< Back to news 03 January, 2009

Why we all need to go green

Going green is no longer just an option for the hospitality industry, it`s a necessity. Those of you who fail to address energy conservation, recycling, renewable resources and waste-reductions do so
Source - www.caterserach.com

You can`t just get away from the headlines about global warming - whether they`re about hosepipe bans in the UK, snow in Australia, hurricanes in the USA or tsunamis and floods in Asia. The temperature rise may seem slight - its on target to rise between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees by 2100 - but we can all see that it`s having a serious effect on the environment.

What`s not always taken seriously, though, is the fact that we`re causing it htrough using and wasting energy in our homes and at work. The Government is providing a £150m financial incentive for energy-efficient measures, renewables and enhanced capital allowances.

So what does this have to do with the hospitality industry? Quite a lot, according to a study produced by the Government-backed Carbon Trust over the summer. This showed that, of the £300m-worth of energy used accross all sectors this summer, hospitality was res[ponsible for wasting £53m through poor energy efficiency. This equates to the annual carbon emissions of a city such as Norwich.

Such waste is needless as well as costly. Buildings account for 50% of all the energy consumed in the UK, and advisory bidy Hospitable Climates reckons that most operations, could mean as much as £400 per bedroom. Hugh Jones, solutions project director at the Carbon Trust, reckons that even the most environmentally aware hospitality businesses could make further savings of 10-15%.

Small businesses may worry about the cost of new equipment, but the Carbon Trust suggests that simple policies such as switching machines off after use, turning the heating down in warm weather, or using sensors on heating and lighting to trip them off when not needed can make real savings in your energy bill. Reducing the total by just 20% could add as much to your profits as a 5% increase in sales.

Going green, then, need not be onerous. There are plenty of industry organisations that offer free help and advice, such as the HCIMA, Hospitable Climates, WRAP and the Carbon Trust. And for large equipment like plant there are incentives, too. For instance, the Government has introduced Enhanced Capital Allowance of 100% in the first year on investment (www.eca.gov.uk). There are also interest-free loans from the Carbon Trust and Loan Action Scotland to enable SME`s (small to medium enterprises) to upgrade or replace plant with more energy-efficient equipment (www.est.org.uk)

But it won`t just be your money you`re saving: it`s also your future

Business Benefits
Maintain custom from the increasingly environmentall aware public.

Prevent energy costs from soaring - the Carbon trust reckons that the reduction of carbon emissions through energy efficiency can lead to 20-30% savings in energy costs.

Avoid punitive taxes from non-compliance with legistration.