clients to build innovation, diversity, sustainability and social value into their supply chains, and we are delighted to see Nestlé and Sodexo join 25 other forward-thinking businesses in taking advantage of this opportunity. We look forward to working with both partners to unlock the power of their day-to-day spend to positively transform lives.”



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About Sodexo

UK and Ireland 

In the UK and Ireland Sodexo employs around 30,000 people, and partners with clients in many sectors across business and industry; schools and universities; sports and leisure; energy and resources; government and agencies; healthcare; justice and defence.

Sodexo’s connected; people-centric approach brings together a diverse range of expertise. The breadth of services it offers ranges from food and hospitality; cleaning; reception; concierge (Circles); security; property management and technical services through to data driven workplace strategy and design (Wx); employee engagement and recognition services (Sodexo Engage) and personal home services through Prestige Nursing + Care and the Good Care Group.

Vital Spaces is Sodexo’s value proposition that puts people at the heart of everything we do, bringing together services and solutions and focusing on the productivity and wellbeing of people wherever they are

Sodexo Group

Founded in Marseille in 1966 by Pierre Bellon, Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, an essential factor in individual and organizational performance.

Operating in 64 countries, Sodexo serves 100 million consumers each day through its unique combination of On-site Services, Benefits & Rewards Services and Personal & Home Services.

Sodexo provides clients an integrated offering developed over more than 50 years of experience: from food services, reception, maintenance and cleaning, to facilities and equipment management; from services and programs fostering employees’ engagement to solutions that simplify and optimize their mobility and expenses management, to in-home assistance, child care centres and concierge services.

Sodexo’s success and performance are founded on its independence, its sustainable business model and its ability to continuously develop and engage its 420,000 employees throughout the world.

Sodexo is included in the CAC Next 20, CAC 40 ESG, FTSE 4 Good and DJSI indices.

Key Figures

  • 19.3 billion euro in Fiscal 2020 consolidated revenues
  • 420,000 employees as at August 31, 2020
  • #1 France-based private employer worldwide
  • 64 countries, 100 million consumers served daily
  • 12.1 billion euro in market capitalization as at March 31, 2021 

About Nestlé UK & Ireland

Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. With more than 2,000 brands, ranging from global icons to local favourites, we are present in 191 countries around the world.

About Social Enterprise UK

Social Enterprise UK is the largest network of certified social enterprises in the UK and the leading global authority on social enterprises. Together with our members we are the voice for the sector. We have led public policy for 15 years, helping pass the Social Value Act, and are a strategic partner to government. We exist to increase the profile of the sector through our campaigns and research, and build the markets for our members – working with some of the UK’s biggest companies to support them to bring social enterprises into their supply chains. Our members reflect the diversity of the sector ranging from local grass-roots organisations to multi-million-pound businesses. We see social enterprise as the future of business.

About Social Enterprises

Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social purpose that reinvest or donate over half their profits to further this social or environmental mission. They are an increasingly important part of the UK economy contributing £60 billion and employing 2 million people. Estimates are there are 100,000 in the UK. Research carried out by Social Enterprise UK, the membership body for the sector, shows they are outperforming traditional businesses when it comes to start-up rates, turnover growth and innovation. They are also ahead of the pack when it comes to workforce diversity and pay. For more information and statistics see Social Enterprise UK’s State of Social enterprise Report 2019 and the ‘Hidden Revolution’ report which showed the true scale and impact of the sector.