Budget and a lack of knowledge remain the biggest barriers to foodservice operators embracing more sustainable equipment and practices.
That’s one of the main conclusions to be drawn from the fourth edition of the ‘Green Paper’, a report commissioned by refrigeration supplier Gram, which was released this week.
It seems the industry could still be feeling the effects of a double-dip recession after 55% of respondents admitted that lack of budget was a barrier to having a greener workplace, while just 5% of respondents were ‘very willing’ to pay a small increase in costs in order to be greener.
Some 27% said that they don’t know what can still be done to improve energy efficiency in their place of work, despite a huge 78% of all respondents saying they would like to be greener.
Worryingly, the majority were not aware of government tax breaks that could help alleviate concerns over capital investment.
In addition to budget, another key concern was the fact that 43% said that lack of information or advice was a barrier.
Dominic Burbridge, associate director at The Carbon Trust, believes that the industry needs to think of being green as being more efficient, not more expensive.
“Over the 10-year lifespan of your kitchen equipment, more than 80% of your money is spent on energy consumed and less than 20% on the equipment itself,” he said.
“Energy prices continue to go up year after year so investing a bit more upfront in energy efficient equipment is a no-brainer for any business no matter their size.”
The research did, however, show that 83% of catering businesses now consider themselves green, compared to 76% two years ago when the survey last took place.
Large increases came from schools (67% to 87%) and restaurants (59% to 81%), indicating a movement towards a more sustainable future.
Glenn Roberts, managing director of Gram UK, said: “This year’s Green Paper has again highlighted some real positives in the industry’s quest to be more sustainable. Foodservice is a key contributor to the UK’s energy usage, Co2 emissions and food, packaging and water waste, which is why Gram continue to support this unique report and take great pride along with the industry when we see progress being made.”