Roast cauliflower and chickpeas with pickled cucumber and red pepper sauce


ISS Guckenheimer Achieves Top Ranking for Protein Sustainability

For the third year in a row, ISS Guckenheimer has been ranked #1 for protein sustainability by the Humane Society of the United States.

Paul Fairhead

Chief Executive Officer, ISS Guckenheimer

For the third consecutive year, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has given ISS Guckenheimer the food service industry’s top ranking for protein sustainability. This ranking means a lot to us, as our organization remains dedicated to championing sustainability and embedding it into our daily operations. 

Our global food system accounts for about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and animal products like dairy and meat require a much larger carbon footprint to produce than plant-based foods. As a food service company, one of the most impactful ways we can reduce our emissions comes from shifting toward more plant-based options. However, this doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice critical aspects like flavor or quality. Guckenheimer’s expert chefs share our passion for making a positive environmental impact, and we’ve worked hard to ensure that our teams have the skills necessary to master plant-forward programming.

An Ongoing Dedication to Sustainability

The 2020s represent a massive opportunity for Guckenheimer’s sustainability efforts and reaching our carbon reduction goals. We’re planning a 25% cut in global emissions associated with food service by the end of the decade; we’re also working to reduce the total amount of animal proteins we purchase. Currently, around 51% of ISS our meal offerings are plant-basedwe intend to reach 55% by the end of next year

These figures not only signify major milestones for our organization, but also emphasize how critical the food service industry can be in terms of impacting the environment. ISS has committed to reaching full-scope net zero emissions by 2040, and our achievements on the Guckenheimer side of the business are a vital part of achieving this larger ambition.

Doing this work aligns naturally with our long-term commitments to leading responsibly and providing fresh, chef-crafted, sustainably sourced food. By championing environmental and social sustainability, Guckenheimer embeds sustainable change into our operations, cultivating a culture focused on the well-being of both people and the planet.

Long-Term Environmental Stewardship

Our third year of leadership in protein sustainability is just one aspect of how Guckenheimer works to align food service delivery with environmental stewardship. Sustainability is built into our company culture; our parent company’s science-based emissions reduction target has been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). As part of wider efforts to reduce emissions, Guckenheimer has implemented tangible solutions to mitigate food waste. We serve tens of millions of meals annually across North America. This volume requires us to think creatively about how we track waste, balance production to eliminate overserving, and partner with other organizations to implement new strategies. Technology also plays an active role in tracking the volume of waste produced and eliminated, and we’ve begun using artificial intelligence to gamify how we sort it.

Guckenheimer was the first among corporate caterers to sign the Coolfood Pledge — we also earned a Coolfood Meals badge from the World Resource Institute for our efforts to develop more than 500 low-carbon recipes. We source locally and use seasonal, organic ingredients whenever possible; our teams seek out community partnerships to distribute surplus food to those in need, and we’ve partnered with the Beans is How Coalition to expand the use of plant-based protein sources in our recipes.

As we move closer to achieving net-zero emissions, we expect to find new and innovative ways to help reach that goal.

People and the Planet

Focusing on sustainability is vital for corporations, and the food service industry has an opportunity to drive significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Guckenheimer takes pride in being a leader in this space, and we look forward to continuing with this necessary work to help create a better world for everyone. 

Contact us to learn more about how we can bring our expertise to your workplace.

To learn more, contact

Sherry Ephraim

Director of Business Development, ISS Guckenheimer