Net Zero Pubs and Bars initiative to help sector reduce carbon emissions

21 July 2021 by
Net Zero Pubs and Bars initiative to help sector reduce carbon emissions

The Net Zero Pubs and Bars initiative has launched three new developments to support the sector in reducing its carbon emissions, including an industry protocol against which businesses can be certified and receive accreditation to display to customers.

The initiative, which has been developed by climate action platform Net Zero Now, is also launching a sector-specific digital platform where operators can calculate their carbon emissions, set targets, get tailored reduction plans and compensate for pre-existing emissions.

Net Zero Now is working with development partners Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) GB and Pernod Ricard UK. The initiative will be rolled out across the sector by the Sustainable Restaurant Association and aims to make the process of going net zero easier and cost-effective for any sized business.

The new Net Zero Pubs and Bars protocol provides guidelines for businesses and has been peer reviewed by 30 organisations representing the sector as well as sustainability and climate experts, and is available for free here for pubs and here for bars.

A pilot of the initiative included 36 pub and bar operators such as Peach Pubs, Darwin & Wallace and the Culpeper in London. Initial findings were that pubs could unlock on average a 10% reduction in total carbon emissions by switching to a renewable electricity supplier, that if all pubs in the pilot switched half of their dairy to non-dairy alternatives they could save up to 700 tonnes of carbon, and the average cost per cover to compensate for a pub or bar's carbon emissions through Net Zero Now's Climate Compensation Charge was only around 5p.

Simon Heppner, chief executive of Net Zero Now, said: "For the first time, the licensed trade has a clear pathway to net zero carbon emissions and a dedicated platform which puts the tools for action on the climate crisis in the hands of all businesses regardless of size. The pilot programme has shown us that there is a strong demand from operators to make a positive change – and with the support of CCEP and PRUK, we're able to make it simpler and cost-effective for them to do so. The need to reach net zero is common to all sectors but the challenges of getting there are different. As we expand the Net Zero Now model into other sectors, we will support the whole SME economy to become more sustainable."

Juliane Caillouette-Noble, managing director of the SRA, said: "The findings from the pilot demonstrate the huge potential of the Net Zero Protocols for Pubs and Bars. They've enabled the pilot sites not only to increase their understanding of their climate impact, but also, and really importantly, to identify and action steps to reduce that impact. This provides us with an exciting opportunity to roll this out across hospitality, particularly to SMEs, putting climate action in the hands of forward-thinking businesses across the UK."

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