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Sodexo Accelerators innovation success

Sodexo celebrated the culmination of its UK and Ireland innovation programme, Accelerators, in a special event held at its London headquarters.

Sodexo launched the Accelerators programme back in November 2021, partnering with innovation specialists L Marks, inviting applications from start-ups and scale-ups with a focus on employee experience, sustainability, and smart buildings. Over 400 start-ups applied as part of a global scouting mission, and the final five start-ups were selected by Sodexo leaders, with input from clients, following two events held in April 2022.

During the programme, five start-ups partnered with Sodexo’s clients to test their innovations within live operations, guided by the company’s experts in facilities management and workplace experience. At the demo day on 13 July 2022, the five start-ups played-back the results of their 10-week trials to clients and senior stakeholders.

Julie Ennis, CEO Corporate Services UK and Ireland, said:

The Accelerators programme has been a great vehicle for our innovation ambition this year.

We have been able to see some incredible technologies in action, learn from the agility and energy of start-ups, and provide access to mentorship opportunities that will benefit these small organisations as they continue to grow.

Leveraging technology is a key element of our Vital Spaces approach to the future of the workplace, and this programme is just the start of our journey.

The start-ups taking part in the programme were:

Advanced Bacterial Sciences (ABS)
Trialling its next-generation bacterial treatments for waste and water management, ABS deployed its proprietary uric acid digestor granules 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

Through its pioneering digital solution that advances asset data collection and building surveying, Asseticom’s mission is to reduce 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 connectivity to any industrial asset in order to remotely monitor, analyse and optimise systems in real-time.

During its time at a 700,000sq 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.

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.

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

Daniel Saunders, CEO L Marks, added:

The Accelerators programme has been an incredible success, delivering measurable results for both Sodexo and the entrepreneurs.

There has been an authentic partnership between L Marks and Sodexo throughout the programme, we’ve have worked with some fantastic start-ups, and the level of engagement from Sodexo has demonstrated the importance of innovation within the business.