COP26 prompted UK hospitality firms to take environmental action, survey finds

The poll was conducted by Nespresso Professional, the coffee firm’s B2B arm, in May, with the results published today (9 August).

Of the respondents, almost three-quarters (72%) said they have made sustainability more of a priority in 2022 than in 2021, with most stating that COP26 served as an accelerator for ambition and action.

The most common action taken by these businesses was implementing a recycling system for the first time or improving recycling. One-third of the businesses did this. Promisingly, 27% of the businesses had also developed and begun to implement a businesswide sustainability strategy.

Despite challenges relating to costs, the survey revealed that most businesses in this space (72% again) are planning to further prioritise environmental sustainability in the coming year.

However, six in ten said they are concerned about potentially increasing product prices, especially for more sustainable products. Also, one in five ranked sourcing sustainable and ethical products and ingredients as a top concern, amid cost increases, supply chain disruption and confusion about which approaches to sustainable sourcing to take.

Commenting on the findings, Nespresso Professional’s out-of-home director Beth Langley said: “It is really encouraging to see the continual uptake and engagement with sustainability initiatives across the hospitality industry, and while it’s clear that businesses are facing considerable challenges, leaders within the sector are determined to do the right thing.”

Last month, the results of a survey of 300 decision-makers at hospitality and leisure firms in the UK revealed that most have made improvements to energy efficiency in the past year or are planning to do so in the near future, in a bid to reduce costs while also reducing their environmental impact. There are still some easy wins to be had here, the research found, with 94% of respondents stating that their business wastes at least a fifth of the energy purchased every year.

That same survey, from eEnergy, found that eight in 10 businesses believe they may have to make redundancies or reduce staff hours before the year is out to reduce costs.

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