A diverse group of pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK are celebrating becoming the first to achieve an ‘On the Road to Net Zero’ certification1 from the Net Zero Hospitality Initiative. 24 sites2 have been awarded the new certification which recognises each venue’s ongoing commitment to tackling the climate crisis. They include Lisini Pub Company in Lanarkshire in Scotland, The Assemblies Group in Bristol, Fazenda Rodizio Bar and Grill and PIG Hotels with sites across the UK, among others.
The hospitality sector is responsible for up to 15% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions3 and the UK Government has set a target for the whole economy to be Net Zero by 20504. The Net Zero Hospitality initiative, developed by Net Zero Now, the climate action platform, and supported by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners and Pernod Ricard UK, aims to help hospitality businesses measure and reduce their emissions using tailored reduction plans – enabling them to unlock multiple business benefits including reducing costs, increasing customer demand and engaging staff. The Initiative has over 2,800 venues signed up and is currently managing over 480,000 tonnes of carbon emissions5 on its online platform.
A typical hospitality venue will be responsible for carbon emissions from their direct operations (e.g. emissions produced by running ovens or fridges, known as scope 1 emissions), from the energy they buy (scope 2 emissions) and indirect emissions from other sources up and down their value chain (e.g the emissions associated with growing food ingredients bought by a restaurant - known as scope 3 emissions)6.
All the certified venues have calculated their carbon footprint as part of the Initiative and received a tailored reduction plan for the coming years. They have all now committed to annual reporting of their footprint and to reducing their scope 1 and 2 emissions7 by 25 per cent over 5 years. As a result, they have now been awarded ‘On the road to Net Zero’ certification marks to display in their venues.
Together, all these certified sites generate over 34,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year –equivalent to the emissions from driving a petrol car 5176 times around the world’s circumference. If they deliver on their agreed reduction plans, they will remove at least 1500 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next 5 years8.
The newly-certified venues are already taking action to bring down their emissions, with multiple projects underway including switching to renewable energy, changing to low-energy lightbulbs, reducing food waste and reducing the use of meat on menus.
Siobhan Edwards, Director of the Lisini Pub Company, says: “After 50 years as a family business, legacy is incredibly important to us. We are delighted to be on the road to Net Zero but we have only just started and have plans to become even more sustainable. We’re taking climate action despite tough times in the hospitality industry in because we know it’s of benefit to all – it makes us more resource and energy efficient, attracts customers and motivates our staff and it will protect our planet for future generations.”
Liam Stock, General Manager at The Canteen, and the leader of The Assemblies’ sustainability work, said: “We take a triple bottom line approach to everything we do… People, Planet and Profit. This has driven our ambition to become a Net Zero business and play our part in tackling the climate crisis. For the first time, we can see where all our emissions come from and create a plan to reduce them. We’re excited about the challenge and proud to be part of a movement to a more sustainable food and music scene in Bristol.”
Tomas Maunier, Managing Director of Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill restaurant group, says: “For us, working in partnership with Net Zero Now to reduce our carbon footprint is the first step and paves the way in making more conscious decisions from a sustainability perspective. We believe that working amongst a continuously growing collective of like-minded restaurants and other hospitality operators will be the real driver when it comes to change and a brighter future.”
Net Zero Now founder, Simon Heppner, adds: “These hospitality businesses are leading the way for the industry. Seeing them take the lead in tackling climate change will make a huge difference to how we all approach it. I encourage more hospitality businesses to get on board. The tools they need are now accessible and affordable – the question is not if they should go Net Zero, it’s when.”
Sam Jones, Head of Climate and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners GB, said: “Congratulations to everyone that has received an accreditation. It’s encouraging to see how many businesses are using the platform to understand their carbon emissions and are starting to take meaningful actions to reduce them. Hopefully this will inspire other businesses to progress on their own sustainability journeys. As a leading supplier in GB, we take our sustainability commitments seriously. Support for the Net Zero Hospitality Initiative is one of the ways we’re working with our customers to help them drive down their carbon impact whilst reducing our scope three emissions, highlighting that collaboration is key to tackling the climate change crisis.”
Ian Peart, Commercial Director at Pernod Ricard UK, commented: “It’s great to see an increasing number of venues lead the On-Trade’s journey to going net zero, and it goes to show how even small changes can start to make a huge difference. The climate crisis is urgent and taking action leads to opportunity, and new business practices must be adopted to solve sustainability challenges. As a leading drinks supplier in the UK, we’re dedicated to our sustainability commitments, but collaboration needs to deepen on industry-wide issues that require joint effort, which is why it’s imperative that we work together to drive forward progress.”