A lack of awareness around government incentives to buy greener equipment, specifically refrigeration, is preventing operators fully exploiting the financial and operational benefits currently available to them.
That was one of the key points to emerge from Gram’s latest Go Green Debate, which saw a panel of industry experts take part in a live webinar.
The four-strong panel, including Andrew Fishwick, owner of The Truscott Arms, Mark Linehan, managing director of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, the Carbon Trust’s director of implementation Myles McCarthy, and panel chair Glenn Roberts managing director, Gram UK, settled down for an hour long debate with the aim of helping operators understand the tax incentives and schemes available to businesses looking to implement sustainable practices.
With many operators completely unaware of government incentives to become more sustainable and the tax benefits available, the panel provided guidance to those who felt in the dark.
Restaurateur Andrew Fishwick admitted that when procuring equipment for The Truscott Arms he “had no knowledge of the government-funded tax incentive schemes” and that he strongly believes that incentive schemes should be made much more accessible. Despite trying to make informed choices he is conscious that there is a need for more transparency and a clearer rating system, such as the ABC ratings used with domestic appliances.
Myles McCarthy from the Carbon Trust highlighted the importance of the ETL (Energy Technology List), which gives a standardised criteria for equipment listed to perform against, and an opportunity for operators to research equipment that can benefit from tax breaks and incentive schemes. He suggested that even if operators have no intention of utilising the scheme, they should look at the list of equipment available as a benchmarking guide for energy efficiency.
Previous Go Green Debate panellist Cyrus Todiwala challenged the panel to respond to his question about incorporating tax breaks in capital investment at the point of purchase given that independent operators rarely have the time or inclination to chase tax rebates.
The panel concurred that the current system does not make it easy for tax breaks to be incorporated at the point of purchase, but that the supply chain does need to bear the responsibility for sustainability in the industry.
The final webinar will be held on 24 September, and will look ahead to the future of foodservice, analysing the trends which will shape the green initiatives being implemented in the industry, and highlighting the key issues that will need to be tackled for sustainable progression to occur.
The culmination of The Go Green Debate will be a free to attend half-day summit at The Charlotte Street Hotel on 20 October, exclusively open to those responsible for the procurement of catering equipment.