‘Serving up Sustainability’
Our organization is conscious of our environmental footprint and strives to be a good corporate citizen. Environmentally aware initiatives and technologies are important to AAFCANS strategic business model and brand. These issues have also shown to be equally important to our Defence base customers and stakeholders.
AAFCANS works together with its stakeholders to implement executable and sustainable initiatives that produce positive outcomes to minimise waste sent to landfill, reduce impacts to our environment and provide efficiencies for our customers and team.
AAFCANS continues to progress its strategic plan to evolve its offer and implement environmentally aware, sustainable, and waste minimisation initiatives into its business model. As our operations are dispersed across Australia, some in remote locations, we recognize this process may take a little time to activate across our network of stores.
When it comes to food service, AAFCANS continues to evaluate and innovate our service. We reduce the use of packaging products that are not required, remove single-use plastics where practical and comply in full with legislative requirements. We aim to provide reusable/recyclable/ sustainable options as an alternative (where available or where fit-for-purpose).
Food safety and food storage are of the utmost importance to our operations. AAFCANS works with its supply chain partners to source environmentally aware packaging solutions which are tested to ensure they are food service safe, fit for purpose and meet the needs of our ADF customers.
AAFCANS has moved its internal business/corporate operations and file sharing to a cloud-based digital platform to optimise productivity and reduce the use of paper and consumables.
Some of our initiatives:
- Eco-aware packaging products using cardboard, paper, paper/ sugarcane pulp products, reusable glass packaging and timber disposable cutlery.
- Except where foods-service plastics are not easily substituted with plant-based products, we have transitioned these items to biodegradable consumables and RPET products, (RPET is recycled and recyclable) to minimise single-use plastic.
- Our coffee cups are 100% compostable bamboo tree-free and the BioPBS lined (plastic-free).
- We sell, promote and welcome the use of reusable cups AAFCANS expanded the reusable cup options on sale and created dine-in pot tea for select bases, AAFCANS practices contactless COVID-safe coffee pour.
- We participate in bottle top recycling initiatives that repurpose and reuse plastic bottle tops to make prosthetic hands for little people in need or benefit wider community-driven value add programs such as Lids4Kids. This initiative is currently paused by the vendor due to over-supply.
- We have included the use of lithium battery technology for select new mobile amenities vehicles. The new batteries replace petrol generators used to power our onboard refrigeration units. The battery units emit zero emissions and provide operational and energy efficiencies for our fleet.
- Replacement/expansion of our environmentally aware retail, convenience and personal care products in-store (ie. timber toothbrushes, pump deodorants, paper take-away packaging and more).
- We are expanding our hospitality equipment and operations to support the capacity for dine-in options for our canteen stores to reduce take-away packaging.
Additional initiatives currently being trialled at RAAF Williamtown:
- We repurpose spent coffee grinds for use in compost for our customers to take home and for the Defence base gardens.
- We have provided bespoke informative in-store signage to help educate customers on what refuse goes where and into which appropriate bin.
- In partnership with the base, we are currently trialling the Recycle Me cups dedicated bins and waste management system which helps to divert spent coffee cups from landfill.
- Our RAAF Williamtown canteen is currently trialling a ‘Swap & Go’ reusable cup option, with the reusable cups made from spent coffee husks.
AAFCANS is a proud partner with RAAF Williamtown’
‘War On Waste’
RAAF Williamtown ‘War on Waste’ collaborative project targets diverting/minimizing waste streams destined for landfill and forms a platform for additional environmental benefits. It brings together the Defence Base community, AAFCANS (Army & Air Force Canteen Service), key service contractors, waste management provider (Veolia) all working toward the joint project goal.
AAFCANS found a ‘Top way to lend a hand’ and was a proud partner with Envision Initiative – collecting and recycling discarded bottle tops and turning these into new prosthetic hands for some very happy ‘little recipients’.