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SUGAR SMART is a campaign run by Sustain that aims to help organisations reduce the amount of sugar we all consume. Anyone can pledge to become SUGAR SMART – this includes workplaces!

Companies and businesses have a significant influence the choices we make.  Whether you run a staff canteen, employ contract caterers or have shared kitchen spaces in your office, you have a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about the dangers of too much sugar.

How do I join?
Visit the SUGAR SMART website to sign up. Once you sign up you will receive a ‘Sugar Smart UK: registration confirmation’ email. Your account is now active and you can explore the Sugar Smart website and pledge your SUGAR SMART actions! You can choose from 14 pledges to work towards.

Pick at least 3 pledges to become an official SUGAR SMART workplace. We have given you some ideas of how to work towards your pledges below.

Step by Step Guide to Sugar Smart

How will you get involved?

  1. Ban price promotions on sugary drinks and snacks such as discounts, multi-buys, free items or meal deals.
  2. Establish sugar-free checkouts - Ensure there are no sugary drinks and snacks for sale at checkout areas to discourage impulse buying.
  3. Have a SUGAR SMART quiz with surprising facts about sugar in everyday food and drink
  4. Give staff cooking lessons - Get your colleagues to take part in a cooking course and promote low or sugar-free recipes.
  5. Improve vending options Remove sugary items from vending machines and display information about the amount of sugar in everyday food and drink.
  6. Introduce a sugar levy - a 10p levy (or higher) on sugary drinks and sign up to the Children’s Health Fund.
  7. Increase the price of sugary drinks - Increase the price difference between sugary drinks and healthier alternatives
  8. Promote water - Install water points and promote drinking water as the number one drink.
  9. Remove sugary drinks - Stop selling drinks high in sugar and promote water and no-added sugar drinks instead.
  10. Set SUGAR SMART challenges - Set a sugar reduction challenge, such as giving up sugary drinks for a whole week.
  11. Sign up to healthy workplace schemes - Get your organisation to sign up to schemes such as the Cornwall Healthy Workplace programme!!
  12. Stock healthier food and drink - Replace sugary items with healthier options and display signage about sugar content in everyday food and drink.
  13. Spread the word - in your community on the dangers of too much sugar by organising events or stunts.
  14. Get accredited - by an external organisation to ensure the food and drink you serve is healthy for people and planet.

Set SUGAR SMART challenges

  • Challenge staff and colleagues to give up sugary drinks for a set period of time in a ‘Fizz Free’ challenge. 
  • Encourage them to drink two litres of water a day instead. Download our water challenge record book from here and get started today! 
  • Promote your challenge with these Fizz Free posters.

Stock healthier food and drink

  • Replace sugary items with healthier options
  • Talk to catering or facilities teams about the vending in place and how it could be made healthier
  • Remove sugary items from vending machines or display information about the amount of sugar contained in vending machine products.
  • Offer healthy food options in meetings, healthy snack box or free fruit for staff

Promote Water

  • Install water points and promote drinking water as the number one drink. 
  • Provide Water Coolers
  • Take part in a Hydration Campaign
  • Have water available in meetings
  • Provide water bottles for staff
  • Provide Urine Charts on the back of toilets
  • In order to maintain peak levels of productivity, the body needs to be fully hydrated.
  • Just a 1% drop in hydration could lead to a 12% drop in productivity.
  • A 3% to 4% drop in hydration could lead to a drop in productivity of between 25% and 50%.

Spread the Word

  • Spread the word and promote Sugar Smart in your workplace by designing a display to promote easy sugar swaps.
  • Promote national campaigns, use of leaflets, posters & visual aids for staff to access i.e. noticeboards, toilets, staff rooms etc.
  • Put up stickers or posters showing the sugar content in sugary drinks.

Local case studies



Dame Carol Black,

"It is fantastic to see Cornwall and Isles of Scilly championing the health and work agenda and I look forward to seeing the Workplace Award act as a catalyst for further change in the county. Good health is good business and I encourage all employers that are serious about the agenda to apply for this confirmation of best practice." Dame Carol Black, National Director for Health and Work.

Stress & Absence - 2014

New research from OnePoll on behalf of life insurance provider Friends Life found that one UK employee in six (16%) called in sick because of stress in the past year (2013), at a cost to employers of more than £460 million in wasted wages per day.

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