Hospitality firms waste £6b a year through ‘resource inefficiency'

04 November 2009 by
Hospitality firms waste £6b a year through ‘resource inefficiency'

Hospitality businesses are wasting more than £6.4b per year by overlooking simple money-saving actions, according to a new campaign launched today by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

Defra is urging the catering and hospitality trade to reap the financial benefits of cutting down on waste and reducing energy and water use.

The campaign, which emphasises "saving money - it's your business", demonstrates how simple resource-efficient practices can translate into cost savings.

Hilary Benn, Environment Secretary, said: "Small firms are facing challenging times, today more so than ever. Finding ways to save money will help businesses retain a competitive edge.

"Being sustainable is now essential - for your bottom line and for the environment."

Eco-design expert and host of Channel 4's Dumped](, Rob Holdway, is backing the campaign. "Whether it's turning off lights, turning down thermostats, cutting down on rubbish, or addressing dripping taps - small sized catering and hospitality firms are ‘leaking' money through bad use of their energy, water supplies or waste products," he said.

"Resource efficiency isn't rocket science but it does require a shift in culture among the catering and hospitality trade, which I really want to encourage."

Defra's top ten tips for the catering and hospitality sector to save energy and reduce costs:

  1. Turn off all office equipment when you're not using it - overnight, at weekends and during bank holidays. Savings on just a single computer and monitor could be up to £35 a year.
  2. Cut lighting costs by as much as 15%. Turn off lights in empty rooms and use energy-efficient light bulbs.
  3. A constantly dripping tap can waste 500,000 litres of water per year. This could cost your business about £400 per year. Make sure you turn off taps full and fix any drips.
  4. Save 4% of your turnover with waste management techniques, such as partnering with businesses to recycle waste or selling it to be used as raw materials.
  5. Save 8% on your company's heating bill. Turn the thermostat down by one degree.
  6. Ask your suppliers about take-back schemes for unused products. You may be able to get your money back, or at least a portion of the cost.
  7. Save up to one month's worth of fuel over a year through smarter driving, such as reducing load and good maintenance.
  8. Invest in efficient equipment to help cut your energy, transport and water costs. Government support includes interest-free Energy Efficiency Loans delivered through the Carbon Trust.
  9. To refill an inkjet cartridge costs about the half the price of a new one. Use email where possible, set out your PC to print double-sided and refill printer, fax and photocopier cartridges.
  10. Always publicise your commitment to reducing your environmental impact. More than a third of consumers would favour recyclable products or those with minimal packaging.

For further information on how to make savings in your business, visit Business Link >>

Getting the CSR message across >>

How green are your suppliers? >>

Green credentials are a high priority for hotel guests >>

Energy-saving heating - some like it hot >>

By Janie Stamford

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