The impact of ongoing climate change continues to be felt throughout the world and the role of businesses will be increasingly in focus as Britain hosts the COP26 in Glasgow this November. The event will drive an expectation that UK businesses should demonstrate impressive strides towards the net zero targets the government committed to with its ‘Build Back Greener’ promises. It’s a great opportunity to look at ways to tackle environmental issues in the hospitality industry as well.
The foodservice industry will be among these businesses and the 2021 Footprint Sustainability Index in association with Nestlé Professional report found that almost all survey respondents listed climate change in the top five issues they were tackling.
However, there is room for improvement and the report highlights that foodservice needs to step up on climate action and catch up with other sectors. Crucially, when it comes to hospitality and the environment, there is a call for more companies to set science-based targets.
The impact of the hospitality industry on the environment
Nestlé has committed to net zero emissions by 2050, aligned with science-based targets.
“When we looked across the whole value chain – from our ingredients to our manufacturing to how we package and transport products – it became clear that the majority of our emissions sit upstream and less in our direct control,” says Katya Simmons, Nestlé Professional UK and Ireland. “This is why the company is focusing on working with its supply chain to reduce emissions, enhance biodiversity, and build resilient and regenerative agricultural communities.”
Meanwhile, Nestlé’s plant-based range Garden Gourmet is on course to become a carbon neutral certified brand by 2022, with steps including reducing CO2-equivalent emissions by implementing actions such as European sourcing for key ingredients and carbon offsetting to balance these emissions.
But there is more to hospitality and environmental practices than addressing the emission problem. Water management is also crucial to creating a greener future. In February, Nestlé’s Wyeth Nutrition facility in Askeaton, Co. Limerick became the first factory in Ireland to achieve the prestigious Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard Platinum Certification, in recognition of its water stewardship initiatives. Nestlé is a partner in the AWS standard development and has certified 32 of its factories worldwide to the AWS standard to date, with a commitment to certification of all Nestlé Waters plants by 2025.
Constant collaboration within the foodservice industry
As well as ambitious goals and far-reaching initiatives, our report also pinpoints the need for trials, collaboration and for innovation.
“If we are to respond to and drive some of the major changes and transformations needed in the food system, we have to be willing to test and learn,” says Simmons. “We know that sometimes we will fail, but we must see these as valuable learning opportunities to do better next time and get a better result.”
Combatting climate change will require a huge, collaborative effort.
To read more about how the foodservice industry can address energy, emissions and natural resources download the 2021 Footprint Sustainability Index in association with Nestlé Professional