insight / Sustainability

Environmental Sustainability Commitment

In October 2022, we launched our Environmental Sustainability Commitment.

Across the sector, businesses are viewing sustainability as a key priority, as we enter a crucial phase in dealing with the climate crisis.

Our commitment to tackling this challenge is set out in a series of pledges outlining how we intend to support businesses in our sector on their journey to reach net-zero by 2040.

The UK’s hospitality sector has developed a series of action areas to support its move to being a leading sustainable industry. The areas set out below reflect the workstreams on which  UKHospitality is focusing its efforts: packaging, supply chain, biodiversity and skills. These targets have been developed by UKHospitality, in addition to being taken from the sector roadmap to net-zero, and alignment with WRAP and the devolved nations.

The sector has developed several Commitments to ensure that the hospitality industry is aligned on the path to sustainability.

To support the delivery of the targets, we developed ten sustainability pledges.

Update: One year on

  1. 1

    Deliver on 2040 net-zero aims for the sector

    Since our inaugural Environmental Sustainability Seminar in October 2022, work continues to help the sector reach our net zero goal of 2040, 10 years ahead of Government targets.

  2. 2

    Roll out the UKHospitality Environmental Sustainability Guide to members focusing on providing SMEs with tips, templates and best practice resources

    The guide, relevant for all hospitality businesses but with a particular focus on SMEs, sets out simple and cost-effective ways businesses can become more environmentally sustainable. Focusing on energy, skills, supply chain, waste and biodiversity, a number of templates and resources are available to businesses looking to make progress with the green agenda.

    To further support all businesses across the sector, the guide has been made a public document.

  3. 3

    Eliminate unnecessary single-use packaging by 2025

    We continue to promote reductions in single-use packaging, including within our UKHospitality Environmental Sustainability Guide.

    On plastic, we continue to support and promote sign up to WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact.

    On the legislative agenda, from October 2023, a ban in England came into force on some single-use plastic items – something we worked closely with Defra to support.

  4. 4

    Reduce food waste by 50% by 2030

    Reducing food waste remains a priority area for the hospitality sector. We are a signatory to the Courtauld Commitment 2030 and in recent months, have developed a new webpage dedicated to food waste, providing tips and resources for businesses across the sector to make substantial reductions in food waste.

    We also continue to promote voluntary food waste reporting, and we are undertaking a project within the Hospitality Sector Council in this regard.

  5. 5

    Incorporate sustainability skills in relevant training courses and promote the appointment of site-based sustainability champions

    The appointment of our Skills Director, Sandra Kelly, has accelerated development on the skills agenda, simultaneously ensuring that sustainability is not left behind.

    The Universal Entry Standard for Hospitality and Catering is one of the exciting pieces of work we are leading on, which will deliver a common entry-level training approach for the sector. The Master training programme, includes a requirement for sustainable food practices.

  6. 6

    Support the Government’s sustainability agenda across the Hospitality Sector Council, Food Strategy and Tourism Recovery Plan

    Announced in the National Food Strategy was a recommendation for Government to ‘create a national food data programme’. They have since developed a programme of work under the Food Data Transparency Partnership, with the aim of creating consistent and accurate data and metrics for aspects of food policy.

    We sit on this working group to outline the views of the sector and ensure that any standardised approach  provides businesses with the tools to accurately measure their scope three emissions.

  7. 7

    Promote sign-up to the Courtauld Commitment and Plastics Pact

    As noted above, we are a signatory to the Courtauld Commitment 2030, and we continue to encourage members to follow suit.

    On the Plastics Pact, our Environmental Sustainability Guide encourages hospitality businesses to sign up to the pact.

    Encouraging sign up to both documents remains an ongoing process, and we continue to promote both issues on social media on  a regular basis.

  8. 8

    Facilitate engagement across supply chains to reduce environmental impacts

    We are currently working with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) to develop a piece of work on promoting British produce. This will involve approaching suppliers within the our membership to discuss, with the view of hosting a roundtable over the coming months to develop this engagement further.

    In addition, within our Environmental Sustainability Guide, a number of resources are available for businesses throughout the sector relevant to the supply chain.

  9. 9

    Promote the roll out of electric vehicle charging points across the sector

    Many businesses across the sector have started making inroads with installing EV charging points for staff and guests to use and are already seeing the financial and environmental benefits of doing so. However, it is clear that there are not enough Government schemes available to businesses looking to invest in EV charging points.

    As a result, this is an area we are continuing to explore with the Department for Transport, noting the lack of effective schemes.

  10. 10

    Work with the Hospitality Sector Council to align industry objectives and share best practice amongst businesses

    Our overarching Sustainability Committee, chaired by Tim Doubleday, is working to address the challenges of the Deposit Return Scheme and Extended Producer Responsibility, highlighting concerns to Government.

    A new sub-group has been established on biodiversity, which will provide advice for businesses on the topic as well as focusing on the supply chain in collaboration with WWF and other partners.