There are many ways your hospitality business can be more sustainable and join the trend for ‘green’ dining. These include better waste management, supplier choices and fostering a culture of environmental sustainability.
Manage your Waste
Everyone is well aware of the significance of plastic waste in the world today. Many businesses and governments alike have started to tackle the issue head on. Single use plastic bags are being banned at some supermarkets. There is a global drive for sustainable packaging solutions.
Restaurants and cafes are facing backlash for the part they play in the problem. The use of disposable coffee cups, tableware and plastic straws are under scrutiny. But, there are actionable steps you can take to reduce your plastic waste.
The New Zealand Ministry for the Environment suggests swapping out takeaway cups for reusable coffee cups1) https://www.mfe.govt.nz/node/24664 . In 2018, Victoria University implemented a cup reuse scheme at their cafes. Reusable cups are returned and then washed for reuse2) https://www.victoria.ac.nz/news/2018/11/scheme-to-reduce-use-of-takeaway-cups-on-campus .
Another way to reduce plastic waste is to remove plastic straws. Some venues have phased these out. Others have opted for biodegradable paper or reusable metal alternatives.
There is no shortage of ingenuity. For a long time now many cafes have been donating their coffee grounds for use as fertilizer. Others are giving away unwanted food to charities. Bring your own mug programs at cafes have proven successful.
Reduce your Food Miles
Choosing local food produce can help you reduce the carbon footprint of your business. Sourcing from growers close to your business helps to limit the miles the food has to travel to get to you. This in turn cuts your contribution to emissions from long haul transportation. Best of all local food will be fresher and has an origin story you can tell customers.
Consider your Flexitarian Consumers
A 2017 Global Data survey founds produced some interesting responses. At least 25% surveyed would consider eating vegan meat for environmental reasons. The same survey in 2018 found that 76% of consumers considered whether their food was ethical, environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible3) https://www.retail-insight-network.com/comment/flexitarian-trend-2019/ . That is not to say that consumers will only choose these options but this trend is certainly now in the forefront of consumers minds. Offering sustainable food options could be one way to appeal to these consumers.
Encourage your Team
Creating realistic goals, staying motivated and managing team expectations are important. Your business can achieve some immediate wins through small changes. Keeping momentum requires a culture whereby sustainability is encouraged and valued.
Where to next?
The issue of environmental sustainability is only going to become more evident in the coming years. There is an opportunity to appeal to the growing number of conscious consumers. Look for ways to contribute to the global effort to preserve our beautiful world for the future.
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