Gram has presented its 2012 Green Paper reviewing the UK food service industry's attitude and behaviour towards a greener and more environmentally responsible future.
This year Gram teamed up with the Considerate Hoteliers Association, the Local Authority Caterers Association, the National Association of Care Catering, the Sustainable Restaurant Association and the University Caterers Association, working directly with their members to get their insight into the way they operate as caterers and the challenges they face.
The research found that many of the respondents were facing financial difficulty and this is becoming a barrier to adopting more sustainable practices. In 2010, 89% of respondents could cite a green action that had been implemented within their business. This year, that figure had dropped to 76%.
Nevertheless, an overwhelming majority (78%) of respondents still displayed a desire to be greener, which was an improvement on both 2008, and 2010.
Glenn Roberts, managing director of Gram UK, said: "When we first launched the Green Paper in 2008, it was intended as a tool to share ideas for possible initiatives that businesses could use to become greener and, four years on, we are hoping to review to what extent this has been possible.
"It has been interesting to see that so many establishments were keen to make their business greener, despite the number of barriers that were preventing them from doing so - including problems with local councils. Only 35% of respondents were aware of relevant government initiatives."
Operators were advised to start thinking about making financial investments in order to adopt a greener business, particular with the onset of the EU Ecodesign Directive, which will come into force in January 2014.
Low-cost refrigeration cabinets that do not offer energy efficient credentials will be forced out of the market and will no longer be able to be sold within EU trading countries as part of new EU law. Instead, only cabinets that adhere to the strict Ecodesign Directive energy efficiency standards can be lawfully imported and exported within the EU.
Operators were also encouraged to make the cost of ownership their priority when purchasing refrigeration equipment and to be aware that a low-cost, high-energy cabinets purchased in the short term would no longer meet the new standards in January 2014.
To download your free copy of the Green Paper 2012, visit www.gogreenwithgram.co.uk.
The findings were collated and analysed by Cambridge Direction, an independent research company.
By Lisa Jenkins
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