Almost half of hospitality businesses in the UK are still leaving equipment on overnight despite 65 per cent not knowing how much energy the equipment uses, while two-thirds of businesses will be actively trying to reduce energy usage over the next five years, according to a new report by BRITA UK.
The report, Invisible Waste – Helping hospitality businesses cut energy usage, found that 92 per cent of decision makers in the industry are concerned about the rise in the cost of goods and energy.
It also found that perceived challenges to improving environmental impact for businesses include cost (66 per cent), time (42 per cent) and team resource (29 per cent), and that almost 40 per cent of them are looking to train their teams in sustainable practices in the workplace.
David Hall, Managing Director of BRITA UK, said: “With hospitality operators feeling the pressure to improve their sustainability in an authentic way that avoids ‘greenwashing’ their processes, they cannot ignore the impact of the waste they produce on the environment.
“We’re all too aware of food and plastic waste, but what about the invisible waste that we cannot see, such as the volume of energy businesses consume each day and night unnecessarily? It’s vital that we collaborate with companies to tackle the sources of invisible waste together, and there are simple, energy-efficient steps that can be taken to contribute to real change.”
The sector’s energy concerns and desire to operate more sustainably add to the many plates its businesses are already spinning, with existing challenges including recruitment and retention issues, the rising cost and availability of raw materials and ingredients, and some areas of the UK continuing to see a reduced footfall.
Nearly three-quarters of decision makers (72 per cent) said they have goals and targets in place to decrease their energy usage and overall environmental impact, yet 86 per cent believe their business could be doing more to achieve this.
One of the major sources of invisible waste in hospitality is equipment being left on needlessly overnight, which is something 45 per cent of decision makers admit to, despite 65 per cent of them not knowing how much energy the equipment uses during this time.
Though some venues such as hotels operate 24/7, equipment including ovens, commercial washers, microwaves, and hobs are all examples given by decision makers of equipment left on unnecessarily overnight, with 25 per cent letting these appliances go into standby mode.
Eighteen per cent said it is easier to just leave equipment on and, for one in 10 businesses, equipment remains on simply because there is no one responsible for turning it off, the report showed.
To help operators combat the energy crisis, and learn simple, energy-efficient steps to reduce their energy consumption by identifying sources of invisible waste, BRITA has partnered with sustainability experts as part of its new Invisible Waste insights report.
As well as identifying which pieces of equipment can be safely turned off overnight to improve overall energy efficiency, the report also contains actionable tips that can help streamline the process to better sustainability for all concerned.