Nando’s on track to reach carbon neutrality this year

As restaurants in England begin to welcome customers indoors for the first time in 2021, Nando's has announced that it is on track to become a carbon-neutral business by November.

Nando’s on track to reach carbon neutrality this year

Image: Nando's

The peri-peri chain restaurant announced last year that it is striving to reach net-zero direct emissions by 2030 – a vision underpinned by interim science-based targets for reducing emissions associated with meals by 50%.

Building on this longer-term vision, it has today (17 May) announced plans to offset emissions across direct (Scope 1), power-related (Scope 2) and indirect (Scope 3) sources, in a drive to reach carbon neutrality before the end of the year.

Projects set to benefit from Nando’s carbon credits span South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi; the countries from which the restaurant sources chillies for peri-peri seasonings. They include forestry schemes and projects which will replace high-carbon cookstoves with electric alternatives in low-income communities. Nando’s is working with Verra as a third-party verification provider for the offsetting.

“Since 2015, we’ve already reduced the carbon footprint of our meals by 40% and we’re working hard to do more, but right now, we have some that we simply can’t avoid,” Nando’s said in a statement.

“Until they’re sorted, we’re going to completely balance our footprint through carbon offsetting projects. We know that the climate crisis, animal welfare and inequality are all closely connected so tackling these issues on their own will get us nowhere.”

Going forward, as Nando’s reduces its emissions in line with its 2030 targets, it will rely less on offsetting. Plans for reducing emissions directly include procuring renewable electricity and heat for restaurants –  a milestone already reached for all English, Welsh and Scottish branches; working with farmers to implement low-carbon techniques and scaling up plant-based, low-carbon menu options.

To this latter point, Nando’s launched its first plant-based chicken alternative last year. Called ‘The Great Imitator’, the pea protein has a carbon footprint half of that of chicken.

Nando’s UK & Ireland chief executive Colin Hill said: “I believe that by harnessing the collective passion and commitment of our 16,500 Nandocas, by collaborating with our partner suppliers and our peers in hospitality, and by working tirelessly with other leaders in sustainability in their respective sectors, we can realise this ambition [of net-zero by 2030].

“We hope that by making these commitments, we will inspire others to follow.”

Sector-wide collaboration  

Nando’s is one of the members of the Zero Carbon Forum – a new initiative designed to unite the UK’s hospitality industry in a drive to reach net-zero ahead of the UK’s 2050 legal deadline.

Supported by trade associations UK Hospitality and the British Beer and Pub Association, the Forum is expected to produce a net-zero roadmap later this year, with the support of Carbon Intelligence.

Other members of the Forum include Pizza Hut Restaurants, Revolution Bars, BrewDog, Fuller’s, Burger King, Pizza Express, Boparan, Shepherd Neame, Marston’s, Azzurri, Adnams, Greene King, KFC, M&B, Young’s, St Austell and The Restaurant Group, which owns brands including Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s.

edie recently published its Mission Possible: Green Recovery report for the hospitality and leisure sector. The report has been created with assistance from PHS and from the results of in-depth discussions with a steering panel of sustainability experts from some of the world’s most respected hospitality and leisure firms in the vanguard of sustainability leadership. It also summarises exclusive results from edie’s green recovery survey of 243 sustainability and energy professionals. You can download the report for free here.

Sarah George

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