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Fitzers Catering Is First Catering Company Awarded ISO 20121 in Ireland

Fitzers Catering Is First Catering Company Awarded ISO 20121 in Ireland

5th April 2013


Croke Park's on site caterers Fitzers Catering, 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.

Fitzers is one of the first catering companies across the globe to have achieved the ISO 20121 certification to date. Croke Park was awarded this certification in 2012 and were one of the first Stadia in the World to do so.

The ISO 20121 certification was introduced internationally to coincide with the London 2012 Olympics. 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 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 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 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.

Noeleen Sharkey, Director of Fitzers Catering in Croke Park spearheaded the drive to achieve the certification.  Commenting on this she said, “We set our sights on achieving this accreditation as soon as it was introduced.  We have a fantastic staff and found that suppliers were eager to get on board and implement our initiatives in their companies too, which meant there was a ripple effect far and wide from our efforts.  We are extremely proud of all of the work that has gone into this but we will continue to drive sustainability and improve our carbon emissions, social ethos and sustainability as an ongoing initiative.”

Fitzers Catering has won many accolades including Best Event Catering Company in 2011 and Deloitte Best Managed Company in 2012.