Compass Group has confirmed that Carolyn Ball will be stepping into the newly-created role of director for delivery of net zero as it embarks on one of the most ambitious sustainability strategies the industry has ever seen over the next 10 years.
The appointment comes a week after the business – which made sales of £20 billion a year pre-pandemic – stated its intention to reach Climate Net Zero by 2030.
Ms Ball will be responsible for delivering Compass’ climate net zero ambitions, which will see “change at scale” as sustainability becomes a core business objective across all services.
The company has issued a charter and roadmap that outlines its plans to create a sustainable food system that delivers net zero, including philosophies and milestones it will champion this decade.
Ms Ball has a long-standing passion for the role of food and service in supporting the environment.
She has carried out extensive personal research in this space and continues to develop strong relationships with leading advisors, academic researchers and economists worldwide.
She steps into the role having previously been head of business development for the RA Group, which is a collection of specialist food and guest services companies, including Restaurant Associates, Rapport, RA Venues and commercial restaurant partnerships such as City Social by Jason Atherton.
She said: “I’m proud this is the largest and most challenging commitment Compass has made to date because that’s exactly what’s needed. Achieving true industry transformation will always feel like a miracle until it’s realised and we are running out of time.
“It’s a privilege to work in a business brave enough to act, with talented teams so capable of delivering. Our role is no longer to question if, but to ask how – and how fast – we can act together to make it happen.”
The new strategy has been boosted by the launch of a seed investment fund of £1m to support the development of carbon reduction and sustainable food production innovation.
The company is looking to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions of at least 55% by 2025 and at least 65% across its operations and value chain by 2030 from a 2019 baseline.
Robin Mills, managing director of Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “I’m delighted that Carolyn has joined our leadership team to help us deliver our net zero target. Carolyn brings great passion, enthusiasm and expertise to the role. This is the biggest commitment we have made to date and with Carolyn driving it forward, I feel confident we will be able to deliver on our ambition.”