Greene King has gained a coveted zero waste title after a mammoth landfill diversion campaign encompassing all its waste streams, including surplus kitchen equipment.
The company, which operates 1,700 pubs, said it is the first pub company in the UK to achieve the Carbon Trust’s Zero Waste to Landfill Standard following a significant long-term effort to reroute all waste, from food waste to kitchen equipment.
Greene King partnered with waste management company SWRnewstar in 2013 and distributor Kuehne + Nagel in 2012 and made the commitment to create a waste recycling solution that could adapt, be flexible and grow.
The aim of the partnership was to create a joint recycling model that was sustainable, displayed best practice and stimulated change in the industry by 2020.
Since making the commitment in April 2016, Greene King has introduced a number of initiatives across its managed pubs.
This includes expanding its waste recycling backhaul scheme, investing in infrastructure – such as balers at depot and coloured recycling bins to correctly segregate the various waste streams for onwards recycling – and improving its delivery fleet to ensure it could both cope and grow its recycling scheme via its supply chain.
The final piece of the jigsaw was the creation of eLearning modules, posters and literature to continue to educate the teams on the importance of recycling and how to achieve this.
As a result of these efforts, Greene King has calculated that there has been a 42% reduction in the number of general waste bins across its entire pub estate over five years.
Nick Mackenzie, CEO at Greene King, said the company is committed to annually auditing and reviewing internal processes to ensure continuous improvement and maintain the highest standards and innovation in tackling waste.
“We’re really pleased to announce that we have achieved our goal of achieving zero waste to landfill across our managed pubs. We care about the environment the impact we have on it.
“Waste is a real issue for the hospitality industry so, as a Leader, we are extremely proud to be the first pub company in the UK to achieve the Carbon Trust Zero Waste to Landfill Standard.
“Although our pubs are currently closed due to the Covid 19 crisis, we look forward when we can open our doors again and continue to look at how we can operate more sustainably to keep making a significant impact to the national effort to reduce waste.”
Greene King has also signed up to Wrap’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap and Defra’s Step up to the Plate pledge, committing to reducing its food waste by 50% by 2030.
Last year, it became the first ever pub company to join forces with Too Good To Go, a free app designed to help businesses reduce food waste across the country, by offering customers surplus carveries at a discount at the end of the day.
And Greene King was also named Operator of the Year for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability at the 2019 FEJ Awards for the work it has carried out to reduce food and kitchen waste.