The catering industry in the UK is missing out on more than a quarter of a billion pounds in energy savings every year.
The warning from the Carbon Trust comes after it developed a ‘Cut Cost & Carbon Calculator’ with the catering industry trade associations to help the sector unlock potential cost and carbon savings effectively.
More than eight billion meals are served every year across 260,000 sites, costing £770 million a year on energy and resulting in 3.9 million tonnes of carbon. Energy costs are forecast to rise by a further £154 million a year by 2020 and the Carbon Trust suggests the catering industry could save more than a million tonnes of carbon and 30% on their bills every year by improving energy efficiency in kitchens, service equipments and tailoring menu options.
Dominic Burbridge, Associate Director, Business Advice at the Carbon Trust said: “The catering industry is acutely sensitive to volatility across its entire cost base with inflation outstripping RPI over the last 10 years. A great way to tackle this is to improve energy efficiency in kitchens, an area that is not currently regulated. We’ve demonstrated how the catering industry could save more than 3 pence per meal served, which presents a significant opportunity for industry leaders who take a proactive approach to enhance the economic and environmental sustainability of their businesses.”
The catering operations of the UK catering industry account for almost 2% of all business and public sector emissions in the UK. The calculator will help users to understand how to cut environmental impact through a range of activities including behavioural change, kitchen design, menu complexity and equipment selection.