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May 18, 2017

Ticket Restaurant®: cards are more sustainable than paper vouchers

In partnership with the HAATCH consulting firm (formerly AK2C), Edenred has conducted a comparative study to evaluate the environmental impact of its Ticket Restaurant program in France.

Already a pioneer with its new eco-practice for collecting and recycling Ticket Restaurant cards, Edenred has gone one step further in its commitment to embrace the circular economy and implement a responsible life cycle for all its solutions.
This survey is the first of its kind in this field.

Using the life-cycle assessment (LCA) method, Edenred was able to evaluate the impacts of paper vouchers versus cards based on three indicators: climate change, natural resource depletion, and water consumption.

The study shows that, for the first two indicators, the Ticket Restaurant card payment method is more virtuous than its paper counterpart. In fact, the shift to digital helps reduce almost two thirds of greenhouse gas emissions (64%) and save 86% of resources throughout the life cycle of these products. In this respect, the Ticket Restaurant card provides significant savings in the manufacturing and distribution stages, since only one card is produced and issued to the user every three years. Consequently, the card is less energy-intensive and emits less CO2.

Concerning water consumption, however, the Ticket Restaurant card is less virtuous than the paper voucher. This is the result of two factors:

  • In 2012, Edenred opted to use only 100% recycled paper to produce its vouchers , and to recycle all returned vouchers, which already significantly curbed the paper voucher’s environmental impact. 
  • The Ticket Restaurant card's water consumption turns out to be greater when considering its actual use, since the LCA takes account of the thermal paper receipt issued with each payment, which proves costly in terms of water.

Broadly speaking, the environmental footprint of paper Ticket Restaurant vouchers mainly boils down to manufacturing and transport, since the vouchers are dispatched to Edenred’s 50,000 corporate clients in France every month. For its part, the card's impact ties in mainly with its actual use.

Edenred's commitment to reduce its environmental footprint

In France, as throughout the Group, Edenred has adopted a proactive policy for reducing its footprint: ISO 14 001-certified as of 2006 on the Malakoff site, 24 of the Group’s subsidiaries now produce their vouchers using recycled paper.

Edenred is also France's only issuer to have set up a solution for recycling its Ticket Restaurant cards; once the card expires, its owner is notified along with the procedure for returning it to us. This system is innovative and environmentally-friendly, since 100% of the materials (98.4% plastic, 1.6% metal) are recovered and reused, with no chemical operations. It is deemed responsible since it promotes a new eco-practice and encourages the circular economy (it won first prize in the “CSR Innovation and Services” category at the 2016 Nuit de la RSE.


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