Greene King sets zero-waste-to-landfill goal

Greene King has today (19 June) pledged to become the first UK brewer to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill across its estate, with a target date set for 2020.

The company also revealed strong progress to reduce waste at its 3,000 UK pubs, restaurants and hotels. A partnership with waste management company SWR, launched in 2016, has reportedly enabled Greene King to achieve a 95% diversion away from landfill rate.

Greene King group trading director Matt Todd said: “We’re really pleased to announce our goal of zero waste to landfill by 2020 and the progress made so far towards it. Waste is a real issue for the hospitality industry, and with the total Eating Out market set to grow from an estimated £87.1bn in 2016 to £94.1bn in 2019, it is set to become more and more pressing.”

Setting an example

Greene King claims that it last year diverted almost 8,000 tonnes from landfill across its operations – the equivalent of 640 double decker buses. The anaerobic digestion of food waste has produced enough electricity to power more than 7,100 UK homes for a month, according to Greene King.

The business has also increased its recycling rate from 49% to 70%, thanks to a range of initiatives such as a waste recycling backhaul scheme, which sees pub teams separate waste onsite into dedicated bins for food, cardboard, glass and other materials. By returning the waste via a dedicated food distribution network, Greene King claims the number of general waste bins has reduced by 42%.

“We’re delighted that, as a leader in the space, we’re able to set an example to the rest of the industry and show that sustainability and an excellent offering can work hand in hand,” Todd said. “The results show that we’re making real progress towards our goal, and we’re looking forward to implementing further initiatives over time.”

Brewing sustainability

Greene King is also working with Government advisory group WRAP on a best-practice training programme for area managers, alongside a project with supply chain partners which deals with packaging and portion control. The Suffolk-based firm recently became the first non-household water customer to apply to provide its own retail services for the water retail market which opened in April.

Fellow brewer Carlsberg earlier this month launched a new “industry-leading” sustainability strategy that aims exceed science-based recommendations by eliminating carbon emissions and halving water usage at breweries by 2030.

George Ogleby

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