Its new mark will complement the SA's Food for Life Catering Mark, as well as provenance and supply chain, which is covered by the current Catering Mark award.
Waste, energy use and water use will all be looked at under the new mark, which will recognise businesses for exemplary practice in environmental sustainability and help them to reach 'good' or higher on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (DEFRA) balanced scorecard.
Improve environmental performance
The new mark will allow food catering businesses to improve their environmental performance, said Dr Peter Bonfield, who developed DEFRA's balanced scorecard – which helps evaluate a variety of criteria when making decisions about purchases.
Hundreds of operators across the UK have been recognised by the SA's Food for Life Catering Mark award, which endorses food providers for taking steps to improve the food they serve.
Meals in a year
"Over eight billion meals a year are served by caterers in the UK across 260,000 sites"
- Martin Sawyer
Those who have received the award will use more fresh and sustainable ingredients that are free from harmful additives and better for animal welfare.
Martin Sawyer, chief executive of the SA certification, said: "We're close to reaching a remarkable two million Catering Mark meals served daily in the UK."
Darran Messem, managing director of certification at the Carbon Trust, said: "Over eight billion meals a year are served by caterers in the UK across 260,000 sites."
'Add up to a huge total'
"Even small improvements in the environmental impact of each meal served can add up to a huge total.
"Fortunately, in many cases, large improvements are possible. For example, Carbon Trust analysis suggests that many caterers could achieve reductions of around 30% in energy costs, equivalent to an annual saving of £250m," he added.
"Catering, as a sector, has the opportunity and the capability to drive significant positive change in the health and sustainability of our diets."