Causes We Care About
Greggs has a proud reputation of giving back. Since John Gregg founded the business in 1939, we have always tried to do the right thing and support our communities. These family values are at the heart of our culture.
We are proud of the work we do to support a number of charities which our people and customers feel passionate about, including the Greggs Foundation, BBC Children in Need, North of England Children's Cancer Research charity, The Disasters Emergency Committee and The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal to name but a few.
Based in Newcastle upon Tyne and closely associated with Greggs plc., Greggs Foundation is a grant-making charity which aims to build stronger, healthier communities in the areas where Greggs' operates.
Each year we donate at least one per cent of profits to the Greggs Foundation and this, along with support from our staff and partners, has enabled the charity to invest over £3 million in 2020 in a wide range of initiatives that improve the quality of life in our local communities.
These included the award-winning Greggs Breakfast Club programme which, with support from more than 100 partners, now provides over seven million free wholesome breakfasts each year to children in over 600 primary schools.
Learn more about the Greggs Foundation and all the great work they are doing to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
BBC Children in Need
Greggs and BBC Children in Need celebrate their 15th year of partnership in 2021. In that time, we have raised over £10.6 million for the charity - something we are really proud of.
Our colleagues get behind BBC Children in Need each and every year. With a whole host of weird and wonderful activities to raise money, whilst having plenty of fun along the way.
As well as this, in the run up to Appeal Night, our customers get the chance to sink their teeth into Pudsey and Blush ring buns, Pudsey shortbread and Blush gingerbread. There couldn’t be a tastier way to fundraise! Pudsey pin badges, ears and wristbands are also on sale, because we know you like to look the part…
North of England Children's Cancer Research charity
We are proud supporters of the North of England Children's Cancer Research charity and are the main sponsor of its annual Children's Cancer Run. To date, the run has raised over £30 million to fund research into improving recovery rates of children with cancer.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)
When major disasters hit countries without the capacity to respond, the DEC brings together 14 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently, enabling our member charities to rapidly scale up their operations on the ground. We have worked with DEC for a number of years, supporting its urgent appeals through in-shop fundraising, helping to raise funds for essential food, water and medical treatment. Through the generosity of our customers and colleagues, we have raised a total of £345,000.
The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal
Greggs are proud supporters of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and have been for a number of years. With the help of our customers, we raise vital funds through our in-shop collections. With over 2,000 shops nationwide, we have made the commitment to be placed on the national list issued by the Royal British Legion to help volunteers organise collections in their area.
Volunteering with causes that are close to our hearts
And, we don’t just fundraise! Every year, we provide a day for each of our management team to volunteer with a charity or community group. We know our people have some fantastic skills and we want others to be able to benefit from them. And of course, we learn lots too!
Putting an end to food waste
We hate food waste and have worked hard to reduce it at every stage of the process and will continue to do all we can to bolster our efforts even further.
There are key areas of focus in our food waste hierarchy. Firstly, we aim to reduce food waste at source by changing and adapting the way we do things in our manufacturing sites to using a highly efficient forecasting and ordering system to help us reduce waste in our shops.
Secondly, we aim to reuse by donating unsold and surplus products to those in need. For many years, we’d offered this food to two charities: Fareshare, which redistributes it to frontline charities and community groups; and the Trussell Trust, which provides emergency food parcels to people in crisis.
Despite these two brilliant partnerships, only 12% of our unsold food was being redistributed at the end of 2018. We knew we could do more so, in the last couple of years, we have been exploring how we can support smaller, local organisations in the same way. We now have a sign placed prominently in our shops inviting customers to come forward if they know of a good cause that could benefit from unsold food. We also created a page on the Greggs Foundation website where organisations can apply to receive food donations from us. By the end of 2020, we had 1,500 organisations regularly collecting unsold food from our shops and bakeries.
We’d love to have all of our shops teamed up with a local charity and indeed, that is our aim. But, while we are still on our journey, this is not the case for every single shop. This can be due to a number of factors, primarily because there may not be a local charity to team up with. This is something we continue to look at and work hard with our local communities to identify good causes and support those in need.
Donating unsold food to those in need is our priority, but as mentioned, when those charity partnerships are not available, we also have a number of Greggs Outlet shops around the UK where day-old food products are sold at a big reduction, helping people to spend less on food. These are all located in areas where we know social deprivation is high. Over the next four years, we intend to increase the number of Outlet shops to 50. We donate a share of all our profits from these shops to the Greggs Foundation which passes it on to local community groups that are working to address food poverty and associated problems. We have also recently partnered with Too Good To Go who have helped us reduce our food waste even further.
Where we don’t have either a charity partnership in place, a nearby outlet or Too Good To Go, any unsold food is then returned from our shops and treated via Anaerobic Digestion where the output is renewable energy (biogas and biofertiliser). This means that all of our unsold food is one hundred percent diverted from landfill.
As well as our internal efforts, we look to work collaboratively with others on this issue. We are signatories of the WRAP ‘food waste roadmap’ to drive reduction across the sector as well as being members of the British Retail Consortiums ‘Climate Action Roadmap’ which is targeting a net zero future by 2040.
We are committed to putting an end to Food Waste. So much so that as part of ‘The Greggs Pledge’ - our first Sustainability Report launched in February this year - we made the public commitment by 2025 to create 25% less food waste than in 2018 and will continue to work towards 100% of surplus food going to those most in need.
If you are a good cause which would like to be considered for our food donation programme, please visit the dedicated page on our Foundation website to find out more.
Find out more about our policy on a number of key topics