Hospitality industry aims for net zero by 2040

Pubs and bars across the hospitality industry could all be operating at net zero by 2040.

Pubs and bars across the hospitality industry could all be operating at net zero by 2040, after industry body UKHospitality unveiled a new programme aimed at guiding the sector to the target.

Announced at a seminar at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, the trade body’s new Sustainability Commitment sets out 10 pledges in four key areas – waste, supply chain, skills and biodiversity.

The initiative forms part of a wider drive to help businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, make hospitality a leader in sustainability.

“Hospitality has been swift to embrace and accelerate sustainable practices in recent years, but we’re entering a crucial phase in dealing with climate change, which makes our new Sustainability Commitment vitally important if we’re to deliver on 2040 net zero aims for the sector," says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.

“Ours is an overwhelmingly SME-led industry, so it’s crucial that SMEs are equipped with specialised tools to deliver the environmental targets set out by government, and to build businesses whose everyday operations are environmentally friendly.”

The 10 pledges outlined in UKHospitality’s Sustainability Programme comprise:

  1. To deliver on 2040 net zero aims for the sector
  2. Roll out the sustainability guide to members, focusing on providing SMEs with tips, templates and best practice resources
  3. Eliminate unnecessary single-use packaging by 2025
  4. Reduce food waste by 50% by 2030
  5. Incorporate sustainability skills in relevant training courses and promote the appointment of site-based sustainability champions
  6. Support the Hospitality Sector Council’s Sustainability Committee on the delivery of the Hospitality Strategy’s environmental targets
  7. Promote sign-up to external pledges, such as the Courtauld Commitment and Plastics Pact
  8. Facilitate engagement across supply chains to reduce environmental impacts
  9. Promote the roll out of EV charging points across the sector
  10. Work with the Hospitality Sector Council to align industry objectives and share best practice among businesses.

Delegates at the seminar were also addressed by Liz Harrowell, associate director of climate risk and strategy at KPMG, who discussed how climate change could impact business models and the strategic levers available to drive decarbonisation of the value chain. 

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