With 20 pubs closing a week due to energy, waste and water price increases, leading companies within the industry have set up the Hospitality Sector Carbon Reduction Forum to share best practice to cut consumption.
First research shows hospitality companies need to grow like for like sales by 10% by 2015 to mitigate these cost rises and maintain current profits. The forum, which has been set up under the stewardship of Carbon Management company Carbon Statement, will next be meeting on 12th July in London and is now open all companies in the hospitality sector.
"The latest Government Energy bill will further increase UK energy costs in order to finance the 110 billion of investment that is required in our energy generation infrastructure, so carbon reduction has moved on from moral obligation to financial necessity with jobs, profit and competitive advantage at risk," explains Mark Chapman, Director of Carbon Statement. "Energy, waste and water prices continue to grow driven by environmental taxes and scarcity, the brutal fact is that hospitality companies need to cut consumption in these areas by 20-30% in order to maintain the same levels of profitability."
At the next forum meeting at which 30 different pub and restaurant brands, including companies like Whitbread, Fullers, J D Wetherspoon, Tragus Group Mitchells and Butlers, Costa Coffee, Nando's and The Restaurant Group will attend, case studies on the structural and behavioural changes members have made to reduce carbon emissions and costs will be reviewed with recommendations on best practices.
Chris George, Head of Energy & Environment, Whitbread Group PLC says: "The hospitality industry recognises its responsibility to mitigate its environmental impact. The Hospitality Carbon Reduction Forum was formed to address best practice in companies' carbon, energy and water saving approaches. Working in partnership, we aim to devise a common set of consistent standards and tools to quantify the sustainability of services and products we offer to help our customers make informed choices."
Finding ways to reduce waste, water and energy is still new territory and it is particularly difficult in the hospitality sector with hundreds or thousands of full and part time staff to engage and a diverse estate of new and old buildings.
"The Forum fills a natural gap in helping to improve understanding of what works and what doesn't in reducing consumption in these areas given the range of technologies and approaches available. We believe it also sets a challenging example to other business sectors on how collaboration on this issue is beneficial both to the environment and the bottom line of the businesses involved," said Colin Simpson, Fullers.