The Carbon Trust has launched a new online calculator that could help the catering industry make more than a £250 million in energy savings each year.
The Carbon Trust warned that failure to take a lifecycle approach to equipment selection and inefficient use of equipment wastes more than a quarter of a billion pounds each year, which is equivalent to three pence for every meal served in the UK.
The Cut Cost & Carbon Calculator has been designed to help caterers, designers, and equipment manufacturers and suppliers to fully understand how to enhance profitability and reduce environmental impact through a number of activities including behavioural change, kitchen design, menu complexity and equipment selection.
Dominic Burbridge, associate director, business advice, the Carbon Trust, said: "The catering industry is acutely sensitive to volatility across its entire cost base with inflation outstripping RPI over the last 10 years.
"A great way to tackle this is to improve energy efficiency in kitchens, an area that is not currently regulated. We've demonstrated how the catering industry could save more than 3 pence per meal served, which presents a significant opportunity for industry leaders who take a proactive approach to enhance the economic and environmental sustainability of their businesses."
More than eight billion meals are served every year across 260,000 sites, costing £770m a year on energy, and resulting in 3.9 million tonnes of carbon. By taking a more strategic approach to catering operations the Carbon Trust estimates that a saving of over 30% is achievable, saving over £250 million in energy costs and more than a million tonnes of carbon every year.
The calculator was developed in collaboration with Defra, CESA, CEDA, FSCI and BHA. CESA chairman Nick Oryino said: "The calculator is a significant development for the industry and brings together a number of activities.
"It has the potential to radically change the way in which capital and operating expenditure costs are judged and it will help ensure that more efficient equipment is manufactured, specified and installed."
For more information on the Cut Cost & Carbon Calculator visit: http://www.carbontrust.com/cateringcalculator