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Sodexo Accelerator UK & Ireland

In the UK and Ireland Sodexo employs around 30,000 people, delivering Facilities Management, Catering and Food Services and Property Management services to a wide range of industries

Sodexo Accelerator UK & Ireland launched in 2022 and was designed by L Marks to facilitate collaboration with startups. This programme was aimed to drive innovations in technology that align with Sodexo’s vast portfolio of expertise on workplace experience, vital spaces, workspace, and work-life services. 

Innovation is already a key driving force within Sodexo’s global continuous improvement with their Accelerator programme already launching in China, Brazil, India, France and Sweden. But for the first time, Sodexo wanted to focus the lens of innovation on the UK and Ireland region by launching the first-ever Sodexo Accelerator UK & Ireland. 

The 10-week Accelerator allowed the start-ups and scale-ups to work alongside senior executives within Sodexo UK & Ireland to plan and implement trials with some of Sodexo’s key clients in the region. These trials allowed Sodexo and their clients to experience the significant value that the start-ups and scale-ups could contribute to in a short period of time, and led to discussions about the longer-term benefits that integrating these innovative solutions could bring to the business. 

In addition to the commercial benefits, the Sodexo Accelerator also gave the opportunity for over 200 Sodexo employees to be involved in innovation, with executives getting involved in the various stages of the Accelerator including Pitch Day, Programme Live, and Demo Day. The Accelerator encouraged those involved to think entrepreneurially and embrace the benefits of new disruptive technologies.

My mind has been blown with the results that we’ve had over the past 10 weeks!

Julie Ennis, CEO Corporate Services

The categories selected for the Sodexo Accelerator UK&I 2022 were ‘Sustainability’, ‘Smart Buildings’, ‘Employee Experience’, and ‘Wildcard’. 

Of the 139 startup applications, 55 were further screened, before 21 were invited to pitch at two hybrid pitch day events, one at Sodexo UK’s HQ in London, and one in Dublin. 

The pitch days concluded with five teams being selected to take part in the Accelerator programme. Four selected teams were from the London pitch day with one (Wayleadr) coming from the Dublin pitch day. 

Results

All of the five teams ran proof of concept (PoC) and trials in the 10 week period, with the majority implementing these trials at Sodexo’s client sites. All teams presented their achievements in person at a successful Demo Day event which took place at Sodexo UK’s HQ, One Southampton Row, London. Following the success of the Accelerator, all five companies who took part have been selected to continue their relationship with Sodexo.

Advanced Bacterial Sciences (ABS)

Trialling its next-generation bacterial treatments for waste and water management, ABS deployed its proprietary uric acid digestergranules at six client sites including four education establishments, a manufacturing plant and a cultural destination open to the public, identifying significant reductions in odours, water, plastics, energy, carbon emissions and chemicals. 

When extrapolated over the course of a year (3,000 urinals), ABS identified potential for:

  • A reduction of 8.4m litres of water and 33,600 litres of chemicals
  • 12 fewer tonnes of single-use plastics, equating to 67 tonnes of CO2
  • Seven fewer tonnes of CO2 from vehicle emissions as a result of repair call-outs 
  • A 50% cost reduction compared to existing solutions 

The support on both Sodexo and L Marks side has been phenomenal. It has been refreshing and inspiring to see such buy in and willingness to help and contribute”

Asseticom

Through its pioneering digital solution that advances asset data collection and building surveying, Asseticom’s mission is toreduce end-to-end survey time. The company trialled its innovation across five sites, including a leading global technology company, as well as police, military and district council buildings.

During the trials, Asseticom reduced the average end-to-end survey time by 15-25%, and improved user experience when surveying. Over a period of five years, Asseticom project savings of £1.3m – £1.6m owing to increased operational efficiency, whilst ensuring data quality and visibility of assets through its detailed client dashboards.

Hark Systems

Industrial internet of things (IoT) and energy analytics company Hark trialled its technology platform, which enables connectivityto any industrial asset in order to remotely monitor, analyse and optimise systems in real-time.

During its time at a 700,000 sq ft technology site, harnessing remote monitoring of assets with a view to providing actionable insights, the Hark team found potential for £63,000 of energy savings, equating to 68,300 kg CO2 emissions each year.

“We have been pleased with the support and structure that L Marks has provided during the accelerator. Our experience has been positive throughout”

Infogrid

Infogrid’s smart building platform gathers and analyses data from the smartest internet of things (IoT) technology to drive its mission of making every building healthy, efficient and sustainable. Infogrid trialled its suite of AI-powered solutions, designed for remote monitoring, across three Sodexo contracts, including a prominent financial services organisation in England.

The trials identified:

  • 56% time savings on smart cleaning and occupancy
  • 91% time savings on pipe monitoring
  • up to 80% reduction in virus risk and 50% improvement in productivity based on their indoor air quality monitoring
  • 12.5% time savings identified on cold storage, equating to between £2,000 – £4,000 worth of food waste per site

Wayleadr  

With its SaaS last-mile automation solution for smart buildings, Wayleadr worked with Sodexo central workplaces in England, aiming to save time for colleagues when parking, help right-size real estate spend and curb carbon emissions.

During the trial period, 394 employees downloaded the app and made 1,168 booking requests, reporting a net promoter score of 7.9. With the data achieved through the 10-week period, Wayleadr project that over the course of a year, there could be:

  • 14,527 fewer kilometres travelled by commuting colleagues
  • 23.86 fewer metric tonnes of CO2 emissions across just three sites, increasing to 260 metric tonnes at 50 sites with 50 spaces

“We had excellent support and direction from Mentors, sponsors, Sodexo employees as well as L Marks team”