Financial woes hamper green practices

Gram has published the 2012 version of its Green Paper, which seeks to chart the UK foodservice industry’s attitude and behaviour towards sustainability.

Now in its third edition, Gram says the latest research shows that many of the quick fix, cheap methods to implement an energy efficient business plan have already been applied by UK foodservice operators since it first launched the paper.

It is becoming clear that establishments are now required to consider bigger financial investments in order to continue their work towards building a sustainable business.

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However, its study suggests many of the respondents that took part in the research are facing financial difficulty and this is becoming an increasing barrier to adopting more sustainable practices.

Despite this challenge, Gram says that 78% of restaurants indicated their desire to be greener, a much stronger figure than in previous years.

“It was interesting to see that so many establishments were keen to make their business greener, despite the number of barriers that were preventing them from doing so,” said Glenn Roberts, managing director of Gram.

“In particular, channels widely cited local councils as being problematic in this respect – even channels not usually dependent on the government, such as hotels,” he added.

According to Gram, making financial investments in order to adopt a greener business is something that operators need to start seriously considering, particular with the onset of the EU Ecodesign Directive, which will come into force in January 2014.

It expects the Directive to “dramatically” change the purchasing decisions of the industry aslow-cost refrigeration cabinets that traditionally do not offer energy efficient credentials will no longer be able to be sold within EU trading countries as part of new EU law.

The Green Paper findings across all channels, including restaurants, hotels, healthcare, schools, universities, pubs and workplaces were analysed by Cambridge Direction, an independent research company.

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