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Subway introduces new Fresh CSR Agenda

Subway has unveiled a new Fresh CSR Agenda across Ireland to support its owner-operated franchise and reflect the areas where it is seeking to take positive action as a leading quick service restaurant brand across the region.

Since opening its first US store in 1965, Subway has grown into a global business with a franchised network of approximately 5,500 stores in 36 countries across Europe.

Subway’s Fresh CSR Agenda sets out its priorities, which are underpinned by policies and programmes that steer progress, for all European markets.

It is built around three key pillars and encompasses a range of issues, challenges and opportunities for the brand and its franchise owners and supply chain partners: Sourcing Responsibly, which covers supply chain and animal welfare practices; Serving Guests Sustainably, which includes reviewing the use of proprietary single use packaging and raising the nutritional quality of products and Supporting Communities, by generating prosperity through purchasing, employment and commercial activity, including supporting community and charity initiatives.

Through its Fresh CSR Agenda, Subway ambition is to strengthen the contributions it makes as a company. This is increasingly important for guests across the UK and Ireland, as they look for businesses that act in ways that are good for them, better for the environment and valuable to society.

Concern over plastic waste and its environmental impact remains a key consumer priority in Ireland.  Subway is again stepping up its programme, to refine its proprietary packaging in efficient ways to protect products and minimise waste. It is working towards reducing proprietary single use plastics within its restaurants and more widely across company operations.

An area the brand has invested in is creating new paper-based packaging as part of its wider business growth in home and office third party delivery, to ensure the product reaches guests in perfect condition.  These factors enable guests to reduce the waste they create in their daily lives and the impact of the business on the environment, promoting a more circular economy.

This includes:

o             Placing a Choose to Refuse message by the drink dispensers in all Subway restaurants in Ireland, to encourage guests not to automatically take a straw and lid, while the brand seeks more planet friendly alternatives.

o             Continue training Sandwich Artists to offer a reusable basket for dine-in and only place Subs in bags on request.

o             Moving to PET 50% recycled bottles for bottled water

o             Introduction of new recyclable cardboard delivery boxes.

o             Seeking a source for paper-based salad and catering platters, plus more sustainable cutlery and sauce pot options.

o             Providing napkins made from 100% recycled material and salad bowls made from 95% recycled plastic.

By reviewing and phasing out its proprietary single use packaging, Subway aims to reduce the volume of plastic waste generated in its stores, while managing the increased costs to individual franchise businesses of moving to alternatives, avoiding, where possible, additional costs being passed on to guests.

Subway remains a community-based business owned and operated by entrepreneurial franchise owners who employ local people in towns & cities across the globe. They serve fresh, nutritious food at affordable prices, customised to the order of each guest. Here in Ireland, Subway franchise owners employ almost 1,000 people across 160 stores, with their Sandwich Artists serving approximately 140,000 guests each week.

“As a leading quick service restaurant, with community at our heart, we recognise that our progress and success also brings increasing responsibility,” said Justin Goes, regional director Europe for Subway International B.V. “It’s time to freshen up our CSR agenda, to make it clearer what we stand for and talk more actively about the work we are doing day in, day out.

“We recognise we need to reduce our impact on the wider environment, and we are on a journey alongside our guests, who, Europe-wide are concerned about whether a company is behaving responsibly before buying their products. We know our guests want us to be a responsible business that helps make their lives better in ways that are important to them.”

Colin Hughes, country director for Subway UK and Ireland, said: “We wholly support the launch of Subway’s Fresh CSR Agenda across Europe, recognising that, now more than ever, sustainability is an increasing consideration for our guests in the UK and Ireland. As one of our steps on this journey, we hope that our guests will join us by choosing to leave behind a lid and straw when purchasing a drink from our stores, whilst we search for more planet-friendly alternatives.”

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