With upcoming European legislation, rising energy prices and the increasing emphasis food service operators place on Corporate Social Responsibility, there are strong drivers to reduce energy use in commercial kitchens.
But lack of information is a major barrier. How is energy consumed in the commercial kitchen? Do we need new equipment, better working practices or both? To find out, Defra ran a monitoring study, working with the Carbon Trust and with support from CESA and the BHA, based on four typical contract catering kitchens.
Further work is now under way to look at a lifecycle carbon calculator for commercial catering equipment. This will ensure information on energy consumption is available to buyers.
We are looking to manufacturers to keep up momentum on the development of effective comparative testing standards. However, the whole industry needs to work together in order to meet the sustainability challenges we face.
â- To download the Defra/Carbon Trust report, Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) for the contract catering sector, visit www.carbontrust.com.
Maggie Charnley, head of sustainable products, Defra