Leading Hospitality Businesses Collaborate To Drive Green Recovery

Zero Carbon Forum established to decarbonise sector together at pace. Members to publish industry-wide net-zero roadmap

Leading hospitality operators including BurgerKing, BrewDog, Nando’s and The Restaurant Group including Wagamama have joined forces to establish the Zero Carbon Forum and collaborate on identifying the quickest reduction path to net zero emissions. The forum is endorsed by Government and backed by trade associations UKHospitality and the British Beer and Pub Association.

Senior leaders from a number of standout brands have pledged to act now to achieve net zero carbon targets faster, and more efficiently and cost effectively than acting alone.  An initial 18 companies have come together as trailblazers for the Zero Carbon Forum, with membership set to grow throughout 2021. The full list of 18 founding members is: Nando’s, Pizza Hut Restaurants, The Restaurant Group including Wagamama, Revolution Bars, BrewDog, Fuller’s, BurgerKing, Pizza Express, Boparan, Shepherd Neame, Marston’s, Azzurri, Adnams, Greene King, KFC, M&B, Young’s and St Austell.

Despite the ongoing damaging impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on hospitality businesses, these businesses have agreed to share carbon reduction plans and initiatives, combining their expertise and resources to identify all possible actions to decarbonise operations across tens of thousands of outlets and their supply chains.

The Zero Carbon Forum, which builds on 10 years of carbon reduction collaboration in the UK’s hospitality sector, will publish an industry roadmap to achieve net zero carbon by September 2021, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference later that year. Forum members believe this approach could act as a template for industry sector collaborations in the UK and globally.

Some members, including Nando’s, BurgerKing, BrewDog and Pizza Hut Restaurants, have already set their own ambitious targets and the forum will enable all members to create individual plans and targets quickly through combining learnings and resources.

Mark Chapman, Founder and CEO of the Zero Carbon Forum, said: “Our goal is for hospitality to achieve net zero faster, together. Carbon reduction and sustainable business is increasingly important to our customers so it’s vital that we act now. The window of opportunity to avert climate change disaster is closing fast and we must focus on reducing emissions and a path to net zero. We are already working on a number of collaborative decarbonisation initiatives with the backing of CEOs from the biggest brands and have engaged the support of leading sustainability experts to ensure the sector can quicken the pace of transition to a net zero economy.

“Cutting carbon emissions also cuts business costs so our solutions to tackling the climate crisis will help us bounce back more strongly from the pandemic. Hospitality is committed to working together at pace to decarbonise its operations and support the Government’s green industrial revolution.”

Andrew Griffith MP, the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion, added: “In what has been an incredibly tough year for hospitality, the creation of the Zero Carbon Forum shows real leadership. This kind of collaboration is crucial to driving the positive change required by all sectors towards Net Zero and we know is already being rewarded by consumers and investors in their decision making.”

Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKHospitality, added: “Despite the torrid year our sector has faced we remain committed to operating out businesses in the right year. The work and energy that has gone into the launch of the Zero Carbon Forum, even while we have been fighting for our survival, shows what a positive influence our sector is across the UK.

“The sector’s ambition to go net-zero chimes with the needs of our customers and is a critical part of our recovery strategy. With the right level of Government support into 2021 we can deliver economic and employment growth, while reducing our environmental impact. Once we are through the current crisis there can be a bright future for hospitality.”

The Forum will measure and benchmark key emission areas such as energy, water, waste and supply chains for each company and the industry as a whole.  This will enable members to quickly identify and implement best practices in emission reduction, helping to improve both sustainability and profitability. The Forum is already working on reduction initiatives including collaborative renewable energy buying, price benchmarking, electric vehicle charge points and carbon offsetting.