"Ambitious but achievable”: report urges foodservice sector to tackle climate change

The Sustainable Restaurant Association says there are also financial incentives in food waste reduction programmes.

The country's foodservice sector should turbo charge its efforts to tackle climate change and environmental damage through “ambitious but achievable” targets, the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) said.

Their recent report found the pace of change is "nowhere near fast nor widespread enough" in the UK, as supposedly demonstrated by the country’s position in 24th place on the global food sustainability league table compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition Foundation.

“The scale and urgency of the issues facing the planet are huge. We need to challenge what we call normal, or good enough in hospitality in the UK. While the industry is taking lots of small steps, they aren’t keeping pace with the scope of what is needed. It is no longer sufficient simply to talk about being a sustainable business without targeting bigger change on the biggest issues," Andrew Stephen, Chief Executive of the SRA, said.

The SRA's report is challenged operators to reduce both areas of meat consumption and food wastage. Food waste and livestock farming reportedly account for more than 20% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions whilst foodservice is said to waste almost one million tonnes of food.

Aside from environmental benefits, the report cited financial incentives as well, as the average return on investment in food waste reduction programmes coming is 7:1.

“These are also areas in which we see the greatest abatement potential for positive change within the sector. If everyone matched the performance of the best operators in these areas, then collectively we would achieve huge gains," Stephen added.

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