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< Back to news 03 January, 2009

Hospitality Businesses Going Green

The survey of more than 2,000 hospitality operators by purchasing consortium Beacon showed...
More than half of hospitality businesses have undertaken energy saving measures in the last year, and over two thirds regularly recycle waste, according to recent research by hospitality purchasing organisation Beacon.

Overall, 52% of the hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs and other leisure operators in the UK surveyed have taken steps to reduce their energy consumption in the last 12 months, showing that environmental issues are becoming more prominent in proprietors’ minds.

Hoteliers are the most proactive sector when it comes to conserving energy with 54% making changes to target savings compared to 40% of leisure operators such as golf clubs and just 23% of bars, restaurants and pubs.

This conscious push towards increased awareness of environmental issues is also illustrated by the fact that 67% of the businesses surveyed said they recycled their waste on a regular basis. However, Scottish businesses are leading the way in this area with 81% recycling waste compared with 59% in both England and Wales.

Almost nine out of ten bars, restaurants and pubs (87%) are regular recyclers of waste. However, a large majority of 64% of hotels and 69% of other leisure businesses are also recycling regularly.

Despite the encouraging numbers of hospitality businesses making efforts towards operating in a ‘greener’ way, nearly two-thirds (61%) still believe that there is not enough support or information available from local authorities to help advise on, and promote, environmentally friendly business practices.

Businesses in England and Wales feel the least supported with 65% citing a lack of available information compared to just 42% businesses in Scotland which were dissatisfied with the level of help on offer. This opinion was also consistent through the various hospitality sectors with 59% of hotels, 57% of bars restaurants and pubs, and 56% of other leisure businesses agreeing that more help should be made available.

Ben Waters, Utilities & Services Buyer, of Beacon, comments: “It is clear from these figures that the majority of businesses in the hospitality industry are not just paying lip service to becoming more green, but are actually making efforts to change the way they operate both for the good of the environment, and to improve efficiency and thereby reduce costs for their business.

“There appears to be a general feeling that more advice and support should be available and businesses are not sure where to go to find this”.
However, further information can be gained from a number of sources.

The Department for Trade and Industry is offering grants to any organisation looking to support low or zero carbon equipment. It gives more detail on its website www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has a series of informative pages on its website www.defra.gov.uk/environment/business/index.htm with details of the different energy saving technologies available and links to other useful bodies and organisations.

For more specific information about recycling, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) offers advice for businesses to start recycling waste and using recycled products. There is a telephone helpline, 0808 100 2040, or visit their site at www.wrap.org.uk/businesses/index.html.

Information especially for the hospitality industry is available from Hospitable Climates (www.hospitableclimates.org.uk), an energy advisory programme offering free advice for businesses on how to reduce energy consumption.

Beacon also offers their members energy saving solutions including consumption reduction programmes and recycling services, and has produced a free energy guide for hospitality businesses with practical advice on saving energy. A copy can be downloaded from the member area of the website.