With more than 40,000 restaurants around the world, Subway® is part of many communities, both large and small.
"We have a responsibility to the people in those communities," says John Scott, Subway Vice President of Global Quality & Sustainability. "We play a role in their lives, whether through jobs, where our products come from, or how the environment is treated."
Subway aspires to three goals with its efforts to be socially responsible:
1. Promote widespread well-being through nutritious menu options, ingredient transparency, and food quality and safety.
2. Preserve the planet through reusable/recyclable packaging and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.
3. Build stronger societies via entrepreneur development, community re-investment, responsible sourcing, and humanitarian relief.
From helping farmers manage their crops to reducing the amount of electricity used in Subway restaurants, Subway is making efforts to increase the sustainability of our operations all over the world.
From left to right: Subway Produce Scientist for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ada Murillo; local farmer Elmer Cardoza of the cooperative supplying El Salvador; and former Category Manager for Latin America and Caribbean IPC, Esteban Barrantes. (Photo: Subway®)
One example of how Subway made those goals a reality can be found in Latin America, where the company faced a challenge: how to get fresh, quality veggies to Subway franchisees in emerging markets where there are few suppliers to choose from.
The solution: Subway partnered with two small farmer cooperatives in El Salvador and Nicaragua to strengthen their businesses and create a network to share best practices. The co-ops then became approved suppliers for Subway restaurants, and Subway continues to provide support to increase food quality and safety.
"If we help them make money and have a healthy business, we benefit from that," Scott says. "The more they have a consistent stream of business with Subway, the more they can invest in their business and attract other customers. Also, it gives Subway better access to higher quality products and provides greater trust in our supply chain."
Subway Costa Rica recently aligned with TECHO (a non-governmental organization dedicated to improving communities) to build a multipurpose dining room in Guararí de Heredia, Costa Rica, a town that lives in extreme poverty.
In the cafeteria, children are provided with meals, and they attend classes every Saturday as part of an educational program to ensure better growth and quality of life.
"With solid programs and effective communications, we are able to create nutritious products, run cleaner restaurants, and work to improve communities across our supply chain from farmer to customer," Scott says. "This is what we stand for as a company."
Top Image Credit: Subway®/TECHO